Symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment of loss of appetite (anorexia)

Lack of appetite (Anorexia) is a serious psychological condition, and a potentially life-threatening eating disorder. However, with the correct treatment of loss of appetite (Anorexia), recovery is possible.

This condition usually includes emotional challenges, an unrealistic body image, and an exaggerated fear of being overweight or obese.

It often begins during the teenage years or early adulthood, but it can begin in fifteen years. It is the third oldest disease in adolescence.

Eating disorders can cause both men and women to develop hunger (Anorexia), but it is 10 times more common in women. Loss of appetite (Anorexia) which means inability to eat.

Also Read- Symptoms, Causes, Diet, Diagnosis and Treatment of Dyspepsia

Just like loss of appetite (Anorexia) is a psychological condition, and an eating disorder in which a person loses more weight than is healthy for his height and age. A person will maintain a body weight of 85 percent or less of their weight.

A person with loss of appetite (Anorexia) will intentionally restrict their food intake, usually due to fat or fear, whenever their body mass index (BMI) is already low. They may also exercise excessive exercise, laxatives and vomiting to lose weight, but to a lesser extent than the diagnosis of bulimia.

Complications can be severe, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.

Treatment includes hospitalization and counseling.

Facts of Anorexia

Some important points about loss of appetite (Anorexia) are as follows

  1. Loss of appetite is a psychological condition, which includes eating disorders.
  2. Symptoms include very low body mass index (BMI), refusal to eat, and attempts to lose weight, even if the body mass index is very low.
  3. It is believed to be triggered by a combination of biological, environmental and genetic factors.
  4. Treatment may take some time, but with the combination of counseling and other types of therapy, recovery is possible.


Loss of appetite (Anorexia) is a complex condition, but the main sign is usually severe weight loss. The person may also talk about being overweight, although objective measures such as BMI suggest that this is not true.

Behavioral changes may include refusal to eat, excessive exercise, and the use of vomiting after meals.

Other physical symptoms resulting from nutrient deficiency include, such as

  1. Severe loss of muscle mass
  2. Restlessness, fatigue, exhaustion
  3. hypotension, or blood pressure
  4. Lightheadedness or dizziness
  5. hypothermia, or low body temperature, and cold hands and feet
  6. upset or upset stomach and constipation
  7. Dry Skin

Also Read- Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Natural Remedies of Constipation

  1. Swollen hands and feet
  2. baldness, or hair loss
  3. Loss of menstruation or less frequent periods
  4. Infertility
  5. Insomnia
  6. Osteoporosis, or loss of bone density
  7. Fragile nails
  8. Irregular or abnormal heart rhythm
  9. Lanugo, fine hair growing throughout the body, and increased facial hair
  10. Symptoms of vomiting due to acid in vomiting include bad breath and tooth decay.

Psychological signs and symptoms include, such as- 

  1. Extreme worry about being fat or overweight
  2. Often measuring and weighing and inspecting your body in the mirror
  3. Obsession with food, for example, reading cooking books
  4. Lying about food intake
  5. There isno refusal to eat or eat
  6. self-denial
  7. lack of emotion or depressed mood
  8. Low Sex Drive
  9. Memory loss

Also read- Causes of flatulence, complications, diagnosis and treatment

  1. Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior
  2. Irritability
  3. Over-exercise

Food and food is linked to crime. It can be difficult to talk to a person about a potential problem, because they refuse to accept that anything is wrong.


No cause has been identified for loss of appetite (Anorexia). This is probably a result of biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

The following risk factors are associated with this, such as-

  1. Being susceptible to depression and anxiety
  2. Having difficulty handling stress
  3. Being overly worried, afraid, or suspicious about the future
  4. Perfectionist and overly concerned about rules
  5. Havea Negative Self Image
  6. Having problems during childhood or infancy
  7. Having Anxiety Disorder During Childhood
  8. Holding specific views regarding beauty and health, which may be influenced by culture or society
  9. High level of emotional restraint or control over your behavior and expression
  10. Aperson may be highly concerned about their weight and size, but this is not an important factor.
  11. 33 to 50 percent of people with anorexia also have a mood disorder, such as depression, and about half have anxiety disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and social phobia. This suggests that in some cases negative emotions and low self-image may contribute.

Also read- Diarrhea symptoms, advice, prevention, diagnosis and treatment

  1. A person can develop loss of appetite (Anorexia) as a way to gain control over some aspect of their life. As soon as they control their food intake, it seems like success, and so the behavior continues.

environmental factors

Environmental factors may include hormonal changes during puberty, as well as feelings of anxiety, stress, and low self-esteem.

Fashion industry and media messages show that being slim can have a beautiful effect.

Other environmental factors may include, such as

  1. Physical, sexual, emotional or any other type of abuse
  2. Family or other relationship problems
  3. being bullied
  4. A fear or pressure to press and succeed
  5. A stressful life event, such as bereavement or becoming unemployed

According to experts, people with anorexia should really be in control of their lives, need to feel special, and need a sense of mastery.

When a person feels out of control of one or more aspects of their life, they cannot eat food, in which they can at least take control of their body.

