A decreased appetite is when you have a reduced desire to eat. The medical term for a loss of appetite is anorexia.
Loss of appetite; Decreased appetite; Anorexia
Any illness can affect a previously hearty appetite. If the illness is treatable, the appetite should return when the condition is cured.
Loss of appetite can cause unintentional
A decreased appetite is almost always seen among elderly adults, and no cause may be found. However, sadness, depression, grief, or anxiety are a common cause of weight loss that is not explained by other factors, especially among the elderly.
Cancer may also cause decreased appetite. You may lose weight without trying. Cancers that may cause you to lose your appetite include:
- Colon cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
Other causes of decreased appetite include:
- Chronic liver disease
- Chronic kidney failure
- Heart failure
- Pregnancy (first trimester)
- Use of certain medications, including antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, codeine, and morphine
- Use of street drugs including amphetamines (speed), cocaine, and heroin
Review Date: 07/22/2010
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.