Loss of appetite or decrease in desire to eat could be the first sign of a chronic health condition. It can be short-term and reversible, as in cases of viral fever or medication side effects.
Other times, it can be serious and must not be ignored. Loss of appetite can be associated with cancer, especially stomach or pancreatic cancer. Appetite loss can also occur due to a condition called cachexia, a state of bad health and malnutrition and it can be a resulting cause of metabolic changes due to cancer and its complex treatments.
In case you are feeling a persistent loss in your appetite, you must get an expert's evaluation.
These are the symptoms you should watch out for:
- Not feeling hungry and have no idea why
- Revulsion towards a certain type of food
- Difficulty in eating
- Extreme weakness and lethargy
- Lack of enthusiasm and motivation for food-related activities
- Unintentional weight loss.
A consistency in these signs reflects a need to seek medical attention. It can be an underlying cause of a chronic condition which might need immediate medical attention. Appetite loss is commonly caused due to infections like flu or the common cold, food poisoning and gastrointestinal tract infections, cancer, stomach ulcers, hypothyroidism, kidney or liver failure, eating disorders, AIDS, COPD, and depression.
Eating green and leafy food, drinking plenty of water, spices (fennel and caraway), physical activity, and diet supplements can increase appetite.