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Appetite - decreased
Alternative namesThis symptom describes a decreased or lack of appetite despite basic caloric needs.
ConsiderationsAny illness can adversely affect a previously hearty appetite. If the disease is treatable, the appetite should return when the disease is cured.
Loss of appetite can cause unintentional weight loss .
Protein and calorie intake can be increased by intake of high-calorie, nutritious snacks or several small meals during the day. Liquid protein drinks may be helpful. Family members should try to supply favorite foods to help stimulate the person's appetite.
A 24-hour diet history should be recorded each day. If an anorexic person consistently exaggerates food intake (a common occurrence in anorexia nervosa ), strict calorie and nutrient counts should be maintained by someone else.
For loss of appetite caused by taking medications, talk to your health care provider about adjusting the dosage or changing drugs. NEVER CHANGE MEDICATIONS WITHOUT FIRST CONSULTING YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER.
See also weight management .
Call your health care provider if
Call your health care provider if involuntary weight loss exceeds 7% of total body weight within a month.
Note: To calculate percent weight lost, divide pounds lost by the previous weight and multiply times 100. For example, a person weighing 125 pounds loses 10 pounds:
The diet and medical history will be obtained and a physical examination performed, including height and weight.
Medical history questions documenting loss of appetite in detail may include:
Update Date: 5/23/2003David Webner, M.D., Department of Family Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT