Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Loss of appetite

Loss of appetite can be caused by a variety of conditions and diseases. Some of the conditions can be temporary and reversible, such as loss of appetite from the effects of medications. Some of the conditions can be more serious, such as from the effects of underlying cancer.

Loss of appetite may be associated with anorexia nervosa, abnormal taste and food aversion as well as other medical conditions.

In the case of any persistent lack of appetite, seek medical advice.

This list is not an exhaustive list, however the following conditions sometimes have side effects that include loss of appetite:

  • Actinomycosis, a rare type of bacterial infection
  • Addison disease, an auto-immune disease involving damage to the adrenal glands
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Asthma in children
  • Binge eating disorders
  • Cancer, and the side effects of cancer treatments. Some people who have chemotherapy do not feel like eating or drinking and lose their appetite.
  • Coeliac disease
  • Hand, foot and mouth disease (coxsackie viruses)
  • Crohn's disease, affecting the ability to digest food along with symptoms of pain and diarrhoea.
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  • Dementia
  • Depression (affects the body as well as the mind and can affect the way a person eats).
  • Diabetes,
  • Dysentery may result in a person feeling nauseous and losing appetite.
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Endocarditis
  • Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease ( GORD)
  • Giardiasis
  • Glandular Fever
  • Hepatitis C
  • Kidney failure
  • Leptospirosis
  • Mumps
  • Pancreatitis
  • Radiotherapy as a treatment for cancer
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Stress
  • Tapeworm infections
  • Ulcer
  • Ulcerative colitis

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on November 07, 2014

Popular Slideshows & Tools on Boots WebMD

woman looking at pregnancy test
Early pregnancy symptoms
donut on plate
The truth about sugar addiction
smiling african american woman
Best kept secrets for beautiful hair
couple watching sunset
How much do you know?
nappy being changed
How to change your baby's nappy
woman using moisturizer
Causes and home solutions
assorted spices
Pump up the flavour with spices
bag of crisps
Food cravings that wreck your diet
woman with cucumbers on eyes
How to banish dark circles and bags
probiotic shakes
Help digestion
polka dot dress on hangar
Lose weight without dieting