Loss of appetite

The loss of appetite is defined by a lack of appetite and can have both physical and psychological causes.

Good appetite is often a sign of good health. Apart from cravings in some diseases generally also true. Also occasional and brief appetite is normal – if the times, for example, not tastes food, is corrupt or evokes disgust. Especially in stressful situations or lovesickness hunger often remains on the track. Should you but suffer longer-term or even prolonged loss of appetite, can be the sign of a medical condition and should see a doctor.

Loss of appetite: Causes

Loss of appetite can have numerous physical and psychological causes, where the lack of appetite occurs often as a symptom of many illnesses, as well as signs of incipient illness. Psychological causes and gastro intestinal disorders are a common cause for loss of appetite.

Psychological causes

Often has an appetite for psychological causes and is in some cases also due to severe depression due to occupational stress, family and partnership problems. The range from a simple pain to food to total Nahrungsverweigerung with anorexia (anorexia nervosa). Mainly old people often lose the desire to eating and drinking. Anorexia, but also other eating disorders such as the dining-crushing addiction (bulimia) the relationship with food, and to the normal hunger is radically disturbed.

Gastro intestinal disorders

Loss of appetite often occurs in the context of gastro intestinal disorders. Here, too, the range of possible causes is great:

  • Upset stomach
  • Gastric intestinal infection
  • Food poisoning
  • Food intolerance (such as lactose intolerance, celiac disease)
  • Sensitive stomach
  • chronic inflammatory bowel disease (such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis)
  • Gastritis
  • Stomach – and duodenal ulcers
  • malignant diseases of the stomach or intestines (such as stomach cancer, colon cancer)

Also liver disease, for example, an inflammation of the liver (hepatitis), and bile and pancreatic diseases (such as pancreatitis), the appetite is reduced.

Other diseases and factors

Loss of appetite can also occur at onset or acute infections. Even when heart disease (e.g., heart failure), diabetes mellitus (diabetes), (Hyposecretion of adrenal cortex) Addison’s disease, thyroid – and parathyroid disease, kidney in weakness and neurological diseases (such as dementia) are eligible for loss of appetite as causes. Continue with alcohol – and drug addiction, as well as in the context of certain medical treatments (such as chemotherapy or radiation processing) occur frequently appetite. Some medications such as Digitalis (combat congestive heart failure) or the so-called appetite suppressant also reduce the appetite.

Loss of appetite: Diagnosis

In a long-running loss of appetite, it is advisable to see a doctor, so that he can make an accurate diagnosis. Usually, there are more conditions that give clues as to the cause of reduced appetite a doctor.

The information how long that loss of appetite already exists, whether there was a specific reason for it, whether it has changed something in the diet, whether it has lost weight, whether further complaints exist (such as diarrhea, malaise, pain) is especially important. With loss of appetite even pre-existing medical conditions (like stomach ulcers, diabetes mellitus), taken medication or stressful situations in work and family life can be for the correct diagnosis crucial.

It follows a thorough physical examination, the loss of appetite at the bottom to go and make an accurate diagnosis of the causes. During the investigation, the doctor measures the heart rate and blood pressure and makes an ECG, where appropriate, and/or performs an ultrasound (Sonography). A blood test shows a possible underlying disease further. Also a urine and a stool sample can be useful.

If you suffer from loss of appetite, you check your weight regularly with a suitable balance. By using the calculation of body mass index (BMI) you can then, calculate whether the loss of appetite with you to a weight loss caused.

Suspected a certain disease as the cause of the loss of appetite (like stomach ulcers, diabetes mellitus), further research is necessary in the context of the diagnosis. Lack of appetite is psychologically caused (e.g. in anorexia, depression), should be also the visit to a psychologist or psychotherapist.

Loss of appetite: Therapy

Treatment of the cause

In anorexia treatment depends on the cause. Is the loss of appetite a gastrointestinal disease (the doctor introduces a therapy tailored to flu, food intolerance based.) This happens often when a gastritis by drugs – so-called Säureblocker (proton pump inhibitors). In addition to the therapy with drugs should the parties concerned also on a stomach-friendly diet (not too spicy, greasy, or too much) and give up alcohol and nicotine.

If a cancer has caused the loss of appetite, a targeted therapy (e.g., surgery, chemo-, radiotherapy) is required depending on the tumor and stage.

Should you suffer as a result of medication loss of appetite, your normal hunger and thus your body weight normally again, once you deduct the funds. You should talk this measure however absolutely with your doctor. Especially for permanently necessary drugs, the capture is not possible – in these cases the doctor can prescribe but, where appropriate, an alternative preparation you, which you better cope with.

Food and eating

It is fundamentally important to normalize the eating behavior when a loss of appetite, the food and the motion. Take time to eat, cook something delicious treat or can prepare it. Especially the common food in convivial round can revive the feeling of appetite. Also the doctor, nutrition experts, as well as more therapists can help you here. Eating disorders (such as anorexia) and mental disorders, psychotherapeutic or psychiatric treatment is important.

Appetizing resources

There are various drugs available that can stimulate the appetite and counteract such a loss of appetite. The media often contain the active substance Ketotifen or also progestins (Megestrolacetat, medroxyprogesterone acetate).

In addition, an appetite-enhancing effect is attributed to various plant means (e.g. bark of the Condurango tree). Some others considered promoting the salivating and the secretion of gastric juice. These are available as tea, juice or capsules.


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