Causes of Loss of Appetite During Weight Loss

Loss of appetite is most often the result of some sort of food poisoning or bacterial infection. Food poisoning causes a sudden loss of appetite that often comes from eating something poisonous or toxic. Severe anorexia and severe bulimia can lead to serious complications that are sometimes fatal. When you suffer from anorexia you have a very distorted view of your body.

Your body does not look normal and you think that it is unable to perform normally. In addition to all of this, you might find that you are vomiting, going through periods of inactivity and you may even appear to be extremely tired. This can then lead to malnutrition, dehydration and eventual failure.

Food-poisoning cases often last a few days and may result in

  • Severe vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

Abnormal loss of appetite

Abnormal loss of appetite often follows several medical problems. Although losing your appetite during weight loss treatments can be frustrating, it is often a temporary phase. Usually, once you have lost a certain amount of weight, your body will get back into its healthy weight range.

Causes of Loss of Appetite During Weight Loss

You will probably also return to your normal appetite again after your treatment is completed. If you experience any extreme symptoms or excessive loss of weight, consult your doctor immediately. Appetite loss is very common amongst those with major depression. Depression can be linked to any number of medical conditions, including

  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Pancreatic disorders
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hyperthyroidism
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In addition, it can be directly related to the medical condition, particularly if related to cancers of the liver or pancreas, or indirectly through hypoglycemia (a condition in which your blood sugar (glucose) level is lower than normal. Glucose is your body’s main energy source. Hypoglycemia is often related to diabetes treatment).

Hypoglycemia can have other symptoms such as

Hypoglycemia occurs when there is a reduced amount of glucose in the bloodstream and if this continues for a length of time, it can result in seizures, heart problems and loss of consciousness. Most of these cases are isolated and the individual usually recovers in a few days to a week. Viral, bacterial, and fungal infections can cause loss of appetite at any time.

Symptoms of Hypoglycemia include

  • Excessive sweating
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Fainting
  • Tremors
  • Dry mouth

One of the more difficult reasons to lose your appetite is because depression can make it hard to eat. Sometimes you just feel like not eating, no matter how much you want to. You might feel like drinking yourself sick or you might feel like crying. This can be very depressing and many people who are depressed do not eat properly while they are depressed.

Eating disorders

Certain eating disorders can also result in extreme episodes of appetite loss. Anorexia is one of these disorders and it can result in serious nutritional deficiencies.

Bulimia can result in excessive vomiting, nausea and constipation. Excessive fat loss can occur which can cause internal bleeding and other complications. If you have an eating disorder such as anorexia you should seek help from a specialist.

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Losing weight and dieting

Another direct link between these two conditions is dieting and weight loss. Cancer patients often lose a lot of weight because chemotherapy limits their food intake, making it difficult to sustain their weight. In response, some people turn to appetite loss supplements that can help suppress their appetite and help them lose weight.

These side effects are normally short-lived and not dangerous, however, if the person is turning to steroids for treatment, they must consult with their doctor first and consider the possible repercussions.

Psychological reasons

Some psychological reasons for loss of appetite can be more complicated than just depression. Someone who is depressed may lose interest in certain activities such as sports or other hobbies that they used to enjoy. Someone who is depressed may have thoughts of suicide or self-harm, which should always be discussed with a doctor.

If you think that you may be depressed but are not showing any psychological symptoms such as anxiety or inability to concentrate, there are certain medications that a doctor may prescribe that can help.


Other physical symptoms of loss of appetite can be

  • Fatigue
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Constipation and
  • Other abdominal symptoms

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you must discuss them with your doctor. Your doctor may recommend an exercise program or suggest certain foods that you can eat more of. If you are on certain medications, you must talk to your doctor about possible side effects before taking any medication or changing your diet.

It is important that if you are experiencing any of these symptoms that you contact your doctor immediately. Medications, like Acamprosate, are commonly used for treating appetite disorders. Your doctor may recommend that Acamprosate be taken along with some of your other medications to help prevent bloating.

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After correct medical treatment for the underlying illness, your sudden loss of appetite will most likely return. Psychological causes include

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Binge eating
  • Hypoglycemia, and
  • Other diseases and illnesses that affect the brain, the stomach, the nerves, and the brain

Many psychological causes can lead to loss of appetite. A depressed person may suddenly feel less hungry, while someone with an anxiety disorder may find it hard to eat or function properly while they are anxious. The nerves involved in appetite regulation are affected by depression and anxiety, and the brain’s reward centre, the hypothalamus, which controls hunger, receives messages regarding food and energy from these regions.

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Causes of Loss of Appetite During Weight Loss

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