A decreased appetite usually occurs when you have a reduced desire to quite eat anything, say a fruit or it could even be a meal for that matter. It may also be known as a poor appetite or even loss of appetite. A wide variety of the conditions can cause your appetite to quite decrease, ranging from the mental conditions to the physical illnesses. If you develop any form of loss of appetite, you may also experience the related symptoms which come with this problem, such as the weight loss or even the problem of malnutrition. These can be quite serious if it is left untreated, so it is important for you to quite find the reason behind the decreased appetite and even treat it. This is primarily because loss of appetite in most cases is not a good sign and requires the right amount of attention that has to be given for leading a healthier life.
Causes a Decreased Appetite
There are a number of conditions that can lead to a decreased appetite. In most of the cases, your appetite will return to the normal once the original condition is to be treated.
Bacteria and Viruses
Most commonly, a decreased appetite is due to the bacterial or even the viral infection. The symptom appears along with the other influenza symptoms-such as the following:
As these illnesses are usually typically very short-term and are quite rarely last over a few weeks, your appetite will only return to normal after these symptoms are over.
There are various forms of the psychological causes which are responsible for a decreased appetite. According to the findings of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), many of the elderly people lose their appetites over the years. Your appetite may also tend to quite decrease when you are having the following problems such as:
- When you are sad,
- When you are depressed,
- When you are grieving, or
- When you are anxious.
- Boredom and stress have also been commonly linked to a decreased appetite.
Eating disorders-such as the commonly known anorexia nervosa-can also lead to a quite decreased appetite overall. A person with the anorexia undergoes the self-starvation or the other methods to quite lose weight. People who suffer from this condition are those who typically are underweight and have an extreme fear of actually gaining weight. Anorexia nervosa can also cause the problem of being malnutrition.
The following medical conditions may quite cause your appetite to decrease:
- Chronic liver disease or the kidney failure
- Heart failure
- Hypothyroidism, a condition where your thyroid is actually underactive
In rare instances, the cancer can cause the loss of appetite, particularly if it is quite concentrated in your colon, the stomach, ovaries, or even pancreas. Pregnancy can also cause a loss of the appetite during the very first trimester.
Always contact your doctor right away if you begin to lose your weight rapidly for no apparent reason. It is also quite important to seek immediate medical help if your decreased appetite could be a result of the following:
- alcohol abuse, or
- Even an eating disorder such as anorexia.
Treatment for Decreased Appetite
Treatment for a decreased appetite will depend on its actual cause. If the cause is a bacterial or the viral infection you will usually not require treatment, as your appetite will quickly return once your infection is actually cured.
Home Care Remedies
- If the decrease is due to a medical condition like the cancer or chronic illness, it can be difficult to stimulate your appetite.
- However, eating with your family and friends, cooking your favorite foods, or even going out to eat at restaurants may help to encourage the habit of eating.
- Light exercise may also help increase appetite, or you might even consider focusing on eating just one quite large meal per day, with light snacks in between, here and there.
- Eating frequent but small meals can be helpful, and these are also usually easier on the stomach than the large meals.
- To ensure you are getting the enough amounts of nutrients from food, the meals should be high in calories and also rich in protein.
- You may also want to try the liquid protein drinks.
- It can be useful to keep a diary of what all you eat and drink over a period of a few days to a week.
- This will help your doctor to quite assess your nutritional intake and the extent of your actual decreased appetite.
During your appointment, your doctor will try to quite create a full picture of your symptom. He or she will also measure your weight and height and even compare this to the average for the population. You will also be asked about your medical history, any form of medications you take, and your diet.
Be prepared to answer the questions about:
- when the symptom started
- whether it is mild or even severe
- how much weight you have lost
- if there were any of the trigger events
- if you have any other symptoms
It may then be necessary to actually conduct tests to find the cause of your decreased appetite.
Possible tests would include:
- an ultrasound of your abdomen
- a complete account of blood count
- tests of your liver, the thyroid and the kidney function-these usually require only a blood sample.
- An upper GI series-X-rays that quite examine your esophagus, stomach, and the small intestine.
- In some cases, you will be tested for the pregnancy and the HIV. Your urine may be tested for the traces of drugs.
- If your decreased appetite has resulted in the condition of malnutrition, you may be given the required nutrients through an intravenous line or channel.
- Your doctor may also refer to you to a mental health specialist or even addiction counselor if your loss of the appetite is a result of the depression, an eating disorder, or even drug use.
- The loss of the appetite caused by the medications may be treated by changing your dosage or even switching your prescription.
