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Loss of Appetite: Symptoms & Signs

  • 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.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/15/2018

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