The main symptom of chronic loss of appetite is weight loss. Vomiting or disgust for certain foods can also accompany it. The loss of appetite can itself be considered a symptom of various diseases, such as a symptom of a mental disorder or a symptom of a gastrointestinal disease.
Loss of appetite and fatigue
Loss of appetite can quickly lead to general fatigue. If the body does not get enough nutrients due to a lack of nutrition, one quickly feels exhausted and lacking in energy. Loss of appetite and fatigue often occur as common symptoms of various diseases.
This is the case with almost all infections of the body, such as a flu-like infection. The general feeling of well-being is reduced and the person affected feels weak and has no appetite. In addition, these two symptoms can also indicate an underfunction of the thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).
If a patient comes to the doctor with persistent loss of appetite, the first step in making a diagnosis after a detailed conversation is a physical examination. Besides measuring temperature, blood pressure and heart rate, the internal organs are also examined. An ECG, an ultrasound and a blood test may be necessary to find the cause.
A urine and stool sample often also provide information about the cause. It is important to inform the doctor of any pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes mellitus or heart disease, and to tell him which medications are taken regularly. If no organic cause can be found, the patient should see a psychologist or a psychotherapist to identify possible psychologically related causes.
The treatment of the loss of appetite depends on the cause. If a gastro-intestinal disease, a flu-like infection or an organic cause is found during the examination, these must be treated and usually lead to a normalisation of appetite. In the case of food intolerance, a special diet must be followed permanently and then the appetite should return.
In case of external influences that are the cause of the inappetence, these should be avoided. Abstention from smoking and alcohol consumption or the discontinuation of certain drugs should be considered. Under no circumstances, however, should you stop the medication yourself.
This must be discussed with the doctor. As a rule, in cases of loss of appetite without organic causes, eating habits should be normalised. It is important to take enough time to eat and at best to eat several smaller meals.
If this does not help, there are various drugs that are supposed to stimulate the appetite. These often contain progestins. These are hormones that are supposed to stimulate the feeling of hunger.
But there are also some herbal remedies that can help to restore appetite. These include the bark of the Condurango tree, wormwood and angelica root. Prepared as teas, these should help to restore normal eating habits.