Our stomachs are very telling of our mental and physical health. While appetite fluctuations are normal, this is when you should get outside help.
Appetite loss can be a reflection of a variety of things. It affects some more than others, who experience appetite loss due to stress, nerves, a cold, or a fever. It can also be a symptom of something more serious, which is why you should keep a close eye on your symptoms, especially if you’re the type of person who’s forgetful and doesn’t keep track of the fluctuations of their body.
Your stomach is linked to a variety of elements, making it highly susceptible to your moods. Appetite loss can also be a side effect of taking certain medications, like narcotics or antibiotics. It can also be a symptom of a GI issue, or a hangover.
Interestingly enough, your appetite can also be affected by the weather. During this time of the year, you’re more likely to experience different cravings. The cold is likely to boost people’s appetites and cravings, making you crave carbs. Warm weather produces the opposite effect; many people feel like skipping meals once the weather gets very hot, since eating raises your internal temperature and can make you feel hotter.
Common colds and infections can influence your appetite, making you lose it and even promoting weight loss if the infection or the cold is particularly debilitating. This experience shouldn’t last too long and as long as it’s resolved, it shouldn’t be very concerning.
Other situations, like stress and anxiety, can also result in appetite loss, and these might be more difficult to deal with since they’re not infections that can be quickly battled off. If stress and anxiety are triggered by a particular event — say, a job interview or a work presentation, the hunger should return soon.
When dealing with long-term stress and anxiety, your appetite can be heavily impacted, making you eat more or not be hungry at all. This problem is more serious and difficult to treat, making it something that’s worth a trip to the doctor or mental health therapist, especially if the changes are noticeable.
According to experts, no matter the circumstance, you should start getting worried over your appetite loss if it lasts more than a few days. Appetite loss can quickly devolve into weight loss and malnutrition, situations that are tough to treat. Per Medical News Today, if you’re experiencing symptoms like stomach pain, fever, coughing or irregular heartbeats that accompany your appetite loss, you should seek medical help as soon as you can.