What is it?

Inappetence is a very common condition, characterised by loss of appetite and caused by several factors.

Main factors triggering inappetence can be different:

  • Malaise;
  • Temporary psychological disorders;
  • Recurrent disease.

A loss of appetite can be physical or psychological. It is often temporary due to factors such as infections or digestive issues. If this condition persists for longer periods, it can also depend on pathological factors.
Lack of appetite can lead to chronic debilitation, lowered immune system, nutrient deficiency and a state of chronic fatigue.


Age. The elderly is the most affected, because:

  • Decrease in appetite is considered a normal part of the aging process;
  • Decrease in energy is considered a normal part of the aging process;
  • Decrease in sensitivity of the senses of smell and taste is considered a normal part of the aging process;
  • Chewing and digestion problems are considered a normal part of the aging process.

In the first three months of a pregnancy, most women tend to feel nauseous, vomit and experience a loss of their appetite, while in babies this condition is present during teething.

The main pathological conditions associated with loss of appetite are:

  • Kidney failure;
  • Liver disease;
  • Infectious and febrile diseases;
  • Gastroenteritis or stomach flu;
  • Malignant tumors;
  • Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.

Additional causes are high-risk behaviors such as:

  • Cigarette smoking;
  • Alcohol;
  • Drug addiction;
  • Personality disorders with anxiety and depression.


Ongoing appetite loss may lead to serious complications:

  • Malnutrition;
  • Dehydration;
  • Weight loss;
  • Decreased immune system;
  • Higher risk to get sick;
  • Anemia;
  • Mood swings;
  • Poor concentration.


Loss of appetite can be diagnosed by your doctor. Based on the visit, the doctor will suggest other tests or therapy.

  • In case the loss of appetite is caused by eating disorders, it is important to associate and psychological therapy;
  • If the loss of appetite is caused by pathologies such as kidney failure, liver or intestinal diseases, it is important to work together with respectively of a nephrologist, hepatologist or gastroenterologist;
  • If the loss of appetite is caused by alcohol abuse, drugs or cigarette smoking, these behaviors shall be avoided or abolished.

Pharmacological therapy

The pharmacological treatment for loss of appetite is based on:

  • Antidepressants and anxiolytics if the cause is mood disorders;
  • Progesterone derivatives increase appetite. In fact they are used as an appetite stimulant in cancer patients.

Natural remedies and diet

There are several home remedies to stimulate appetite:

  • Eat little but often, at least every 2 hours;
  • Garnish and embellish the dishes, in order to make the dish tastier and more stimulating;
  • Two fingers of white wine, before meals, stimulate the appetite;
  • Regular physical activity increases appetite;
  • Eat small portions but rich in essential nutrients;
  • The gentian and ginger are used to stimulate secretion of gastric juices and to treat cases of loss of appetite;
  • Solid foods stimulate appetite more than more soups;
  • Use spices and lemon to flavor dishes, as they increase appetite;
  • Royal jelly is energizing, rich in essential nutrients and significantly increases appetite;
  • Nuts such as almonds and walnuts are rich in good fats that stimulate appetite;
  • Organic fruit juice stimulates the appetite;
  • Avoid whole grains, as they rich in fibers, which reduce appetite;
  • A cinchona infusion increases appetite, as it is rich in alkaloids that stimulate gastric secretion;
  • Siberian ginseng stimulates appetite, as it accelerates the basal metabolism.

A decoction or infusion of Astragalus increases gastric secretion and therefore stimulates appetite.