Anorexia is a symptom, not a diagnosis and is the medical term for a loss of appetite. It should not to be confused with the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa which is an eating disorder related to mental health issues.

Anorexia will manifest as a range from a simple decreased appetite or loss of appetite which could be mild and not noticed until there is some weight loss from eating less to a nauseated feeling from the thought of eating with significant weight loss.

Common causes of anorexia:
Being unwell (“sick”) is a common cause.
Medical conditions: Addison’s disease | anemia | anorexia nervosa | anxiety | appendicitis | celiac disease | constipation | COPD | COVID-19 | Crohn’s disease | dementia | ebola | fever | food poisoning | gastroparesis | hepatitis | HIV/AIDS | hypercalcemia | hyperglycemia | hypothyroidism | irritable bowel syndrome | ketoacidosis | renal failure | nausea | pancreatitis | tuberculosis | thalassemia | ulcerative colitis | vitamin B12 deficiency | zinc deficiency

Side effects of drugs: stimulants (eg amphetamines, nicotine, cocaine, caffeine) | narcotics (eg morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone) | antidepressants (eg fluoxetine)

Consequences of anorexia:
Inadequate food intake can lead to to number of issues: dehydration, electrolyte imbalances (this can lead to long QT syndrome, resulting in sudden cardiac death), nutritional deficiencies, anaemia.

Management of anorexia:
Treatment of the underlying condition.
Orexigenic drugs (appetite stimulants)

Related Topics:
Anorexia nervosa

Page last updated: @ 6:56 am

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