Loss in Appetite

General or Other | - Others | Loss in Appetite (Symptom)


A decreased appetite is when you have a reduced desire to eat. A decreased desire to eat is a symptom that is common to numerous medical and psychological conditions. Almost any illness can lead to a decrease in appetite. Severe decreased appetite can lead to unwanted weight loss and malnutrition. Medically, a decrease in appetite is referred to as anorexia.


Any illness can affect a previously hearty appetite. If the illness is treatable, the appetite should return when the condition is cured. A decreased appetite is almost always seen among elderly adults, and no cause may be found. However, sadness, depression, grief, or anxiety is a common cause of weight loss that is not explained by other factors, especially among the elderly.

Poor appetite may accompany other symptoms that vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the digestive tract may also involve other body systems.

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, COPD, dementia, heart failure hepatitis, HIV, hypothyroidism, pregnancy (first trimester), use of certain medications ( including antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, codeine, and morphine), use of street drugs including amphetamines – speed (cocaine, and heroin).