Causes Of Fatigue And Loss Of Appetite
Even though fatigue and loss of appetite may initially appear quite harmless, and not a cause for worry, if it persists for several days or even longer, it is important for you to try and determine what the root causes are.
Several conditions can contribute to the prevalence of symptoms, while others may be related to lifestyle traits and habits. Common causes include:
Coping With A Loss Of Appetite
The approach to handling this issue depends on the cause, Dr. Finkelstein says. If the person is nauseated, treat the nausea. Try ginger teaits an old wives tale that actually works. If its a digestive problem, he says, try eating more fruits and vegetables. Also: Yogurt and fermented foods like kimchee are natural probiotics, which may replace bacterial flora if the person has been sick. And, as always, he recommends drinking more water. Staying well hydrated can help your appetite. Dont miss these 13 genius ways to make sure you drink enough water.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
There’s a long list of possible symptoms that someone with chronic fatigue syndrome can have. The most common ones include:
- severe fatigue, which can make it hard to get out of bed and do normal daily activities
- sleep problems, such as trouble falling or staying asleep, or not having a refreshing sleep
- symptoms getting worse after physical or mental effort
- symptoms or dizziness that get worse after standing up or sitting upright from a lying down position
- problems with concentration and memory
- headaches and stomachaches
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When To Seek Emergency Treatment
Always contact your doctor right away if you begin to lose weight rapidly for no apparent reason.
Its also important to seek immediate medical help if your decreased appetite could be a result of depression, alcohol, or an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia.
Treatment for a decreased appetite will depend on its cause. If the cause is a bacterial or viral infection, you wont usually require specific treatment for the symptom, as your appetite will quickly return once your infection is cured.
How Can I Ease Abdominal Pain And Loss Of Appetite At Home
In addition to following your doctors recommended treatment plan, some home care strategies may help.
For example, staying hydrated is very important. It can help reduce potential complications of abdominal pain and loss of appetite. Eating small frequent meals with bland ingredients may be less likely to upset your stomach. Some examples of these ingredients include:
- cooked fruits without seeds, such as applesauce
- plain oatmeal
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What Is The Loss Of Appetite
- Abdominal pain or cramps
- Changes in taste or smell
- Chronic or persistent diarrhea
- Nausea with or without vomiting
How Would You Describe Fatigue Associated With Pots
People with POTS experience fatigue differently. Many describe it as feeling beyond exhausted. Its as if your energy is completely depleted. The fatigue is probably hundreds of times worse than your worst flu. People with POTS may also have trouble concentrating and thinking straight. Doing simple tasks may feel like youve just run a marathon.
This fatigue might come and go, hitting you without warning daily, weekly or less frequently. For some people, extreme fatigue lasts for days. Others may experience periodic attacks. It can come on at any moment even if you just woke up. And there is no amount of sleep or coffee that can make it go away.
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What Exams Procedures And Tests Diagnose The Cause Of Fatigue
For the evaluation of fatigue, the health care practitioner will take a complete history of the patient’s fatigue, along with questions in regard to associated symptoms. The health care practitioner may inquire about the following activities and symptoms to determine the probable cause of the fatigue:
Quality of Life
Does the level of fatigue remain constant throughout the day? Does the fatigue get worse as the day goes on, or does the fatigue begin at the start of the day? Is there a pattern to the fatigue ? Does the fatigue occur at regular cycles? How is the person’s emotional state? Does the person feel unhappiness or disappointment in life? Sleep pattern determination. How much sleep is the person getting? During what hours does the person sleep? Does the person awake rested or fatigued? How many times does the person awake during sleep? Are they able to fall back asleep? Does the person get regular exercise? Any exercise? Has the person had any new stressors in their life? Change in relationships, jobs, school, or living arrangements? What is the person’s diet? Is there a high intake of coffee, sugar, or excessive amounts of food?
The definitive diagnosis depends on discovering the underlying cause of the fatigue this is determined by evaluating the history, the physical exam and the appropriate test results.
What Causes Loss Of Appetite
Normally most people have a regular desire to eat food – an ‘appetite’. Eating is an essential part of life, giving us the energy and nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy. If you lose your appetite, there is usually a reason behind it, and it often has a medical or psychological cause. Most often, having no appetite is a short-term problem. Most of us have experienced this with a flu-like viral illness or tummy bug , or in times of extreme stress . Sometimes, however, it can go on for the long term. In this case, it may signify a more important medical problem.
