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Anorexia is a decreased
appetite Appetite is the desire to eat Eating (also known as consuming) is the ingestion of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργα ...
. While the term in non-scientific publications is often used interchangeably with
anorexia nervosa Anorexia nervosa, often referred to simply as anorexia, is an eating disorder An eating disorder is a mental disorder defined by abnormal eating behaviors that negatively affect a person's health, physical or mental health, mental health. On ...
, many possible causes exist for a decreased appetite, some of which may be harmless, while others indicate a serious clinical condition or pose a significant risk. Anorexia is a
symptom Signs and symptoms are the observed or detectable signs, and experienced symptoms of an illness, injury, or condition. A sign for example may be a higher or lower temperature than normal, raised or lowered blood pressure or an abnormality showi ...
, not a
diagnosis Diagnosis is the identification of the nature and cause of a certain phenomenon. Diagnosis is used in many different academic discipline, disciplines, with variations in the use of logic, analytics, and experience, to determine "causality, cause an ...
. When a healthcare provider states that a patient has anorexia, they are simply referring to a decreased appetite. This means that the provider must find and treat the underlying cause of the anorexia. Anorexia is not to be confused with the mental health disorder
anorexia nervosa Anorexia nervosa, often referred to simply as anorexia, is an eating disorder An eating disorder is a mental disorder defined by abnormal eating behaviors that negatively affect a person's health, physical or mental health, mental health. On ...
. Because the terms are often used interchangeably, a provider must clarify to a patient to which they are referring as to avoid confusion. Anyone can manifest with anorexia regardless of their gender, age, or weight. The symptom also occurs in other animals, such as cats, dogs, cattle, goats, and sheep. In these species, anorexia may be referred to as inappetence. As in humans, loss of appetite can be due to a range of diseases and conditions, as well as environmental and psychological factors. The term is from (, 'without' + , spelled , meaning 'appetite').


Common manifestations

Anorexia simply manifests as a decreased appetite. This can present as not feeling hungry or lacking the desire to eat. Sometimes people do not even notice they lack an appetite until they begin to lose weight from eating less. In other cases, it can be more noticeable, such as when a person becomes nauseated from just the thought of eating. Any form of decreased appetite that leads to changes in the body (such as weight loss or muscle loss) that is not done intentionally as part of dieting is clinically significant.


Physiology of anorexia

Appetite Appetite is the desire to eat Eating (also known as consuming) is the ingestion of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργα ...
stimulation and suppression is a complex process involving many different parts of the brain and body by the use of various hormones and signals. Appetite is thought to be stimulated by interplay between peripheral signals to the brain (taste, smell, sight, gut hormones) as well as the balance of
neurotransmitter A neurotransmitter is a signaling molecule In biology, cell signaling (cell signalling in British English), or cell-cell communication, governs the basic activities of cells and coordinates multiple-cell actions. A signal is an entity that ...
s and
neuropeptide Image:Neuropeptide Y.png, Neuropeptide Y Neuropeptides are small proteins produced by neurons that act on G protein-coupled receptors and are responsible for slow-onset, long-lasting modulation of synaptic transmission. Neuropeptides often coexist ...
s in the
hypothalamus The hypothalamus (from Ancient Greek wikt:ὑπό, ὑπό, "under", and wikt:θάλαμος, θάλαμος, "chamber") is a portion of the brain that contains a number of small Nucleus (neuroanatomy), nuclei with a variety of functions. One of ...

hypothalamus
. Examples of these signals or hormones include
neuropeptide Y Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a 36 amino-acid neuropeptide that is involved in various physiological and homeostatic processes in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. NPY has been identified as the most abundant peptide present in the mam ...

neuropeptide Y
,
leptin Leptin (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...

leptin
, grehlin,
insulin Insulin (, from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republi ...

insulin
,
serotonin Serotonin () or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) is a monoamine neurotransmitter Monoamine neurotransmitters are s and s that contain one group connected to an by a two-carbon chain (such as -CH2-CH2-). Examples are , and . All monoamines are ...

serotonin
, and
orexin Orexin (), also known as hypocretin, is a neuropeptide Image:Neuropeptide Y.png, Neuropeptide Y Neuropeptides are small proteins produced by neurons that act on G protein-coupled receptors and are responsible for slow-onset, long-lasting modula ...
s (also called hypocretins). Anything that causes an imbalance of these signals or hormones can lead to the symptom of anorexia. While it is known that these signals and hormones help control appetite, the complicated mechanisms regarding a pathological increase or decrease in appetite are still being explored.


