What causes loss of appetite?

Written by jessica lietz
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Although losing your appetite may be a boon if you are trying to lose weight, symptoms that persist may be an indication of a serious physical or mental illness. The causes of appetite loss may be temporary or long lasting and include certain medical conditions, viral infections and treatments for chronic diseases. Consider this information from the Mayo Clinic and Drugs.com about the causes of loss of appetite.

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Emotional stress at home or from work may cause you to lose your appetite or even forget to eat during especially stressful events.


Clinical depression may cause you to lose your appetite due to changes in the levels of neurotransmitters in your brain that trigger hunger.


Medications used for treating migraines, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and chemotherapy drugs for cancer may cause loss of appetite and nausea.


During the early weeks of pregnancy, you may lose your appetite, especially for certain types of foods that may harm you or your baby, such as caffeine and deli meats.

Nasal Congestion

Nasal congestion from allergies, sinus infections or the common cold may cause you to temporarily lose your sense of smell and your appetite.

Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections such as influenza and acute sinusitis can cause you to lose your appetite for several weeks and may result in weight loss.


Gastroenteritis is caused by contaminated food or water and can cause loss of appetite, watery diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal cramps.

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