Patient: I’ve noticed over the past two weeks that my appetite has decreased significantly. I never feel that hungry, even if I haven’t eaten in hours. When I do eat, I eat much less than a full meal. Consequently, I’ve dropped from 120 to 113 pounds. What should I do?
Symptoms: Weight loss, decreased appetite, early satiety
Doctor: Hello,Welcome to ATD. Thank you for the query.There are various causes of a loss of appetite. Generally chronic me dical problems of the liver, kidney, lung or heart can cause decreased appetite or anorexia. Metabolic problems such as a decrease in hormones, like your thyroid hormone, can be responsible. In addition, the use of certain medications of drugs such as antibiotics or narcotics may have side effects of poor appetite. Low vitamin levels may also be responsible. The more serious causes of a loss of appetite include cancer. Sometimes, in the young, situational stressors, depression, grief and loss of a friend may be associated with poor appetite. Poor appetite by itself is rarely serious. However it can over time lead to dehydration, electrolyte problems and this can be life threatening. Therefore it is very important that you see a primary care doctor as soon as possible to diagnose why this is happening to you, and more importantly treat you properly. Your doctor will take a detailed history and perform a physical examination and tailor treatment appropriately.Hope this helps. Take care.