Common causes

*
Acute radiation syndrome Acute radiation syndrome (ARS), also known as radiation sickness or radiation poisoning, is a collection of health effects that are caused by being exposed to high amounts of ionizing radiation Ionizing radiation (ionising radiation) consists o ...
* Acute viral
hepatitis Hepatitis is inflammation Inflammation (from la, wikt:en:inflammatio#Latin, inflammatio) is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or Irritation, irritants, and is a prot ...

hepatitis
* *
AIDS Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is a spectrum of conditions caused by infection An infection is the invasion of an organism's body by , their multiplication, and the reaction of ...
*
Appendicitis Appendicitis is inflammation Inflammation (from la, wikt:en:inflammatio#Latin, inflammatio) is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or Irritation, irritants, and is a pr ...

Appendicitis
*
Babesiosis Babesiosis or piroplasmosis is a malaria-like parasitic disease caused by infection with a eukaryotic parasite in the order Piroplasmida, typically a ''Babesia'' or ''Theileria'', in the phylum Apicomplexa. Human babesiosis transmission via tic ...
*
Cancer Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. These contrast with benign tumor A benign tumor is a mass of cells Cell most often refers to: * Cell (biolo ...

Cancer
*
Chronic pain Chronic pain is classified as pain Pain is a distressing feeling often caused by intense or damaging stimuli. The International Association for the Study of Pain The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) is an international le ...
*
Chronic kidney disease Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a type of kidney disease Kidney disease, or renal disease, technically referred to as nephropathy, is damage to or disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the str ...
*
Celiac disease Coeliac disease or celiac disease is a long-term autoimmune disorder An autoimmune disease is a condition arising from an abnormal immune response to a functioning body part. There are at least 80 types of autoimmune diseases. Nearly any bo ...
*
Common cold The common cold, also known simply as a cold, is a viral infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (b ...
*
Crohn's disease Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that may affect any segment of the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms often include abdominal pain, diarrhea (which may be bloody if inflammation is severe), fever, abdominal distension, ...

Crohn's disease
*
Dehydration In physiology, dehydration is a lack of total body water In physiology Physiology (; ) is the scientific study of functions and mechanisms in a living system. As a sub-discipline of biology Biology is the natural science that studie ...

Dehydration
*
Ebola Ebola, also known as Ebola virus disease (EVD) and Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), is a viral hemorrhagic fever Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) are a diverse group of animal and human illness A disease is a particular abnormal c ...

Ebola
*
Fever Fever, also referred to as pyrexia, is defined as having a temperature Temperature ( ) is a physical quantity that expresses hot and cold. It is the manifestation of thermal energy Thermal radiation in visible light can be seen on th ...

Fever
*
Hypervitaminosis D Vitamin D toxicity, or hypervitaminosis D is the toxic state of an excess of vitamin D Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for increasing intestinal absorption of calcium Calcium is a chemical element with the ...
*
HypermetabolismHypermetabolism is defined as an elevated resting energy expenditure (REE) > 110% of predicted REE. Hypermetabolism is accompanied by a variety of internal and external symptoms, most notably extreme weight loss, and can also be a symptom in itself. ...
*
Kidney failure Kidney failure, also known as end-stage kidney disease, is a medical condition in which the kidney The kidneys are two reddish-brown bean-shaped organs An organ is a group of tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life r ...
*
Mental disorder A mental disorder, also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning. Such features may be persistent, relapsing In internal medici ...
s, such as
depression Depression may refer to: Mental health * Depression (mood), a state of low mood and aversion to activity * Mood disorders characterized by depression are commonly referred to as simply ''depression'', including: ** Dysthymia ** Major depressive ...
,
bipolar disorder Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, is a mental disorder A mental disorder, also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of ...

bipolar disorder
,
schizophrenia Schizophrenia is a mental disorder A mental disorder, also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning. Such features may b ...

