Health & Wellness

How to Overcome Appetite Loss

August 9, 2017

Food could be considered a universal love. Everyone has a favorite food that they love chowing down on for a bevy of reasons, ranging from good taste to nostalgia. And the science backs up the theory that certain foods trigger chemical responses that can influence our mood and cognitive abilities.

But what happens if we lose our appetite or that love for food? Or worse, we want to eat but our bodies are incapable of producing the physical sensation of hunger that will drive to actually consume something?

As we get older, appetite loss is sadly part of the aging process because our metabolism wanes and muscle mass decreases. Not only that, but the ability to even taste food also weakens. What can possibly be done to allay this? First, know that these are the three major reasons why appetite loss occurs:

 

  1. Illness: certain illnesses like cancer, heart failure, or medical conditions like depression can rob people of their appetite.
  2. Medications: prescription drugs, treatments, antibiotics, or even some over-the-counter medicine have unintended side effects that could inhibit your appetite. These side effects can include slow digestion, stomach pain, loss of taste, and other symptoms.
  3. Poor nutrition: Nutrient deficiencies can cause your appetite to deteriorate without you even realizing it. If you don’t have enough zinc in your diet, your taste buds will actually lose their ability to register the different tastes.

 

Now that we know what causes appetite loss, what can we do to prevent it?

 

  1. See your doctor: before you do ANYTHING to address your appetite loss, talk to your doctor to see if there’s any kind of illness or other serious medical condition that’s causing a decrease in your appetite. Review any medications your currently taking to see if there are in fact any unintended side effects
  2. Drink plenty of fluids: Appetite loss could result in dehydration, which we went over in a previous blog post. Unless your doctor has instructed you otherwise, you should be drinking plenty of fluids.
  3. Supplements: Taking a multivitamin might spur your appetite. If you are indeed experiencing a zinc deficiency, taking a zinc supplement could also help.
  4. Change your eating habits: Variety is the spice of life and it could very well help stimulate your appetite. Adding extra herbs, spices, and other flavors to your food could also encourage you to eat again. Changing your habits includes eating smaller, more frequent, and more nutrient-rich meals during the day.
  5. Monitor your mental health: If you experience any symptoms of depression or anxiety, make sure you’re communicating regular with your doctor and loved ones. Having those figures in your life will give the necessary support to overcome those personal demons so they won’t interfere with your eating habits.

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