Loss of the appetite – a condition in which there is a decrease in the desire to eat. The medical term of the loss appetite is called an anorexia.
Any illness can affect a decrease in appetite. If the illness is treatable, the appetite should return when the patient’s condition improves or comes full recovery. Loss of appetite may lead to weight loss.Causes of loss of appetite
Decreased appetite is almost always observed among the elderly, and the reasons for this can not be. Nevertheless, sadness, depression, anxiety are a common cause of weight loss that is not explained by other factors, especially among the elderly.
Cancer can also cause loss of appetite. The patient may lose weight and at usual diet. Types of cancer that can lead to loss of appetite:
- Colon cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Pancreas cancer
Other causes of loss of appetite:
- Chronic liver disease
- Chronic renal failure
- Drugs such as amphetamine, cocaine and heroin
- Heart failure
- Pregnancy (first trimester)
- Recovery after illness
- The use of certain medications (antibiotics, chemotherapeutic drugs, codeine and morphine)
Diagnosis of anorexia
First of all, the diagnosis of anorexia should start with an analysis of medical history.
The patient will be asked questions about lifestyle, diet, diseases, symptoms, duration of loss of appetite and other similar questions.
After determining about the psychological state of the patient may be appointed for examination the physical causes of loss appetite. May be carried out the following studies:
– Abdominal ultrasound;
– Barium enema, sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy if suspected of colon cancer;
– General blood analysis;
– Erythrocyte sedimentation rate;
– The HIV test;
– Kidney function tests;
– Liver function tests;
– Pregnancy test;
– Thyroid function tests;
– Screening of urine for drug use.
How to restore your appetite
People suffering from cancer or chronic diseases need to learn how to increase the protein in their diets and caloric intake. It is advisable to eating high-calorie, nutritious food or several small meals throughout the day. Liquid protein drinks may be helpful.
Family members should try to offer to the patient’s favorite foods to help stimulate the person’s appetite.
Write down everything that you eat and drink for 24 hours. This is called a food diary. Keeping of a food diary helps to analyze your eating behavior and to adjust the power.
Convince the patient to seek medical help if it decreased appetite occurs along with other signs of depression, such as alcohol abuse, drug use, or eating disorders.
When the loss of appetite caused by taking medications, ask your doctor about changing the dosage or the drug itself. But never stop taking medication without consulting your doctor.
Seek immediate your doctor if you lose weight without changing lifestyle and nutrition!