schizophrenia
,
anorexia nervosa Anorexia nervosa, often referred to simply as anorexia, is an eating disorder An eating disorder is a mental disorder defined by abnormal eating behaviors that negatively affect a person's health, physical or mental health, mental health. On ...
,
anxiety Anxiety is an emotion Emotions are mental state, psychological states brought on by neurophysiology, neurophysiological changes, variously associated with thoughts, feelings, behavioural responses, and a degree of pleasure or suffering, disp ...
,
dementia Dementia manifests as a set of related symptoms, which usually surface when the brain is damaged by injury or disease. The symptoms Signs and symptoms are the observed or detectable signs, and experienced symptoms of an illness, injury, or ...
, or
drug addiction Addiction is a biopsychosocial The biopsychosocial model is an interdisciplinary model that looks at the interconnection between biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy ...

drug addiction
. *
Metabolic disorders A metabolic disorder is a disorder that negatively alters the body's processing and distribution of macronutrients A nutrient is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of att ...
, particularly urea cycle disorders * MELAS syndrome *
Pancreatitis Pancreatitis is a condition characterized by inflammation Inflammation (from la, wikt:en:inflammatio#Latin, inflammatio) is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or Irrit ...
*
Stomach flu Gastroenteritis, also known as infectious diarrhea and gastro, is inflammation Inflammation (from la, inflammatio) is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants ...
*
Sickness behavior 350px, Ancher, Michael, "The Sick Girl", 1882, Statens Museum for Kunst Sickness behavior is a coordinated set of adaptation, adaptive behavioral changes that develop in illness, ill individuals during the course of an infection. They usually, but ...
*
Superior mesenteric artery syndrome Superior mesenteric artery (SMA) syndrome is a gastrointestinal, gastro-Circulatory system, vascular disorder in which the third and final portion of the duodenum is compressed between the abdominal aorta (AA) and the overlying superior mesenteric a ...
*
Tuberculosis Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to the in ...

Tuberculosis
*
Thalassemia Thalassemias are inherited blood disorder Hematologic diseases are disorders which primarily affect the blood & blood-forming organs. Hematologic diseases include rare genetic disorders, anemia, HIV, sickle cell disease & complications from chem ...

Thalassemia
*
Ulcerative colitis Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a long-term condition that results in inflammation Inflammation (from la, wikt:en:inflammatio#Latin, inflammatio) is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, d ...

Ulcerative colitis
*
Zinc deficiency Zinc deficiency is defined either as insufficient zinc to meet the needs of the body, or as a serum zinc level below the normal range. However, since a decrease in the serum concentration is only detectable after long-term or severe depletion, se ...
*
Infection An infection is the invasion of an organism's body tissues by disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host A host is a person responsible for guests at an event or for providing hospitality during it. Host may ...

Infection
: Anorexia of infection is part of the
acute phase response 120px, Inflammatory cells and red blood cells Acute-phase proteins (APPs) are a class of protein Proteins are large biomolecules or macromolecules that are comprised of one or more long chains of amino acid residue (biochemistry), residues. Pr ...

acute phase response
(APR) to infection. The APR can be triggered by
lipopolysaccharide Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) are large molecule A molecule is an electrically Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion Image:Leaving Yongsan Station.jpg, 300px, Motion involves a change ...

lipopolysaccharide
s and
peptidoglycan Peptidoglycan or murein is a polymer A polymer (; Greek ''poly- Poly, from the Greek :wikt:πολύς, πολύς meaning "many" or "much", may refer to: Businesses * China Poly Group Corporation, a Chinese business group, and its subsidia ...

peptidoglycan
s from bacterial cell walls, bacterial DNA, and double-stranded viral RNA, and viral
glycoprotein Glycoproteins are protein Proteins are large s and s that comprise one or more long chains of . Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, including , , , providing and , and from one location to another. Proteins dif ...
s, which can trigger production of a variety of proinflammatory cytokines. These can have an indirect effect on appetite by a number of means, including peripheral afferents from their sites of production in the body, by enhancing production of
leptin Leptin (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...

leptin
from fat stores. Inflammatory cytokines can also signal to the
central nervous system The central nervous system (CNS) is the part of the nervous system In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecu ...

