Reasons for Loss of Appetite in Women

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Health is a woman's greatest gift, and a poor appetite can be the first sign of a more serious physical condition. Women of all ages and backgrounds can develop conditions that result in a loss of appetite, leaving them wondering what the culprit could be. Reasons for loss of appetite in women vary and if you suddenly lose your appetite, it could be the direct result of one of many hidden causes.

Reasons for Loss of Appetite in Women
Reasons for Loss of Appetite in Women (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

The Facts

According to Wrong Diagnosis.com, there are almost 1000 known causes of a poor appetite. These causes can range from physical problems to emotional and mental health issues. Many women overlook their lack of appetite as a simple lack of interest in food or being short on time. While this can be the case in some instances, many of these women improperly diagnose themselves and don't seek the help of a physician, resulting in a lack of care.

Sad woman
Sad woman (Image: Goodshoot RF/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Types

Loss of appetite is usually due to either an emotional or physical cause. Grief, depression and stress are some of the emotional disorders that can diminish your desire for food. These are common ideas in our society and are often under-diagnosed among women with a variety of responsibilities.

Another type of appetite loss is due to physical conditions. If a zinc deficiency is the problem, try taking a zinc supplement. You can purchase these dietary supplements at a local drug store. If you would rather consume zinc naturally, eat foods enriched with the mineral such as chicken, eggs, brown rice and pecans.

If your body is not low on zinc and you are still experiencing a lack of appetite, go see a doctor for some diagnostic testing. Cancer, heart disease and anorexia are among the more serious physical causes of appetite loss in women. Other causes of appetite loss include pregnancy, menopause or hormonal imbalances. Females are prone to hypothyroidism and should take a simple blood test to find out if that is the reason for the appetite problem.

Bowl of white rice
Bowl of white rice (Image: NA/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Identification

Identifying a loss of appetite is not difficult. It can start slowly or come on abruptly. Abrupt loss of appetite can be the signal of a serious physical health problem. Slow appetite loss is often correlated with mental and emotional issues.

If you or someone you know has a low desire for food, it is likely that your symptoms also include fatigue, weight loss and headaches. A prolonged loss of appetite can result in skin and hair changes due to vitamin deficiencies.

If there is a major change in lifestyle such as hormone changes, life events, pregnancy, illness or medication, a loss of appetite can be directly related.

Woman denying food
Woman denying food (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Effects

Left untreated, appetite loss can lead to more defined physical problems. Often the lack of nutrients and calories will reduce a woman's energy levels. Hair will fall out, fingernails will become brittle and the immune system can become weakened, and prone to sickness. It is best to treat both the symptom and the cause in order to effectively overcome a loss of appetite and its consequences.

Sick woman
Sick woman (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Solution

Because there are many causes of a lack of desire for food, no one treatment will solve the problem. If you are vitamin deficient you may be able to find relief by taking supplements or a change in diet. If grief, stress or emotional instability is the cause, go see a therapist to help to sort out the problem.

Physical problems that attribute to a lack of appetite such as lupus or heart disease, require more intense treatment. There are prescription drugs that can address only the lack of appetite, though serious problems demand alternate treatment methods. Visit a doctor if you are unsure of the cause of your low appetite.

Woman at therapist appointment
Woman at therapist appointment (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

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