Loss of appetite should always be taken as an indicator, and should be investigated if it persists. It could be indicative of many medical conditions; both physical and psychological.
An absence of appetite often arises with feelings of fatigue or nausea. People experiencing such symptoms should visit their physician promptly for medical help.
Viral gastroenteritis (viral gastroenteritis) can result in loss of appetite as they attack the stomach and intestine, also known as viral gastroenteritis, with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and weight loss. As this illness is contagious it spreads easily by contact with infected persons, surfaces or food sources; anyone experiencing illness should avoid eating any potentially contaminated food and water and regularly washing hands as soon as they suspect having contracted something contagious; those suffering should stay away from public places such as schools daycares airplanes or cruise ships where large groups tend to congregate together for long stretches.
Stomach bugs usually subside on their own within several days and do not typically require medical treatment. However, those aged 65 years or over who experience severe symptoms should see their doctor for evaluation and to avoid dehydration. Fluids like fruit juice or ice chips should be provided to keep them hydrated, along with soft bland foods that are easy to digest such as bananas, rice toast or plain noodles to aid recovery.
Fatigue and appetite loss often co-occur, particularly if the illness involves other symptoms like headaches, abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea. Fatigue may also be a side effect of some medications like sleeping pills, antidepressants and antibiotics; in addition, those experiencing depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder can often experience decreased appetite as a side effect of their condition.
Loss of appetite can be an indicator that something is amiss, so if this issue persists for more than several days it should be discussed with a physician in case it indicates cancer or thyroid disease as possible causes.
The central nervous system controls hunger and fullness by sending signals between the gut and brain, and when these are disrupted or blocked it can result in loss of appetite – this may occur when taking certain medications, suffering from infection, stress or extreme exercise or simply getting older.
Colds, flus, stomach bugs and other bacterial, viral or fungal infections can seriously dampen appetite by making you feel unwell and impacting breathing, diarrhoea or leading to mouth and throat pain. Once these infections clear up on their own, your appetite should return to normal.
Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, grief and stress can have a major impact on appetite. Depression, anxiety, grief and stress may all cause you to stop eating regularly while migraine pain or other types of headache may also make this happen. Loss of appetite could be temporary or long-term depending on the source of anxiety.
Sleeping pills, antibiotics, blood pressure medicines, diuretics and anabolic steroids may all have an adverse impact on appetite. Painkillers or recreational drugs may also help decrease it.
Pregnant women frequently experience loss of appetite during the first trimester. If this means you aren’t getting all of the essential vitamins and nutrients required to remain healthy during gestation, it is vital that you speak to your healthcare provider about this matter immediately.
If you are experiencing a loss of appetite, drink plenty of fluids. Add nutritious foods such as soup, stews and casseroles to your diet in order to provide essential nutrition. It may also be beneficial to consider eating smaller meals more frequently with healthier snacks in between for added stimulation of taste buds.
If your appetite has been impacted by medication or an infection, seeking medical help for treatment should be your top priority. For mood disorders and digestion issues respectively, therapy will likely be required; while for loss of appetite related to digestive problems it would be a good idea to discuss with your GP how best to improve this situation – they may suggest eating soft, cool or frozen foods to feel better or suggest herbal teas such as peppermint and fennel that could refresh the palette as an aid; you could even add spices or fruit into your food and see if this helps.
Stomach disorders could be one of the reasons for losing your appetite, so digestive conditions may lead to an insufficient or loss of appetite. Any condition which causes nausea, pain or discomfort may dampen it – this includes conditions like IBS, Gout, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers gallstones and cancer.
If you exhibit symptoms similar to those listed above, consulting with a medical practitioner immediately is crucial for diagnosing and treating serious conditions. Seek medical assistance immediately if experiencing problems swallowing, blood in your stool or vomit, abdominal pain or sudden weight loss.
Many medications can help decrease your desire to eat, such as sleeping pills, antibiotics, heart and blood pressure medication and painkillers. Certain birth control pills may also help decrease appetite – expecting mothers often experience nausea and loss of appetite during gestation.
Loss of appetite is often related to psychological factors. Depression, anxiety and grief can have an adverse impact on one’s appetite; if this is causing problems for you, consult a therapist or counselor as soon as possible for guidance. Meditation or talking through feelings with friends and family could also help improve mood and lead to the recovery of appetite.
Age can cause people to naturally experience a decreased appetite. While this typically is not cause for alarm, if there has been an abrupt change or you experience fatigue or loss of energy consult your physician immediately.
Anorexia and loss of appetite may be warning signs for serious medical conditions such as ovarian, colon, colorectal, pancreatic or stomach cancers. Early detection is key to avoid potentially life-threatening situations; report any sign of appetite loss immediately to healthcare provider and report symptoms immediately if present.
Mental Health Issues
Loss of appetite is typically an indicator of an underlying medical or mental health issue; therefore, it’s wise to consult a physician if their loss of appetite continues for more than several days and is accompanied by other symptoms like fatigue or nausea.
Anxiety can often result in the loss of appetite, as when people experience stress hormones triggered by anxiety their bodies release stress hormones that initiate the fight or flight response in their brains – similar to when faced with a real tiger in the jungle and some run away fast while others freeze or hide, much like what occurs with anxiety. Some individuals become so distressed they lose their appetite entirely while others overeat to cope.
Depression often results in decreased appetite because it alters normal cues that indicate hunger. People experiencing depression also may feel less enjoyment from food they eat (anhedonia), yet receiving help for depression can often restore an individual’s appetite and interest in eating again.
Bipolar disorder, sometimes referred to as manic depression, can impede one’s ability to feel hungry. People living with bipolar can experience changes in both appetite and feelings around food; feeling numb to its taste or being unable to stomach it altogether can be symptoms.
Poor sleep can also have an impactful impact on one’s appetite. A lack of restful slumber may alter levels of the hormones ghrelin and leptin which regulate feelings of hunger and fullness. People living with chronic insomnia or fibromyalgia may also find themselves suffering from an appetite loss because of this.
If you or a loved one experience an unusual decrease in appetite, it is vital that they visit a physician immediately. A physician can evaluate any underlying medical or psychological causes behind it and make suggestions on how best to treat it – for instance, talk therapy can often help treat anxiety; exercise can also be useful, while registered dietitians provide personalized nutritional advice.