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Lack of Appetite

  • Lack of appetite is a common symptom experienced by almost everyone sometime in their life.
  • Lack of appetite is often a temporary phenomenon which occurs when a person feels emotional pressure such as when someone is sick, undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy or in the early stages of pregnancy.
  • However if your poor appetite is accompanied by a constant weight loss, it may be a sign of serious illness.
  • Examples of diseases that can cause lack of appetite are:
    • anorexia nervosa
    • cancer
    •  chronic infections such as HIV and tuberculosis
    •  hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone)
    • liver disease and kidney disease.
  • Drugs such as amphetamines, morphine, codeine, etc. can also cause loss of appetite.

Action To Be Taken

  • Please contact your doctor for further examination if you suffer from lack of appetite accompanied by drastic weight loss, tiredness, persistent cough, prolonged fever, shortness of breath, change in bowel habits or any other symptoms that affect your daily activities and functioning.

Diagnosis / Treatment For Lack Of Appetite

  • The doctor will conduct an interview about the pattern, quantity of food intake and other information needed to make a diagnosis.
  • Your doctor will perform a physical examination and do further investigations such as urine and blood analysis, X – Ray, etc, as needed to assist in making the diagnosis.
  • Specific treatment will be given according to the diagnosis.
Last Reviewed : 28 August 2020
Writer : Dr. Salmiah Md Sharif
Accreditor : Fatimah bt. Salim
Reviewer : Dr. Nor Faizah bt. Ghazali