There are many reasons why appetite may be lost. Some are serious conditions, others are not. Possible causes include:
- Infection. This includes short-term infections and more long-lasting infections such as tuberculosis or HIV. Usually there will be other symptoms specific to the infection.
- Feeling out of breath.
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How Can I Increase Appetite On My Own
You may be able to stimulate your appetite by trying new foods, meals, and cooking methods that motivate you to start eating again. Ways to try increasing your appetite include:
- Use various spices and seasonings that enhance the flavor of meals, including coriander, ginger, paprika, rosemary, and thyme.
- Growing and eating your herbs and produce, such as basil, peppermint, sweet peppers, and tomatoes.
- Consume a higher amount of your favorite foods, even if it causes you to miss out on critical food groups for a short period, as the goal is for you to start eating again. For example, a bowl of yogurt or a bean burrito can suffice on most days of the week.
- Eat a higher amount of small, calorie-dense meals or snacks throughout the day instead of eating three large meals.
- Eat only highly nutritious foods even if those meals are simple, such as a bowl of seasoned quinoa. That helps ensure you are consuming essential nutrients when you do feel like eating.
- Try new restaurants or recipes for meals that contain ingredients that sound appetizing. For example, if you want citrus-flavored chicken, you can look up recipes for Mexican marinades or Asian dishes made with limes or oranges that will help fulfill your craving.
- Making plans to eat with friends or relatives could make eating more enjoyable, and your loved ones can hold you accountable for eating.
How Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diagnosed
Right now, there’s no test to tell if someone has chronic fatigue syndrome. Doctors ask a lot of questions . They also will do a thorough physical exam.
Doctors also usually order blood, urine , or other tests to check for conditions that cause similar symptoms. They may send a person to see other specialists to help with the diagnosis.
A doctor may suggest meeting with a psychologist or a therapist who can see whether mental health disorders might contribute to or mask CFS.
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When Should You Worry About Fatigue
Q.I have been quite fatigued over the past two weeks. How long should I wait before seeing a doctor?
A. We all go through periods of low energy. Even a week of feeling more tired than usual is not uncommon.
Yet most people can tell when their fatigue feels like something more serious. If that’s the case, or your fatigue gets worse or lasts longer than a week or two, it’s time to see your doctor. Your fatigue might be related to an underlying illness or infection, especially if it’s accompanied by symptoms, such as a low-grade fever, shortness of breath, or loss of appetite.
Other reasons to see your doctor about fatigue are if you often wake up exhausted despite sleeping well, do not feel motivated to begin the day, or struggle to do activities that are ordinarily easy. These could be symptoms of a sleep disorder or depression.
During your exam, your doctor will try to rule out issues like medication side effects. He or she also may order blood tests to determine if the fatigue is related to a specific problem, such as anemia, an underactive thyroid , or liver inflammation . However, don’t be surprised if your doctor does not find a cause. I have found that in most cases people bounce back from fatigue after some rest and a good night’s sleep.
by Howard LeWine, M.D.
Management Of The Underlying Condition
These conditions can include depression, diabetes, heart disease or more, all of which adversely affect your energy levels and may suppress your appetite. Taking medication prescribed by a physician is an important step in fighting the symptoms, and getting your life back to being as normal as possible.
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What Can I Do To Manage Covid Fatigue
Fatigue can drain your energy and keep you from doing day-to-day things when youre down with a viral sickness like COVID-19 or long-haul COVID-19.
To manage your health and ease fatigue symptoms while youre sick or post-COVID, you should:
- Accept that fatigue is a real side effect of having COVID-19.
- Make sure to get a good nights sleep. This can help your body preserve energy.
- Try relaxation techniques like mindful meditation, aromatherapy, yoga, and tai chi. These can help to reduce stress and fatigue symptoms.
- Plan ahead on what you can get done with limited energy.
- Prioritize the tasks that are important. This will help you spend energy on only those things that need to be done.
- Delegate certain tasks to others who can complete them for you. This can include activities like grocery shopping or cooking.
- Try to stay active. A viral infection can knock your energy out, but moving and light exercise can energize you.
- Keep a diary on all things that either trigger your fatigue or make it worse. This will help you steer clear of energy-draining activities.
- Eat foods that give your body energy.
- Stay hydrated.
How Is Cancer Fatigue Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will assess your symptoms. You may be asked to complete a questionnaire or rate your fatigue level. Your provider may ask you to keep a journal to track your level of fatigue and factors that might contribute to fatigue.
Blood tests can check for anemia, signs of infection or other problems that cause fatigue.
