Loss of Appetite: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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 5/19/2016
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