Loss of appetite occurs when you don’t have the desire to eat or snack at your typical mealtimes. The idea of eating food is unappealing and can lead to nausea. Nausea occurs when you feel uneasy or sick to your stomach, as if you may vomit. What Causes... Read more
Loss of appetite occurs when you don’t have the desire to eat or snack at your typical mealtimes. The idea of eating food is unappealing and can lead to nausea. Nausea occurs when you feel uneasy or sick to your stomach, as if you may vomit.
Loss of appetite and nausea can occur when you have eaten something that doesn’t agree with your stomach. This symptom typically subsides fairly quickly. However, loss of appetite and nausea together can sometimes signal a more serious condition.
Examples of conditions that can cause loss of appetite and nausea include:
- acid reflux
- food allergies or intolerances
- food poisoning
- migraine headaches
- morning sickness
- motion or seasickness
- pain from a chronic or acute condition
- taking certain medications, such as antibiotics and chemotherapy
More serious but less common causes include:
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease
- heart failure
- intestinal blockage
- stomach or small intestine ulcers
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience loss of appetite and nausea accompanied by chest pain, blurred vision, sweating, and confusion. These symptoms could indicate a heart attack or stroke.
You should also seek medical help if your loss of appetite and nausea are accompanied by:
- dehydration symptoms (such as low urine output, increased thirst, and dizziness)
- an odor of feces on your breath
- high fever (greater than 103 degrees Fahrenheit)
- the inability to eat or drink for more than 12 hours
- neck stiffness
- severe abdominal pain
- severe headache
Prolonged loss of appetite can lead to poor nutrition. See your doctor if you find it difficult to eat regular meals and snacks on a daily basis.
This information is a summary. Always seek medical attention if you’re concerned you may be experiencing a medical emergency.
Your doctor will address your symptoms by treating the underlying cause of your appetite and nausea. If these symptoms are the result of heart attack or stroke, you may require immediate intervention through surgery or clot-busting medications.
Your doctor may recommend starting an intravenous (IV) line to administer fluids if you’re dehydrated as a result of loss of appetite and nausea.
If your loss of appetite and nausea are related to taking a certain medication, your doctor may adjust your dosage or switch medications. However, don’t stop taking a medicine without your doctor’s approval.
Preventing dehydration and eating several small meals can help prevent loss of appetite and nausea. This includes taking small sips of clear fluids or a beverage containing electrolytes. Foods that may settle your stomach include:
- baked chicken
- plain toast
Resting and practicing stress-relieving techniques, such as taking a walk or reading can reduce appetite and nausea.
Avoiding spicy, high-fiber, or raw foods can also help reduce your symptoms.
If you experience loss of appetite and nausea related to pregnancy, you can take steps to prevent loss of appetite and nausea. For example, eat a few plain crackers before getting up in the morning.
To reduce other causes of appetite loss and nausea, eat small, low-fat meals throughout the day. Eating cold or room temperature foods may ease nausea because they don’t smell as strongly as hot foods.
Staying in a seated position after eating can help reduce loss of appetite and nausea related to acid reflux.