Sudden Loss of Appetite Causes and Remedies

Do you feel like your appetite hasn’t been normal for the last couple of days? If you don’t feel as hungry as you used to or you suddenly lose your interest in food, this post provides the possible causes and remedies of loss of appetite.

Causes of Loss of Appetite

Medically, the sudden loss of appetite in a previously healthy person is termed as Anorexia. There are numerous causes that could trigger the loss of appetite.

1. Infections

Almost any kind of infection can lead to a decreased appetite. Anorexia is usually accompanied by fatigue, fever, or feeling lousy. If you feel nauseated, you probably have bacterial or viral infections. Food poisoning is also another likelihood that should be checked out.

Various infections associated with HIV and cancer such as syphilis, H pylori gastritis, cryptococcal meningitis, viral hepatitis and lymphoma among others should also be considered. Whenever you seek treatment for loss of appetite, it’s necessary to rule out the possibility of infections.

2. Medications

Certain medications including, antiretroviral drugs, pain medications, chemotherapy, radiation, weight loss drugs, and illicit drugs affect your appetite as a side effect. Most prescriptions used to treat various infections are likely to cause nausea. Bactrim/Septra, the drug is used to prevent Pneumocystis pneumonia, is one antibiotic that can cause nausea. Furthermore, pain drugs and certain supplements like fish oils can cause nausea which usually leads to loss of appetite. To address the side effects of such drugs and supplements, it’s necessary to discuss with your doctor the available alternatives.

3. Certain Diseases

Diseases affecting the digestive system such as Crohn’s disease, colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, and celiac disease can cause loss of appetite. These diseases trigger inflammation in the digestive tract or may cause intestinal blockage. Moreover, liver and kidney problems can affect your appetite. People suffering from liver damage are at high risks of experiencing severe symptoms and should seek immediate medical attention.

4. Depression

Emotional stress is a contributing factor that impacts how you eat. Positive stressors such as a job promotion, graduating from college, and weddings, and negative stressors such as being fired from your workplace, losing a loved one, or divorce may trigger depression. The duration of your decreased appetite depends on the situation and your ability to manage grief or stress. Lack of appetite is a strong indication of emotional stress and you should talk to a professional to help you manage the symptoms.

5. Hypothyroidism

When the thyroid produces less than the required thyroid hormone, it leads to a condition known as hypothyroidism. This condition can occur due to surgery of the thyroid gland, pregnancy, certain medications, or autoimmune diseases. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Depression.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Moods.
  • Fatigue.
  • Difficulty concentrating.

6. Hyperparathyroidism

When the parathyroid glands, which are located in the neck, produce too much parathyroid gland hormones (PTH), the result is a disorder called hyperparathyroidism. It’s a serious condition that triggers the release of calcium into the blood. Some of the most likely symptoms include nausea and vomiting, fatigue, depressed mood and loss of appetite.

Loss of Appetite Remedies Change your Eating Habits

You can manage the loss of appetite naturally at home by changing your eating patterns. Break your meals into between four to six smaller meals throughout the day and try to maintain a consistent eating schedule to regulate your appetite. On top of that, eat as many whole foods as possible to get a good supply of energy. Opt for healthy fats and proteins such as eggs, nuts, avocado, smoothies, and full-fat dairy products. Avoid drinking lots of water right before taking your meals because you will feel full, and try to space your fluid intake during the day.

Treat Nausea Naturally

The following options are good remedies to treat nausea at home:

  • Drink ginger tea by placing several thinly sliced pieces of ginger root in boiling water for about 10 minutes.
  • Drink chamomile tea and lemon juice.
  • Open the windows and doors to allow fresh air to get in or take a walk outside.
  • Take vitamin B6 supplements to suppress nausea.
  • Add a little spice or herbs to reduce the odor and taste of food that’s making you nauseous. However, if spices irritate your stomach, try to avoid them.
  • Engage in light exercises an hour or two before meal time to stimulate appetite.
  • Avoid fried foods, alcohol, cigarettes, and caffeinated drinks.
  • Eat while sitting up and maintain the position for at least half an hour to reduce the chances of vomiting.

You can also use conventional methods to treat loss of appetite. They include:

  • Anti-nausea medications.
  • Steroid medications.
  • Antidepressant medications.


The first step is to talk to your doctor about the best remedy for loss of appetite. Before starting any medication, it’s important that you know the underlying issue so that you can address the root cause.

All images by Pixabay

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