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What Causes Loss of Appetite

What Causes Loss of Appetite

Are you suffering from a loss of appetite? Well, here is some useful information regarding this condition's causes and reasons. Also presented, are a few options regarding the treatment for the same.
Parashar Joshi
Last Updated: May 30, 2018
You Know...
...colors affect our appetite. While Red tops the list of most appetizing colors, Blue is rated as the most unappetizing color.
A loss of appetite can be attributed to a lot many things. It can be due to excessive dieting, due to severe weight loss, or a lot other things. Some causes are quite trivial and treatable, whereas a few can be interpreted as the onset of a serious illness or medical condition.
Most Common Causes
Note: Loss of appetite in the first trimester of pregnancy is a common phenomenon.
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Flu
  • High fever
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional imbalance
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Onset of menopause
  • HIV
  • Dysthymia
  • Constipation
  • Common cold
  • Anorexia nervosa


  • Gastroenteritis
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Hepatitis
  • Kidney infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Mood swings
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Chickenpox
  • Food poisoning
  • Strep throat
  • Mumps
  • Yellow fever


  • Zinc deficiency
  • Lymphoma
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Alcohol withdrawal
  • Smoking
  • Sinus infections
  • Migraine
  • Types of cancer
  • Fatigue
  • Pregnancy
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Dental Problems
  • Medications

Stress is often a reason for loss of appetite in an individual. Anxiety, depression, mental stress, etc. can at times, drive a person away from eating. However, at times this can also work the other way; in the sense that in certain cases, stress and anxiety can actually drive a few people towards binging, overeating, chocolate craving, etc. A case of flu, fever, common cold, stomach infection, etc. almost always results in a temporary loss of appetite. At times, it can be an early symptom of something serious, such as stomach cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, etc.
Treatment
Loss of appetite, if temporary (such as for a day or two) is mostly harmless, and nothing to be worried about. If however, your lack of desire to eat persists for a longer period, then it could manifest into a serious eating disorder which could then lead to malnutrition, weakness, and other nutritional deficiency related health problems. Here are a few ways of treating a temporary case:
  • Get enough exercise. Jog or swim for half an hour, or do some aerobic activity or cardiovascular exercise. It will immediately get your metabolism up, and after a while, will make you want to eat.
  • In case of fever-induced appetite loss, you can try eating a small bowl of raisins mixed with a little amount of salt and black pepper. It can help in getting the appetite back.
  • In case of persistent stress or depression-induced appetite loss, you may need to consult a therapist in order to sort out your mental and emotional issues. Failing to do so or delaying this will only increase the dangers of malnutrition-related health issues.
  • If it is a serious case, then certain homeopathic medicines can help in treating it. In this case however, it is advisable that you consult a doctor who can examine you and prescribe the necessary medication.
Home Remedies
  • Garlic soup can be of great help to increase one's appetite, for it possesses the property of stimulating the digestive system.
  • Orange can also work wonders if you want to increase your appetite.
  • Follow your cravings, for it might be your body telling you what it needs. Do not ignore the desire to eat a particular food item, since it is better to eat something than nothing.
  • Consider eating appetizers before the meal, which will make you feel hungrier for the main course.
  • Sour grapes are known to work well in increasing appetite.
  • Along with all this, one should get adequate sleep in order to increase the appetite. 
This was a brief overview of the various reasons as a result of which a person loses all his appetite, leading to adverse effect on the health. Take right steps at the right time and treat the problem. Take care!
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical expert.