Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Loss of appetite, medically referred to as anorexia, can be caused by a variety of conditions and diseases. Some of the conditions can be temporary and reversible, such as loss of appetite from the effects of medications. Some of the conditions can be more serious, such as from the effects of underlying cancer. Any persisting lack of appetite should be evaluated by a health-care professional.
Causes of loss of appetite include pregnancy, metabolic problems, chronic liver disease, COPD, dementia, HIV, hepatitis, hypothyroidism, chronic kidney failure, heart failure, cocaine, heroin, speed, chemotherapy, morphine, codeine, and antibiotics.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Causes of Loss of Appetite
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Other Causes of Loss of Appetite
- Bowel Disease or Disease of the Gastrointestinal Tract (Such As Gallbladder Disease)
- Brain Damage (Such As Trauma)
- Hormone (Endocrine Disorder)
- Inflammation (Such As From Chronic Infectious or Chronic Inflammatory Diseases)
- Loss of Sense of Taste
- Medications (Both Prescription and Nonprescription)
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