Q:

What causes loss of appetite?

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Quick Answer

The causes of appetite loss include certain emotions, cancer, heart failure, street drugs and certain medications, according to MedlinePlus. The first trimester of pregnancy may also cause loss of appetite. Abnormal taste and food aversion can cause a loss of interest in eating, according to BootsWebMD.

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What causes loss of appetite?
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Full Answer

Loss of appetite, medically known as anorexia, is common in elderly people and can result in weight loss, explains MedlinePlus. Depression, grief or sadness may cause anorexia. Chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, morphine and codeine are medications that can lead to the problem. Street drugs include heroin, cocaine and amphetamines.

The types of cancer that can induce loss of appetite include pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, stomach cancer and colon cancer, states MedlinePlus. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hepatitis, hypothyroidism, dementia and HIV can make a person lose appetite. Other disorders than result in this problem include severe liver disease and acute kidney failure.

Radiotherapy, which is normal in cancer treatment, can cause a change in appetite, notes BootsWebMD. Coxsackie viruses that induce hand, foot and mouth disease, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, dysentery and diabetes may make patients lose appetite. Other causes of anorexia are ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, binge eating disorders, giardiasis and mumps.

Children who suffer from asthma often lack appetite, notes BootsWebMD. People suffering from cytomegalovirus, leptospirosis or rheumatoid arthritis can experience anorexia. Patients with severe loss of appetite should seek immediate medical attention.

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