- Never change your medications without the first consulting your doctor.
Outcome of the Decreased Appetite
- If your decreased appetite is caused by a short-term condition, you are likely to quite recover naturally without any form of long-term effects.
- However, if your decreased appetite is caused by a medical condition, the condition could also worsen without treatment.
- If left untreated, your decreased appetite can also be accompanied with the more severe symptoms, such as:
- extreme fatigue
- weight loss
- a rapid heart rate
- a fever
- general ill feeling
1. Indian Gooseberry
- The Indian gooseberry, which is also known as the amla, which can help increase a diminished appetite caused by the gastrointestinal issues.
- It works as a tonic in the Gasto-Intestinal system, improving the functioning of the digestive tract and the detoxifying the liver.
- When combined with the honey, it also reduces the nausea and vomiting.
- Moreover, being rich in the vitamin C, it boosts the immune system and also facilitates the mineral absorption, both of which are quite important if the nutritional deficiencies have resulted from the lack of proper nourishment.
- Ginger is an excellent thing for relieving the indigestion and also stimulating the appetite. In addition, the ginger is a great thing for alleviating the stomach aches.
- Take one-quarter to around one-half teaspoon of the finely chopped ginger and add a pinch of the rock salt (also known as the sendha namak) to it. Consume it half an hour prior to the meals every day for around eight to 10 days.
- Make the ginger tea by chopping an inch of the dried ginger into the small pieces and boiling them in two cups of water. Mix in some milk and the sugar to suit your taste. You can drink this a few times a day.
3. Black Pepper
- The Black pepper is often used as an Ayurvedic remedy to improve the digestion, increase appetite, and the treat gastrointestinal problems.
- It also relieves the stomach and the intestinal gas.
- Basically, the black pepper stimulates the taste buds, which in turn increases the secretion of the hydrochloric acid in the stomach, thereby improving the digestion.
- Furthermore, it contains a compound called the piperine that aids the absorption of the nutrients including the selenium, beta-carotene and the vitamin B.
- Combine one of the tablespoon of jaggery powder and one-half of the teaspoon of the ground black pepper.
- Consume it on a regular basis for about few days.
* Do not use this black pepper remedy if you have the stomach ulcers or have had the abdominal surgery.
- The Cardamom, or the choti elaichi, works as a warming digestive tonic.
- It is good for relieving the indigestion, the flatulence and the acidity, and improving the appetite by stimulating the secretion of the digestive juices.
- To derive its benefits, simply add the ground cardamom seeds or even the cardamom pods to your regular tea.
5. Carom Seeds
- The Carom seeds, also known as the ajwain, are good for the digestive system.
- They help to increase appetite and treat the problems like indigestion and flatulence by improving the secretion of the digestive acids and enzymes.
- You can also simply chew one-half of the teaspoon of carom seeds half an hour before meals.
- Alternatively, put around three tablespoons of carom seeds in some lemon juice.
- Keep it in a dry, and dark place until the mixture dries out
- Then, mix in a little black salt.
- Take around one teaspoon of this mixture along with the warm water, twice daily for a few days.
6. Dandelion Root
The Dandelion root is known to promote the digestion and regulate appetite. It also helps to treat the liver and the gallbladder problems. It works as a mild diuretic as well.
- Prepare a dandelion root tea by boiling the powdered dandelion root in a cup of water for about five minutes. You can also add around a cinnamon stick.
- Strain the tea. You may also sweeten it with honey if you like before drinking it.
- You can also purchase the dandelion root from a health food store.
- If you have the dandelions growing in your yard, you can separate the roots from the foliage, clean and chop them into small pieces, and bake them in the oven at 250 degrees for two hours.
Homeopathic and Ayurvedic Supplements
There are several homeopathic remedies and also ayurvedic remedies for improving the overall digestion regime and also for condensing the loss of appetite situations. Here are some of the most recommended ones, you must try them for adding the extra help :
- R S Bhargava Appetiser - Improves Appetite and Digestion, Removes Flatulence and Constipation
- Haslab HC 86 (Appeto Complex) -Appetiser, Useful in Loss of Appetite, Person eats a lot yet Thin and Weak
- Basic Ayurveda Ark Ajwain- Gastro Intestinal Disorders , Flatulence, Dyspepsia, Indigestion
- Allen Gastropep Digestive Tonic- For Hyperacidity, Eructation, Heart Burn, Flatulence, Indigestion, Gastritis.
Before using this herb, the medications and the supplements it's imperative that you consult your doctor to determine the right dose and be sure that it will not interact with any medications you may be taking from beforehand.