Biological and genetic factors

Studies have shown that some people with eating disorders may have an imbalance in certain brain chemicals that control digestion, hunger, and hunger. Further research is needed to confirm this.

Genetic factors can affect a person’s susceptibility to eating disorders, as they may run in families. Between 50 and 80 percent of the risk of loss of appetite (Anorexia) is considered genetic.

a vicious circle

Once a person starts losing weight, low weight and nutritional deficiencies can contribute to brain changes, which reinforce behavioral and obsessive thoughts related to loss of appetite (Anorexia).

Changes may involve the part of the brain that controls hunger, or they may increase feelings of anxiety and guilt, which are associated with eating.

Also read- Symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment of Celiac disease

Researchers found that people with loss of appetite (Anorexia) may have different gut microbial communities than those without the condition. The authors suggested that this may contribute to anxiety, depression, and weight loss.

Another study found that people with anorexia are less capable of differentiating between different types of positive emotions. This can lead to weight loss behavior, as self-deprivation is associated with a sense of pride.


An early diagnosis and immediate treatment increases the likelihood of good results. A complete medical history can help with the diagnosis.

How the doctor will feel about the weight loss from the patient, about the monthly weight, and for women, about their weight. It can be difficult for the patient to open up and speak clearly about themselves. It can take years to confirm the diagnosis, especially if the person was previously obese.

If the physician detects symptoms of loss of appetite (Anorexia), they may order a test to rule out other underlying medical conditions with similar signs and symptoms. This includes, e.g.

  1. diabetes
  2. Addison’s Disease
  3. Chronic infection
  4. malabsorption
  5. Immuno
  6. Inflammatory Stool Disease (IBS)
  7. Cancer
  8. Hyperthyroidism

Also read- Symptoms, Causes, Risk, Diagnosis and Treatment of Dysentery

These may include blood tests, imaging scans, and electrocardiograms (ECGs).

Diagnostic criteria

The diagnostic criteria for loss of appetite (Anorexia) are as follows,

  1. Restriction of energy intake relative to requirements due to very low weight in terms of age, sex, developmental trajectory, and physical health.
  2. An intense fear of losing weight or becoming fat, even if underweight.
  3. The way body weight or size is experienced, the undesired effect of body weight or size on self-assessment, or the seriousness of the current low body weight.
  4. TheNational Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) noted that even without meeting all these criteria, a person may have a severe eating disorder.

Treatment and Recovery

Treatment may include medication, psychotherapy, family therapy, and nutritional counseling.

It can be difficult for a person to accept that they have a loss of appetite (Anorexia), and it can be difficult to include them in treatment, because eating resistance is difficult to break.

The patient can fluctuate in his level of cooperation and fluctuations, that is a problem.

A comprehensive plan should be prepared to meet the needs of the individual, the goals of treatment are such as

  1. To restore body weight to a healthy level
  2. To treat emotional problems including low self-esteem
  3. To address distorted thinking
  4. To help thepatient develop behavioral changes that will persist over the long term

Treatment is long-term, and relaxation is possible, especially during stress. Support from family and friends is important for successful and lasting results. If family members can understand the condition, and identify its symptoms, they can support their loved one through the recovery process, and help prevent a relapse.


Counseling involves cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on changing the way a person thinks and behaves. CBT can help patients change the way they think about food and body weight and develop effective ways to respond to stressful or difficult situations.

Also Read- Symptoms, Causes, Risk, Diagnosis and Treatment of Acidity

The purpose of nutritional counseling is to help the patient regain healthy eating habits. They will learn about the role of balanced diet in maintaining good health.


There are no specific medications, but nutritional supplements may be required, and the physician may prescribe medications to control anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or depression.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely used as antidepressants, but patients can take them only when their body weight is less than 95 percent of normal for their height and age.

Research has indicated that the antipsychotic drug, olanzapine, may help patients reach higher body weight, after which they may use an SSRI.

admitted to hospital

Hospitalization may be required if there is severe weight loss or malnutrition, frequent refusal to eat, or psychiatric emergencies.

Food intake will be gradually increased to enable safe weight gain.


Complications can affect each body system, and they can be severe, including physical complications, such as

Cardiovascular problems – These include low heart rate, low blood pressure, and damage to the heart muscle.

Blood problems – Leukopenia, or low white blood cell count, and anemia, are at high risk of developing a low red blood cell count.

Gastrointestinal problems – Intestinal movement slows down significantly when a person loses weight severely, and eats very little, but resolves when diet is improved.

Kidney problems – Dehydration can cause highly concentrated urine and excess urine production. The kidneys usually recover as weight levels improve.

Hormonal problems – Low levels of growth hormone can increase delays during adolescence. Normal development begins with a healthy diet.

Also Read- Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment of Gas Pain

Bone Fracture – Patients whose bones have not been fully grown yet have a significantly higher risk of developing osteopenia, or reducing bone tissue, and osteoporosis, or bone mass loss.

About 1 in 10 cases are fatal. In addition to the physical effects of poor nutrition, there may be a higher risk of suicide. One in 5 deaths related to anorexia are by suicide.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

Leave a Comment