Food does not only provide the nutrients needed by the body but also serves as an important component of gatherings – all affecting one’s quality of life. Intake of food contributes to social, cultural and psychological quality of life. We eat in response to hunger cues to provide the nutrients and important non-nutrients like fiber that our body needs. Many times, we also eat simply to satisfy our appetite. Appetite differs from hunger as the former is driven by the desire to eat each time food appeals to our senses, even in the absence of hunger.
In many instances however, appetite can be impaired adversely affecting our food intake resulting to malnutrition such as excessive weight gain in the case of increased appetite. On the other hand, undernutrition or as well as deficiencies in vitamins and minerals can result from a waning appetite. Decreased or altered taste, decreased smell, decreased thirst acuity, decreased secretion of hydrochloric acid by the stomach, early satiety, indigestion, decreased caloric needs, lack of hunger, eating impairment, diet modifications, dining environment, limited food choices, lack of control over food choices, medications, dementia, depression, loneliness, social isolation which are common among the elderly, can reduce appetite. Add the role of some hormones.
Anorexia or loss of appetite is also common symptom and/or side effect of many disease conditions including psychological problems, In cancer patients, it is likely a result of abnormalities in multiple factors including neuroinflammation that impacts the hypothalamic control of appetite, changes in perception via visual cues and changes in taste and smell.
Should you be dealing with loss of appetite, try the following: Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Maximize your intake when appetite is more normal. Limit fluid with meals to avoid feeling of fullness. Keep favorite foods readily available. Avoid noxious odor. Eat in a well-ventilated area. Consider using nutritional supplements like Ensure and Isocal. In consultation with a doctor, consider appetite stimulants, mild exercises as tolerated. Also Try relaxation exercises before