ZocdocAnswersWhat are the typical causes of loss of appetite?

Question

What are the typical causes of loss of appetite?

I just don't feel like my appetite has been normal the last 2 weeks. Just don't feel as hungry as I used too. Why would this happen? What could make my appetite disappear?

Answer

It is difficult to determine what could be responsible for your loss of appetite over the last two weeks. A loss of appetite in a previously healthy person is medically termed as anorexia. There are various causes of a loss of appetite. Generally chronic medical problems of the liver, kidney, lung or heart can cause decreased appetite or anorexia. Metabolic problems such as a decrease in hormones, like your thyroid hormone, can be responsible. In addition, the use of certain medications of drugs such as antibiotics or narcotics may have side effects of poor appetite. Low vitamin levels may also be responsible. The more serious causes of a loss of appetite include cancer. Sometimes, in the young or elderly, situational stressors, depression, grief and loss of a friend may be associated with poor appetite. Poor appetite by itself is rarely serious. However it can over time lead to dehydration, electrolyte problems and this can be life threatening. Therefore it is very important that you see a primary care doctor as soon as possible to diagnose why this is happening to you, and more importantly treat you properly. Your doctor will take a detailed history and perform a physical examination and tailor treatment appropriately.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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