Tuesday, 14 April 2015
Health- 8 Things You Should Think of When You Suddenly Lose Appetite.Drive Hot News
Loss of appetite, medically known as anorexia refers to a reduced desire to eat and it could be particularly worrisome when it persists for prolonged periods. If left untreated, it may lead to weight loss, extreme fatigue and malnutrition with its attendant complications such as increased risk of infections.
It is worthy of note that loss of appetite is a frequent accompanying symptom of myriads of conditions ranging from infections and cancers to psychological disorders. In addition, physiological loss of appetite is often experienced in pregnancy.
The underlisted conditions are the common causes of loss of appetite. In most cases, appetite returns to normal if the underlying cause is treated:
In the African continent, malaria infection is a very significant cause of loss of appetite and must always be considered any time you notice a sudden loss of appetite, especially when it is associated with fever, joint pains, generalized body weakness and headache. The usual vector is female Anopheles mosquito. Importantly, it's advisable that you visit a health facility where you can have your blood tested for trophozoites of Plasmodium falciparum before effective antimalarial drugs are prescribed to you.
Tuberculosis is a chronic, highly contagious infection that could lead to prolonged loss of appetite. The causative organism is Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Other common symptoms of tuberculosis include chronic cough lasting longer than 3weeks, initially dry and then productive of bloody sputum (haemoptysis), weight loss and drenching night sweats. If you have any of these symptoms, especially if you have had contact with a person with chronic cough, it will be pertinent to visit the hospital immediately in order to have sputum tests and chest X-ray done to exclude tuberculosis.
This is a urinary tract infection involving the kidneys. Apart from loss of appetite, other common manifestations of pyelonephritis are fever, headache, vomiting, flank pain and urinary symptoms such as passage of bloody urine (haematuria), dysuria, urgency and so on. At the hospital, you will have urine tests carried out on you before diagnosis of pyelonephritis is made and then you will be treated with appropriate antibiotics.
Malignant tumours or cancers are also common causes of loss of appetite, especially cancers of the colon, stomach or pancreas. Usually, people with a cancer are also likely to experience severe weight loss and fatigue. Other symptoms will depend on the organ involved. Moreover, a very prompt diagnosis and treatment is crucial to improve survival rates in cancers.
This is an emergency condition that occurs as a result of an inflammed appendix. It's characterized by a severe pain on the right side of the lower abdomen often associated with loss of appetite and nausea or vomiting. At the hospital, when the diagnosis of acute appendicitis is made, a surgery for the removal of the inflammed appendix (appendectomy) is done before lethal complications set in.
Psychological disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and anorexia nervosa are often associated with loss of appetite. In depression, the affected individual also has a low mood, loss of interest in the environment, feeling of worthlessness and sometimes, lack of libido or sexual drive. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder in which the affected individual has an extreme fear of gaining weight and starves him/herself in order to lose weight.
In this disorder, there is a failure of onward passage of bowel contents due to blockage along the intestine and the person often experiences a colicky abdominal pain that waxes and wanes with associated abdominal distension, vomiting and constipation. Due to the distension of the abdomen, they may experience loss of appetite or feel full after eating very little.
Pregnancy is another common, albeit harmless cause of loss of appetite. This is especially common in the first trimester with associated nausea or vomiting (morning sickness) and breast pain. If you missed your period and you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you need to undergo a urine or blood test for pregnancy. Normally, loss of appetite in pregnancy improves with time and multivitamins and nutrient supplements may also help to improve your appetite.