central nervous system
more directly by specialized transport mechanisms through the
blood–brain barrier The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a highly selective semipermeable membrane, semipermeable border of endothelium, endothelial cells that prevents solution, solutes in the circulating blood from ''non-selectively'' crossing into the extracellular ...
, via
circumventricular organ Circumventricular organs (CVOs) ( circum-: around ; ventricular: of ventricle) are structures in the brain characterized by their extensive and highly permeable Permeability, permeable, and semipermeable may refer to: Chemistry *Semiperm ...
s (which are outside the barrier), or by triggering production of
eicosanoid Eicosanoids are signaling molecules In biology, cell signaling (cell signalling in British English), or cell-cell communication, governs the basic activities of cell (biology), cells and coordinates multiple-cell actions. A signal is an entity th ...
s in the
endothelial cell Endothelium is a single layer of squamous Epithelium () is one of the four basic types of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. Wit ...
s of the brain vasculature. Ultimately, the control of appetite by this mechanism is thought to be mediated by the same factors normally controlling
appetite Appetite is the desire to eat Eating (also known as consuming) is the ingestion of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργα ...
, such as neurotransmitters (
serotonin Serotonin () or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) is a monoamine neurotransmitter Monoamine neurotransmitters are s and s that contain one group connected to an by a two-carbon chain (such as -CH2-CH2-). Examples are , and . All monoamines are ...

serotonin
,
dopamine Dopamine (DA, a contraction of 3,4-dihydroxyphenethylamine) is a neuromodulatory molecule that plays several important roles in cells. It is an organic chemical , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry Chemistry is t ...

dopamine
,
histamine Histamine is an organic nitrogen Nitrogen is the chemical element upright=1.0, 500px, The chemical elements ordered by link=Periodic table In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior ...

histamine
,
norepinephrine Norepinephrine (NE), also called noradrenaline (NA) or noradrenalin, is an organic chemical , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and ...

norepinephrine
, corticotropin releasing factor,
neuropeptide Y Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a 36 amino-acid neuropeptide that is involved in various physiological and homeostatic processes in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. NPY has been identified as the most abundant peptide present in the mam ...

neuropeptide Y
, and ).


Drugs

*
Stimulant Stimulants (also often referred to as psychostimulants or colloquially as uppers) is an overarching term that covers many drug Uncoated tablets, consisting of about 90% acetylsalicylic acid, along with a minor amount of inert fillers and b ...
s, such as
ephedrine Ephedrine is a medication and stimulant. It is often used to prevent hypotension, low blood pressure during anesthesia. It has also been used for asthma, narcolepsy, and obesity but is not the preferred treatment. It is of unclear benefit in nas ...

ephedrine
,
amphetamine Amphetamine (contracted from alpha-methylphenethylamine) is a central nervous system The central nervous system (CNS) is the part of the nervous system In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living orga ...

amphetamine
,
methamphetamine Methamphetamine (contracted from ) is a potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that is mainly used as a recreational drug use, recreational drug and less commonly as a second-line treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disord ...

methamphetamine
,
MDMA 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), commonly known as ecstasy, E, or molly, is a psychoactive drug A psychoactive drug, psychopharmaceutical, psychoactive agent, or psychotropic drug, is a chemical substance that changes nervous syst ...

MDMA
,
cathinone Cathinone (also known as benzoylethanamine, or β-keto-amphetamine) is a monoamine alkaloid found in the shrub ''Catha edulis'' (khat) and is chemically similar to ephedrine, cathine, methcathinone and other amphetamines. It is probably the mai ...

cathinone
,
methylphenidate Methylphenidate, sold under the brand name Ritalin among others, is a stimulant drug used to treat attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by ...
,
nicotine Nicotine is a naturally produced alkaloid Alkaloids are a class of basic BASIC (Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is a family of general-purpose, high-level programming language In computer science Computer sci ...

nicotine
,
cocaine Cocaine (from , from , ultimately from Quechuan languages, Quechua: ''kúka'') is a tropane alkaloid and stimulant drug obtained primarily from the leaves of two coca species native to South America, ''Erythroxylum coca'' and ''Erythroxylu ...

cocaine
,
caffeine Caffeine is a central nervous system The central nervous system (CNS) is the part of the nervous system In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structu ...

caffeine
, etc. *
Narcotic The term narcotic (, from ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as ...
s, such as
heroin Heroin, also known as diacetylmorphine and diamorphine among other names, is an opioid Opioids are substances that act on opioid receptor Opioid receptors are a group of inhibitory G protein-coupled receptors with opioids as ligands. T ...

heroin
,
morphine Morphine is a of the family that is found naturally in a dark brown, resinous form, from the poppy plant ('). It can be taken orally or injected. It acts directly on the (CNS) to induce analgesia and alter perception and emotional respons ...