Is It Possible That I Have Pots And Was Incorrectly Diagnosed
This is entirely possible. Given how common POTS symptoms are and how unfamiliar many doctors are with this condition, diagnostic mishaps happen. POTS is frequently misidentified as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, anxiety disorder, ADHD, irritable bowel syndrome, myositis, etc. It is also possible that you have both POTS and one of these conditions, which may complicate the diagnosis. Sometimes people with POTS are told that its all in your head, implying that the cause of their symptoms is psychological. If you feel like something is physically wrong, dont hesitate to seek a second, and even a third or fourth opinion.
COVID-19 and POTS: Is There a Link?
Although many people recover quickly from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, others who recover may continue to experience symptoms for months. Researchers are still determining the cause of these extended symptoms, but some COVID-19 “long-haulers” may actually be dealing with POTS.
Body Aches Or Pains Decreased Appetite Fatigue And Weakness
- Medical Author: Dan Brennan, MD
Reviewed on 6/15/2020
These symptoms can be part of many medical conditions, including viral and bacterial infections. If your symptoms are not improving, you should contact your doctor.
While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:
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Tips For Caring For A Loved One With Cancer Cachexia
Watching your loved one lose their appetite and weight can cause anxiety and stress. As a caregiver, one of your roles is to make sure that your loved one eats. However, cachexia causes many symptoms in people with cancer that make eating and drinking very difficult. That often makes food a source of increased tension between patients and their caregivers. Here are some tips to consider:
Recognize that loss of appetite may be out of your loved ones control. Trying harder to eat does not always work.
Pushing food on your loved one can make the issue worse, not better. Avoid making food a battle.
Recognize that your loved one may ask for food, but by the time you prepare it, they may not want it anymore. This is incredibly frustrating, but very common.
You are not a failure as a caregiver if your loved one does not want to eat. This is out of your control.
Be creative. Find ways to show you care outside of food, including giving your loved one a massage, holding hands, reading, or playing games.
Preparing and eating food is often a major focus of social gatherings. Find ways to support your loved one during social gatherings that do not involve eating food.
Make sure you are getting help with caregiving duties and taking time to take care of yourself.
Connect with other caregivers to find support and develop creative strategies that may best suit your loved one.
What Are Signs And Characteristics Of Appetite Loss
Loss of appetite can mainly be characterized by the lack of desire to eat. You may not feel hungry when you usually do, or the idea of eating may make you feel sick or nauseated. You may forget to eat and realize later on that youve skipped one or two meals. You may even start losing weight without making an effort to diet or exercise.
Regardless of which symptoms of appetite loss you may be experiencing, its critical to keep track of when and what youre eating so you can avoid complications, including malnutrition and lowered immunity.
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How Do You Treat Fatigue And Loss Of Appetite
Your doctor will prescribe treatments and therapies depending on your underlying condition. Pain relief may help ease the symptoms. If medication is the cause of your fatigue and loss of appetite, your doctor may adjust your dosage or swap the medication.
Treating fatigue may include learning how to increase energy in your daily life. This can mean:
- getting more exercise
- creating a schedule for activity and rest
- talk therapy
- learning about self-care
Treating loss of appetite may include formulating a flexible meal schedule and incorporating favorite foods into meals. Studies also show that enhancing the taste and smell of foods can increase appetite in older adults. They found that adding sauces and seasonings resulted in a 10 percent increase in calorie consumption.
Other methods used to treat fatigue or loss of appetite include:
- appetite stimulants like Marinol
- low-dose corticosteroids to increase appetite
- sleeping pills to help you sleep better at night
- physical therapy to slowly increase exercise
- antidepressants or antianxiety medications, for depression or anxiety
- anti-nausea medications like Zofran for nausea caused by medical treatments
Counseling or participating in a support group may also help reduce depression and anxiety-related causes of fatigue and loss of appetite.
Whats The Link Between Depression And Loss Of Appetite
Loss of appetite is a symptom of depression. However, many other symptoms of depression and loss of appetite can occur.
Depression can lead to loss of interest or pleasure in ordinary activities, including cooking, eating, and socializing with friends and family at restaurants. Depression also causes fatigue and low energy, making cooking and eating seem like major, energy-draining tasks. Anxiety, physical pain, and feelings of sadness and hopelessness can also lead to appetite loss.
Some medications used to treat depression and bipolar disorder cause appetite loss as a side effect, along with spikes in energy and nausea that may also contribute to appetite loss.
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