Loss of appetite, anorexia: what is this, causes, symptoms, diagnostics, treatment, prevention

Appetite – decreased; Loss of appetite; Decreased appetite; Anorexia

Loss of appetite: what is this?

Loss of appetite, also known as anorexia, represents a state, which leads to a decrease in the desire or ability to consume food. It is a common symptom of many disorders, and it can range from mild to severe. In some cases, lack of appetite can cause malnutrition and serious health problems..

Causes of Loss of Appetite

Loss of appetite can be caused by a number of factors..

Physical causes may include illness and pregnancy, and such diseases, like diabetes, cancer and kidney disease.

Mental and emotional causes of loss of appetite include depression, anxiety and stress.

Some medications, such as anti-nausea drugs and antacids, can also cause loss of appetite. Poor nutrition can also lead to a lack of desire to eat..

Symptoms of Loss of Appetite

The most common symptom of loss of appetite is a decrease in the desire or ability to consume food.. Some people may experience nausea, vomiting and difficulty swallowing food. Other symptoms may include weight loss, fatigue, constipation and abdominal pain.

Diagnosis of Loss of Appetite

If you are experiencing a decrease in appetite, it's important to talk to your doctor, to determine the underlying cause. Your doctor will ask about your medical history and perform a physical exam. Additional tests may be recommended depending on the results of the initial assessment., such as blood tests, urinalysis and imaging tests.

Appetite Loss Treatment

Treatment for loss of appetite depends on the underlying cause.

If the cause is a physical illness, treatment is aimed at eliminating the underlying disease.

If the cause is depression or anxiety, psychotherapy and medication can help, such as antidepressants and anxiolytics.

Diet and lifestyle changes may also be helpful., eg, eat several small meals throughout the day, incorporating higher calorie foods and increasing hydration.

Prevention of loss of appetite

The best way to prevent loss of appetite is to make sure, what are you getting nutrients, that your body needs.

A balanced diet, drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding excessive stress can help maintain your appetite.

Besides, regular exercise can help prevent depression, anxiety and other mental disorders, which can lead to loss of appetite.

Used literature and sources

Mason JB. Nutritional principles and assessment of the gastroenterology patient. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Schlesinger & Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 5.

McGee S. Protein-energy malnutrition and weight loss. In: McGee S, ed. Evidence-Based Physical Diagnosis. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 12.

Mcquaid KR. Approach to the patient with gastrointestinal disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 123.

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