What can make you lose your hunger? What psychological conditions cause people to end up suffering from a lack of appetite? Discover the main reasons and how to deal with it.
Food allows our body to have the necessary energy to keep us healthy both mentally and physically. But, when we lack our appetite, this can be a sign that something is wrong in your life or in your body. Loss of hunger can be due to a variety of physical or psychological causes.
But why can it happen?
Why do I have a lack of appetite?
There are different mental health conditions that can affect our appetite. From having excess stress to experiencing too much anxiety. Among some of the most common reasons for loss of appetite we can highlight the following:
Anxiety: People with anxiety can become so overwhelmed by their worries that they end up losing the desire to eat. That is, anxiety and lack of appetite may be related.
Depression: Depression is a disorder that can cause people to end up losing interest in everything, including food. Even in the most extreme cases, these people may have little energy to prepare meals or even have no interest in eating.
Stress: Our body’s physical responses to stress can also end up suppressing our appetite. Even so, the opposite effect can arise: that is, overeating when you are facing a period of too much stress. The physical symptoms of stress can also mean a loss of appetite because these can cause nausea or the feeling of having a ‘knot in the stomach’ that makes our meals unappetizing.
Substance Abuse: While some people gain weight from substance use, others may lose it. Using drugs or alcohol can decrease a person’s appetite.
Eating disorders: People who suffer from an eating disorder do not have a lack or loss of appetite, since they restrict their eating or have compensatory behaviors to avoid gaining weight. Even so, it may seem to your loved ones that they are facing a lack of appetite.
Medical conditions: Loss of appetite can also be due to physical causes. Some of the most common reasons that can cause it are: aging, anemia, cancer, diabetes, hypothyroidism, infections, the use of medications that affect our gastrointestinal tract, pain, pregnancy or certain stomach problems (such as syndrome irritable bowel).
How to deal with loss of appetite?
Treatment for loss of appetite will always depend on the cause. Therefore, in the face of this symptom it is important that you go to your doctor or psychologist. In addition, taking into account the diagnosis, we recommend the following tips to deal with it:
Improve our sleep schedule: Sleep is a very decisive factor in our appetite. Consequently, if you are suffering from a loss of appetite and tiredness, perhaps it is one of the ways in which you could improve this symptom.
Focus on your self-care: Especially if you are dealing with a problem that affects your mental health, it is vital that you focus on your own personal self-care. This implies exercising regularly, taking care of your diet, focusing more on you, etc.
Eat regularly: These meals can be smaller than normal. You should also try to eat at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, even if you’re not hungry.
Face the problem of origin: If it is an emotional problem, it is vital that you try to think about how to deal with it. That is, if you suffer from too much stress or anxiety, perhaps you should look for ways to deal with these feelings or concerns that are affecting you.
Eat with your loved ones: Having a support system during meals can help you ingest the nutrients you need to increase your energy and not suffer from fatigue.
Go to therapy: If your loss of appetite is related to a psychological problem, it is important that you go to a professional psychologist. Going to therapy will allow you to face it from another perspective and improve your appetite.
In addition, it may also be advisable to see a nutritionist to help you plan your meals and manage symptoms. Over time, your symptoms will likely improve and you will re-engage with food as normal.