Why is colonoscopy so stressful

Loss of appetite

Brief overview

  • Causes of loss of appetite: z. B. stress, lovesickness or the like, various diseases (such as gastric mucosal inflammation, gastrointestinal flu, food poisoning, hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, gallstones, pancreatitis, appendicitis, migraines, infections, depression, anorexia), drugs, alcohol or drug abuse
  • What helps with loss of appetite? Affected people themselves can arrange their meals in an appetizing way and choose the foods and dishes they are most likely to feel like eating. Ingredients that stimulate the appetite such as cinnamon, ginger or caraway are often helpful. If there is an illness behind the loss of appetite, medical treatment may be necessary.

Loss of appetite: causes

In contrast to hunger, which is caused by various messenger substances such as the hormone serotonin in the brain, appetite has one psychological component. It does not arise in the hypothalamus (like the feeling of hunger), but in another part of the brain - among other things through sensory impressions. This explains why someone can lose their appetite because they do not like the consistency, taste or appearance of certain foods. For example, people often find slimy or mushy food to be unappetizing or even disgusting.

Also Stress, mental tension, lovesickness and worries can hit the stomach and cause loss of appetite (medical: anorexia). Despite being hungry, many dishes no longer taste good, and those affected just poke around listlessly at the food. If this condition persists, the loss of appetite ultimately leads to weight loss, as food intake is usually limited to the bare minimum - and only takes place when you are really hungry.

Ultimately, loss of appetite can even reduce the feeling of hunger: If someone has not eaten in a long time and has lost their appetite, they are rarely hungry. The organism gets used to the lower energy supply. Nevertheless, the stress-related loss of appetite is often only of a temporary nature.

By the way: The fact that so many older people have little appetite is probably due to one thing declining sense of taste and smell.

Loss of appetite from medication

The use of certain medications can also have a negative effect on appetite and significantly inhibit it. These include:

  • Digitalis (heart drug)
  • Vitamin A (retinol)
  • Vitamin D (in overdose)
  • Antibiotics
  • Morphine (strong pain reliever)
  • Appetite suppressants

Diseases with this symptom

Find out here about the diseases that can cause the symptom:

Loss of appetite: what diseases could be behind it?

Loss of appetite and weight loss also accompany many diseases. Both physical and psychological ailments can make loss of appetite a permanent condition. The danger here is that the person concerned becomes underweight or even starved, as is the case with some anorexics.

The following diseases can have loss of appetite as a symptom:

Inflammation of the mouth and throat

Bacteria, viruses and fungi can cause painful sores in the mouth and throat. If every bite turns into agony and struggles to slide down your throat, it can whack your appetite. Painful aphthae (small blisters in the mouth and on the tongue), sore throats or inflamed gums are at the top of the list of the most common appetite spoilers. Many bacterial infections such as tonsillitis or inflammation of the throat (pharyngitis) have accompanying symptoms (e.g. fever) that also lead to loss of appetite.

Diseases of the digestive organs

Many diseases of the stomach, intestines, liver and gallbladder cause loss of appetite, along with numerous other symptoms:

  • Inflammation of the lining of the stomach (gastritis): Most often the bacterium Helicobater pylori causes inflammation of the stomach lining. Stomach pain, loss of appetite or even vomiting, tarry stools (blood in the stool) and stomach bleeding are common signs.
  • Irritable stomach (functional dyspepsia): Typical symptoms are recurring stomach pains with loss of appetite, heartburn, diarrhea, vomiting and other digestive disorders with no apparent cause. Psychological factors, movement disorders of the stomach, an increased sensitivity of the stomach to stomach acid or an unhealthy diet / lifestyle may play a role here.
  • Stomach flu (gastroenteritis): This infectious inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract is caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites (e.g. salmonella, noroviruses, rotaviruses). The typical symptoms - nausea, vomiting, diarrhea - are mostly accompanied by loss of appetite.
  • Food poisoning: The consumption of spoiled or naturally toxic food can cause symptoms of poisoning, which can lead to from loss of appetite, dizziness, vomiting and nausea to hallucinations, circulatory failure and even death. Examples of this are poisoning with mushrooms, deadly nightshade or puffer fish.
  • Food intolerance: These include, for example, lactose intolerance, fructose intolerance, celiac disease (gluten intolerance) and histamine intolerance. Depending on the type and extent of the intolerance, for example loss of appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea or hives and itching can occur.
  • Cancer and cancer therapy: Tumors in the gastrointestinal tract often make themselves felt through digestive problems such as loss of appetite. A common effect of these tumors is tumor cachexia (emaciation), which makes the patient very emaciated. The treatment of cancerous ulcers (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy) can also cause loss of appetite as a side effect.
  • Stomach or duodenal ulcer: Stress, too much alcohol, nicotine and coffee, the stomach germ Helicobacter pylori and certain medications are common causes of gastrointestinal ulcers. Possible signs are, for example, upper abdominal pain, nausea, bloating and loss of appetite.
  • Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease can manifest as watery diarrhea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and nausea.
  • Inflammation of the liver (hepatitis): At the beginning acute hepatitis usually manifests itself with unspecific symptoms such as loss of appetite, upper abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting as well as fever, later jaundice (jaundice) - i.e. yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes - occurs, often accompanied by itching.
  • Cirrhosis of the liver: It is the end stage of many chronic liver diseases. Functional liver tissue is increasingly being converted into nodular scar tissue. Loss of appetite, water belly addiction (accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity) and jaundice up to and including hepatic coma are the consequences.
  • Gallstones: If gallstones clog the bile duct, this manifests itself as severe colicky upper abdominal pain. Jaundice, nausea, vomiting, discolored stools, and loss of appetite are other signs.
  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis): Inflammation of the pancreas also causes severe belt-like pain in the upper abdomen, as well as loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.
  • Appendicitis: Symptoms of acute appendicitis include severe pain, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting.

