Should I be concerned about loss of appetite?

Many conditions can cause a decrease in appetite, including both physical and mental illnesses. As with any ailment, an analysis of why you have a reduced desire to eat will help determine the solution.

For example, uncontrolled pain, anxiety, and depression can all reduce the desire to eat. Hypothyroidism, heartburn, gastritis and constipation are conditions that also can cause decreased appetite but are easily corrected.

Patients with serious illnesses may also have electrolyte changes, difficulty swallowing or viral illness that can affect the appetite. Many of these conditions are treatable or can be better managed so that you can look forward to enjoying food and sharing meals with your family again. 

Learn more about loss of appetite with serious or chronic illness.