morphine
,
codeine Codeine is an opiate An opiate, in classical pharmacology, is a substance derived from opium Opium (or poppy tears, scientific name: ''Lachryma papaveris'') is dried latex LaTeX ( or , often stylized as LaTeX) is a software syste ...

codeine
,
hydrocodone Hydrocodone is an opioid Opioids are substances that act on opioid receptor Opioid receptors are a group of inhibitory G protein-coupled receptors with opioids as ligands. The endogenous opioids are dynorphins, enkephalins, endorphin ...

hydrocodone
,
oxycodone Oxycodone, sold under the brand names Roxicodone and OxyContin (which is the extended release form) among others, is an opioid Opioids are substances that, when reaching opioid receptors, have effects similar to those of morphine. Medically ...

oxycodone
, etc. *
Antidepressants Antidepressants are medication A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug Uncoated tablets, consisting of about 90% acetylsalicylic acid, along with a minor amount o ...
can have anorexia as a side effect, primarily
selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of drugs that are typically used as antidepressants in the treatment of major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, and other psychological conditions. SSRIs increase the extracellula ...
s (SSRIs) such as
fluoxetine Fluoxetine, sold under the brand names Prozac and Sarafem among others, is an antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class. It is used for the treatment of major depressive disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder ...

fluoxetine
. * , a
type II diabetes Type 2 diabetes (T2D), formerly known as adult-onset diabetes, is a form of diabetes Diabetes mellitus (DM), commonly known as diabetes, is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by a high blood sugar level over a prolonged period of ...
drug, will cause moderate nausea and loss of appetite. * Abruptly stopping appetite-increasing drugs, such as
cannabis ''Cannabis'' () is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including ...
and
corticosteroid Corticosteroids are a class of steroid hormone A steroid hormone is a steroid A steroid is a biologically active organic compound In , organic compounds are generally any s that contain - . Due to carbon's ability to (form chains w ...
s. * Chemicals that are members of the
phenethylamine Phenethylamine (PEA) is an organic compound , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry, organic compounds are generally any chemical compounds that contain carbon-hydrogen chemical bond, bonds. Due to carbon's ability to Ca ...

phenethylamine
group. (Individuals with anorexia nervosa may seek them to suppress appetite.) *
Topiramate Topiramate, sold under the brand name Topamax among others, is a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor medication used to treat epilepsy Epilepsy is a group of neurological disorders characterized by recurrent epileptic seizures. Epileptic seizures a ...

Topiramate
may cause anorexia as a side effect. * Other drugs may be used to intentionally cause anorexia in order to help a patient
preoperative fasting Preoperative fasting is the practice of a patient nil per os, abstaining from oral food and fluid intake for a time before an surgery, operation is performed. This is intended to prevent pulmonary aspiration of stomach contents during general anesth ...

preoperative fasting
prior to
general anesthesia General anaesthesia or general anesthesia (see American and British English spelling differences, spelling differences) is a medically induced coma with loss of protective reflexes, resulting from the administration of one or more general anaest ...
. It is important to avoid food before surgery to mitigate the risk of
pulmonary aspiration Pulmonary aspiration is the entry of material such as pharyngeal secretions, food or drink, or stomach contents from the oropharynx The pharynx (plural: pharynges) is the part of the throat behind the mouth and nasal cavity The nasal cavity ...
, which can be fatal.


Other

* During the post-operative recovery period for a
tonsillectomy Tonsillectomy is a list of surgical procedures, surgical procedure in which both palatine tonsils are fully removed from the back of the throat. The procedure is mainly performed for recurrent tonsillitis, throat infections and obstructive sleep ...
or
adenoidectomy Adenoidectomy is the surgical Surgery ''cheirourgikē'' (composed of χείρ, "hand", and ἔργον, "work"), via la, chirurgiae, meaning "hand work". is a medical or dental specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques ...
, it is common for adult patients to experience a lack of appetite until their throat significantly heals (usually 10–14 days). *
Altitude sickness Altitude sickness, the mildest form being acute mountain sickness (AMS), is the harmful effects of high altitude on humans, effect of high altitude, caused by rapid exposure to low Breathing gas#Partial pressure of oxygen, amounts of oxygen at hi ...
* Significant
emotional pain Psychological pain, mental pain, or emotional pain is an unpleasant feeling (a suffering Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, may be an experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm in an in ...

