Appetite - decreased - Overview
Loss of appetite; Decreased appetite; Anorexia
Definition of Appetite - decreased:
A decreased appetite is when you have a reduced desire to eat. The medical term for a loss of appetite is anorexia.
Any illness can affect a previously hearty appetite. If the illness is treatable, the appetite should return when the condition is cured.
Loss of appetite can cause unintentional weight loss.
A decreased appetite is almost always seen among elderly adults, and no cause may be found. However, sadness, depression, grief, or anxiety are a common cause of weight loss that is not explained by other factors, especially among the elderly.
Cancer may also cause decreased appetite. You may lose weight without trying. Cancers that may cause you to lose your appetite include:
- Colon cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
Other causes of decreased appetite include:
- Chronic liver disease
- Chronic kidney failure
- Heart failure
- Pregnancy (first trimester)
- Use of certain medications, including antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, codeine, and morphine
- Use of street drugs including amphetamines (speed), cocaine, and heroin
- Reviewed last on: 7/22/2010
- Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Mason JB. Nutritional Assessment and Management of the Malnourished Patient. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 4.
Stewart GD. Skipworth RJE, Fearon KCH. The Anorexia-Cachexia Syndrome. In: Walsh D, Caraceni AT, Fainsinger R, et al, eds. Palliative Medicine. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 106.
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