Contributed by – Healthians team
The reality is coronavirus has dramatically affected everyone. As the research goes on, new symptoms are popping up every other day. Research published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology noted that almost half of COVID-19 patients enrolled in the study reported loss of appetite including other digestive symptoms. Hence, considering the situation, a loss of appetite should not be taken lightly.
Now, anyone can experience a loss of appetite for many different reasons. You may have less desire to eat, you may not feel hungry or the idea of eating might make you nauseous. But if you don’t eat, you will experience fatigue and your body won’t get the fuel required to function properly. Such a condition will make you weak and susceptible to illnesses and other complications. So, in this article, we will look at some possible causes and reasons you don’t feel eating.
When you are stressed your body reacts as if it’s in danger and goes into fight-or-flight mode. Your brain cell releases chemicals including adrenaline which makes your heart beat faster and slows down your digestion making you lose your appetite. However, it happens for only a short time. If you are stressed for a long period of time, your body will produce cortisol which makes you hungrier.
Appetite loss is the side effect of many medications. Antibiotics, antifungals, blood pressure medicines and muscle relaxants are some common culprits. If you are on any of these medications and don’t feel like eating, then check with your doctor for advice.
Cold and flu
When you are sick, your immune system releases chemicals called cytokines which makes you tired and not eager to eat. It’s just your body’s way of telling you to rest so that the body gets enough energy it needs to fight off the disease. But eating some food will only give your immune system a boost.
Many moms-to-be battle nausea especially in the first trimester. Right now, you’re supposed to be eating for two, so don’t let that morning sickness stop you from caring for your baby. Try easy to digest foods and make your meals small and snack often.
Both an underactive thyroid and overactive thyroid can make you lose your appetite. Your thyroid hormones control how your body turns food into energy. And when there’s a change in the secretion of those hormones, your body functions slow down. You use less energy and your hunger dips.
In anaemia the body does not have enough red blood cells. Their job is to transfer oxygen throughout the body. When that does not happen, you may feel tired, weak and will lose appetite. If you have other symptoms of anaemia like chest pain and headaches, visit your doctor. He/she will ask for a blood test to diagnose the condition. Further treatment will be planned accordingly.
A lack of appetite is a common side effect of cancer. Its treatment like radiation and chemotherapy may also cause nausea and dehydration. They can also change the way the food tastes or smells. Talk to your doctor to find a solution in this condition.
With increasing age many factors become the cause of decreased appetite. Slower digestion, loss of the sense of taste and smell, hormonal changes, chronic health conditions and medications can curb your hunger. In this situation, your doctor can help you find a solution.
Irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and other conditions that affect digestive system can cause hunger dips. These conditions trigger pain, nausea, constipation or diarrhea all of which can make you lose your desire to eat.
Decreased energy levels and hunger are common in people with any type of depression including persistent depressive disorder, postpartum depression, psychotic depression and seasonal affective disorder. Similar effects are also seen in bipolar disorder.
Smoking can produce gastric stimulation which can make you feel sick and dizzy. It affects your GI tract and makes you lose your appetite. But if you quit, your appetite will get back to normal, you will feel healthy and may also gain almost 10% of your body weight.
Alcohol and drug abuse
If you drink heavily, you are just filling up with empty calories. You’ll feel bloated. Your pancreas and liver will suffer. Appetite loss is common in such a condition and in those who are addicted to drugs.
Novel coronavirus is a new disease and the whole world is learning to deal with it. Extensive research on it is going on to learn more and more about it. Cough, cold, breathlessness, fever and chills were the first symptoms reported. However, according to this report, many patients also experience appetite loss in coronavirus along with other digestive illnesses like diarrhea.
Loss of appetite in itself is not an illness but generally an indicator of an underlying issue. But, since food is our basic fuel to keep our body functioning it is highly essential to take the necessary steps in case you do not feel like eating over a period of time.
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