emotional pain
caused by an event (rather than a
mental disorder A mental disorder, also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning. Such features may be persistent, relapsing In internal medici ...
) can cause an individual to temporarily lose all interest in food. *
Psychological stress In psychology Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence i ...
* Experiencing grotesque or unappealing thoughts or conversations, or viewing similar images * Being in the presence of unappealing things such as waste matter, dead organisms, or bad smells


Complications

Complications of anorexia are related to poor oral intake. Poor food intake can lead to
dehydration In physiology, dehydration is a lack of total body water In physiology Physiology (; ) is the scientific study of functions and mechanisms in a living system. As a sub-discipline of biology Biology is the natural science that studie ...

dehydration
, severe weight loss,
electrolyte imbalance Electrolyte imbalance, or water-electrolyte imbalance, is an abnormality in the concentration of electrolytes An electrolyte is a substance that produces an electrically conducting solution when dissolved in a polar solvent, such as water. The di ...
s,
anemia Anemia (American and British English spelling differences#ae and oe, also spelled anaemia) is a decrease in the total amount of red blood cells (RBCs) or hemoglobin in the blood, or a lowered ability of the blood to carry oxygen. When anemia c ...

anemia
and
nutritional deficiencies Malnutrition is a condition that results from eating a diet which does not supply a healthy amount of one or more nutrient A nutrient is a substance used by an organism to survive, grow, and reproduce. The requirement for dietary nutrient in ...
. These imbalances will worsen the longer that food is avoided.


Sudden cardiac death

Anorexia is a relatively common condition that can lead patients to have dangerous electrolyte imbalances, leading to acquired
long QT syndrome Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a condition in which repolarization of the heart after a Cardiac cycle, heartbeat is affected. It results in an increased risk of an cardiac arrhythmia, irregular heartbeat which can result in Syncope (medicine), faintin ...
which can result in
sudden cardiac death Cardiac arrest is a sudden loss of blood flow resulting from the failure of the heart The heart is a muscle, muscular Organ (anatomy), organ in most animals, which pumps blood through the blood vessels of the circulatory system. The pump ...
. This can develop over a prolonged period of time, and the risk is further heightened when feeding resumes after a period of abstaining from consumption.


Refeeding syndrome

Care must be taken when a patient begins to eat after prolonged starvation to avoid the potentially fatal complications of
refeeding syndrome Refeeding syndrome is a metabolic disturbance that occurs as a result of reinstitution of nutrition in people and animals who are starved, severely malnourished, or metabolically stressed because of severe illness. When too much food or liquid n ...
. The initial signs of refeeding syndrome are minimal, but can rapidly progress to death. Thus, the reinitiation of food or oral intake is usually started slowly and requires close observation under supervision by trained healthcare professionals. This is usually done in a hospital or nutritional rehabilitation center.


Management

Anorexia can be treated with the help of
orexigenicAn orexigenic, or appetite stimulant, is a drug File:Aspirine macro shot.jpg, Uncoated aspirin Tablet (pharmacy), tablets, consisting of about 90% acetylsalicylic acid, along with a minor amount of inert fillers and binders. Aspirin is a pharmace ...
drugs.


"Anorexia" vs "anorexic" vs anorexia nervosa

Anorexic is a description of somebody with the stereotypical thin, frail, malnourished appearance. The appearance is classically associated with anorexia, although in rare cases do patients end up becoming anorexic. An anorexic or
anorectic An anorectic or anorexic is a drug A drug is any chemical substance that causes a change in an organism's physiology or psychology when consumed. Drugs are typically distinguished from food and substances that provide nutritional support. Co ...
is also a description given to substances that cause anorexia for weight loss purposes.
Anorexia nervosa Anorexia nervosa, often referred to simply as anorexia, is an eating disorder An eating disorder is a mental disorder defined by abnormal eating behaviors that negatively affect a person's health, physical or mental health, mental health. On ...
is an
eating disorder An eating disorder is a mental disorder defined by abnormal eating behaviors that negatively affect a person's health, physical or mental health, mental health. Only one eating disorder can be diagnosed at a given time. Types of eating disorders ...
characterized by food restriction due to the strong desire to remain thin. It is considered a mental health diagnosis where people see themselves as overweight regardless of their weight or appearance. The person does not necessarily exhibit anorexia as a symptom in their quest to restrict food intake.


References


External links

{{Authority control Symptoms and signs: Endocrinology, nutrition, and metabolism