Psychological causes

  • depression: It is usually characterized by deep depression, listlessness, loss of appetite and listlessness.
  • Anorexia nervosa: The main symptom of anorexia is voluntary starvation, usually accompanied by increased physical activity. Despite being underweight, the sick still feel that they are “too fat” and continue to starve, which can take on life-threatening forms. The severe starvation also inhibits the appetite and leads to loss of appetite.
  • Addictions: Dependence on alcohol and / or other drugs affects appetite. Amphetamines and cocaine even came on the market as appetite suppressants.

Infectious diseases

A wide variety of pathogens can make the appetite disappear when they nestle in the body. Other possible symptoms are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever. Examples of infectious diseases that affect appetite are:

other illnesses

  • diabetes: In addition to being very thirsty, loss of appetite is also a common symptom of diabetes mellitus. In those affected, the blood sugar lowering hormone insulin is not available in sufficient quantities or is not sufficiently effective.
  • Dementia: People with dementia often suffer from poor appetite and forget to eat regularly. The consequences can be underweight and organ damage.
  • Addison's disease: In Addison's disease there is a chronic functional weakness of the adrenal cortex. This results in a lack of important hormones such as cortisol. Typical symptoms of the disease are browning of the skin, hunger for salt, low blood pressure, loss of appetite, severe weight loss, nausea, vomiting and a feeling of weakness.
  • Kidney disease: Kidney weakness and kidney failure (renal insufficiency) can also be associated with loss of appetite.
  • Heart disease: Heart failure (heart failure) and inflammation of the lining of the heart (endocarditis) reduce appetite.
  • Hypothyroidism: The underactive thyroid leads to a lack of thyroid hormones, which are essential for metabolic activity. Those affected often suffer from a loss of appetite and therefore eat less. Nevertheless, they increase because the metabolism is slowed down due to the disease.
  • migraine: The severe, attack-like headache can cause loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.

Loss of appetite: what helps?

If there are no serious causes of the loss of appetite, the following measures can stimulate the desire to eat again:

  • Sensory perception and appetite: The taste, smell and appearance of food affect appetite. Therefore, try to prepare and arrange meals in such a way that you feel like eating them. For example, sprinkle freshly cut chives on your sandwich.
  • eat small amounts often: Many small meals are better than a few large ones. Prepare snacks that you can eat at any time. If you tend to forget to eat, set yourself a reminder, for example on your smartphone.
  • eat when hungry: If your stomach grumbles, you can eat what you like. Just be careful not to eat too one-sidedly.
  • appetizing herbs and spices: The chives mentioned above can also stimulate the appetite, as can ginger and cinnamon.
  • Mustard for in between: Certainly not to everyone's taste, but a teaspoon of mustard between meals should stimulate the digestive juices and thus increase the appetite.
  • drink the appetite: A tea made from caraway, yarrow, dandelion and cinnamon is said to increase appetite.

Loss of appetite: this is what the doctor does

The first step for the doctor is to find the cause of the persistent loss of appetite. If this is due to a physical or mental illness, the doctor will treat it accordingly. Then the loss of appetite usually disappears.

First the doctor asks you conversation to your medical history (anamnesis). Possible questions are:

  • How long have you been suffering from anorexia?
  • How much weight have you lost?
  • Are there any other symptoms such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea?
  • Are you suffering from severe stress or insomnia?
  • Are you taking any medicines?
  • Do you suffer from certain diseases?

This is followed by one physical exam and Laboratory tests. For the latter, he can draw your blood and / or ask you for a urine and stool sample. If necessary, he also does one Ultrasound examination of the abdomento uncover diseases of the internal organs such as the liver, spleen, pancreas or gallbladder as the cause of loss of appetite.

If necessary still come other investigations used to track down the reason for the loss of appetite. These include:

  • other imaging methods such as magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography
  • Gastroscopy, colonoscopy
  • Allergy test or test for food intolerance

Loss of appetite: when do you need to see a doctor?

In very stressful phases, many people do not even notice that they are eating less and involuntarily losing weight. If you are approached by relatives, friends or colleagues about the pounds you have lost, you should therefore pay attention and pay more attention to your own eating habits. If no obvious cause can be found for the persistent loss of appetite and weight loss, you should always see a doctor. Possibly the reason for that Loss of appetite a disease that requires treatment.

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