Dangerous Causes Behind Decreased Appetite

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Dangerous Causes Behind Decreased Appetite
Dangerous Causes Behind Decreased Appetite

Reduced appetite makes a person feel hungry less often, eat less than usual, or feel full even though he has just eaten a little. A number of factors can be the cause, ranging from psychological, side effects of drugs, to certain diseases

Reduced appetite is generally caused by psychological factors, such as stress or depression. When stressed, the body gives signals as if it is in danger. The brain then releases the hormone adrenaline, which makes the heart beat faster and digestion slows down. This is what reduces appetite.

Dangerous Causes Behind Decreased Appetite - Alodokter

Causes of Decreased Appetite

However, the reduced appetite is not only motivated by psychological factors. Decreased appetite accompanied by other symptoms can be a sign that the body is stricken with disease.

The following is a list of diseases that are often associated with reduced appetite:

1. Kidney failure

Patients with acute and chronic kidney failure can experience impaired filtering of toxic substances in the body, reduced red blood cell production, electrolyte disturbances, and high blood pressure. This makes the sufferer often lose his appetite or find the taste of the food he usually eats is different.

In addition, one of the causes of decreased appetite in patients with kidney failure is nausea. Nausea arises due to the accumulation of toxins in the blood (uremia), because the kidneys are no longer able to work properly.

2. Thyroid disorders

Thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism, can also cause decreased appetite. This is presumably because thyroid disorders can affect the taste sensation on the tongue when eating, and interfere with the work of the brain that regulates appetite.


Reduced appetite in AIDS sufferers occurs because they are prone to infections, including infections of the gastrointestinal tract. This condition is characterized by symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. As the disease progresses, AIDS sufferers can also experience a yeast infection or thrush in the mouth which interferes with the eating process.

According to research, decreased appetite in HIV/AIDS sufferers is also associated with hormonal disorders, chronic inflammation in the body due to infection, side effects of HIV treatment, and brain disorders that lead to dementia.

4. Cancer

Many cancer sufferers experience decreased appetite. The cause can be cancer itself, it can also be a side effect of cancer treatment that can affect the sense of taste and desire to eat.

In addition, cancer sufferers also often experience digestive problems, such as nausea, vomiting, flatulence, and diarrhea. This condition also causes reduced appetite in people with cancer.

5. Heart failure

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is unable to pump blood to meet the needs of the body's organs optimally. The sufferer will experience shortness of breath and swelling in the feet and legs due to fluid buildup.

When this fluid buildup occurs in the digestive tract, the patient will feel bloated and nauseous, so that his appetite is reduced.

6. Treatment side effects

Certain drugs have side effects of nausea and drowsiness. These side effects can reduce appetite. Drugs known to cause this side effect include antibiotics, blood pressure lowering drugs, sleeping pills, codeine cough medicines, diuretics, and anabolic steroids.

7. Tuberculosis (TB)

Leptin is a hormone whose function is to regulate appetite. In one study, it was found that leptin levels in patients with tuberculosis (TB) decreased due to prolonged inflammation. This condition causes the appetite of TB sufferers to decrease and their weight to fall.

Reduced appetite can be a sign of a dangerous disease. Therefore, immediately consult a doctor if your appetite decreases for no apparent reason, so you can find out the cause and give proper treatment. Especially if you lose weight drastically even though you are not on a diet.

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