Anorexia – What You Need To Know

Loss of appetite, or anorexia, is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of health problems that lead to poor dietary intake. The causes of anorexia range in nature from mental conditions to physical illnesses.

Typically, loss of appetite manifests with other symptoms, such as weight loss, malnutrition, and an array of digestive and neurological complications due to nutritional deficiencies.

The Causes and Risk Factors of Anorexia

A number of conditions can lead to a decreased appetite. In most cases, your appetite will return to normal once the underlying condition or reason is treated.

In the following sections, we will detail some causes of anorexia to help you appreciate the impact of systemic diseases on your appetite.

Bacteria and viruses

Anorexia can be the result of infections.

Here are a few infections that interfere with your appetite:

  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Colitis
  • Skin infection
  • Meningitis

Once the illness gets properly treated, your appetite will return to normal.

Various diseases

There are numerous mental disorders that trigger anorexia.

The following psychiatric illnesses can all precipitate loss of appetite:

  • Depression
  • Grief
  • Anxiety
  • Anorexia nervosa

On the other hand, these medical conditions also cause anorexia:

  • Chronic liver disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart failure
  • Hepatitis
  • HIV
  • Dementia
  • Hypothyroidism

Another cause of anorexia is cancer, especially when it occurs in the following areas:

  • Colon
  • Stomach
  • Ovaries
  • Pancreas

Pregnancy can also lead to anorexia during the first trimester.


Certain pharmacological drugs may reduce your appetite, including illicit drugs (e.g., cocaine, heroin, amphetamines).

Prescription medications that reduce appetite include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Chemotherapy drugs

The Treatment of Anorexia

The treatment of anorexia focuses on addressing the triggering cause.

For instance, if your appetite decreases due to a bacterial infection, a short course of antibiotics is sufficient to clear out the infection. A few days after the infection, you will notice that your appetite is back to normal.

Other conditions may require parenteral feeding to help severely ill patients get on their feet until the main issue is addressed.


Anorexia is a common illness that interferes with people’s quality of life. Treating the underlying cause is crucial to improve the symptoms of anorexia. If you believe you need help with Anorexia, telemedicine makes it possible for you to get the care you deserve. Schedule a virtual consultation with a Telakai Health online Provider and get on the road to recovery. Schedule your visit today.