Struggling with loss of appetite? It may be a symptom of many diseases

Conditions like hypothyroidism could lead to metabolic imbalance and loss of appetite. Photo: iStock/Photo Credit:Goran13

A healthy appetite is one of the best indicators of a fit body and mind. This is the reason why doctors often ask you about your appetite and bowel movements when you consult them for any illness. However, in some instances, we hardly feel any appetite or experience an aversion to food. Some might lose their appetite when they are over-excited about an upcoming event or when they are experiencing grief. But, this is temporary and you will surely get back your appetite. In some cases, appetite may be lost without any specific reason. If it continues over a longer period, then it may be a symptom of a few diseases. Here are some other reasons why you may lose your appetite.

1. Problems related to intestine and digestion
Conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, gastritis and peptic ulcer that affect the intestines could lead to loss of appetite and severe stomach aches.
2. Thyroid problems
Hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones may lower your appetite. Thyroid glands play a pivotal role in regulating metabolism. So, conditions like hypothyroidism could lead to metabolic imbalance and loss of appetite.

3. Mental health
Stress, anxiety and depression take on toll on physical health in the form of lowered appetite. Finding a solution to your mental health issues may be the best way to get back your appetite.
4. Prolonged infections
Prolonged diseases or infections like AIDS or tuberculosis may reduce appetite. When the immune system in the body fights these infections, it may cause an imbalance in the regular digestive process leading to loss of appetite.

5. Cancer
Unexplained and long-term loss of appetite may be a symptom of many types of cancer. Cancers that affect the stomach, pancreas or intestines may cause aversion to food. Health checkups at regular intervals will help you diagnose such cancers at their early stage. 

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