Most people during their lifetime will experience the frequent symptoms of loss of appetite & nausea. They are extremely vague symptoms that are not specific and can be caused by a multitude of conditions. Problems and conditions of the gastrointestinal tract are usually the most common reason for them, although systemic infections and other problems can also be the offender.

Common Causes of Loss of Appetite and Nausea



This is an infection of the gastrointestinal tract that occurs when contaminated foods are consumed. There are many possible culprits but it is usually either a virus or bacteria. The symptoms are usually similar regardless of the culprit, including abdominal cramps, pain, diarrhea, lack of appetite, nausea and bloody stools.

In most cases, gastroenteritis is resolves on its own without medication but hydration is still essential in avoiding dehydration.



Tiny stones called gallstones can form in the gallbladder. The function of the gallbladder is to store bile but if the bile possesses too much cholesterol, too many bile acids or there is an inadequate amount of bile salts, this can cause the perfect environment for gallstone formation. When they do form, gallstones cause typical symptoms such as fever, chills, abdominal pain, abnormal colored stools, loss of appetite & nausea.

The medical therapy is either conservative, which means to use medications that dissolve the gallstones, or surgical removal of the gallbladder.



In the anterior part of the neck on both sides of the thyroid gland are parathyroid glands that synthesize the parathyroid hormone. The parathyroid hormone is essential for controlling the level of calcium in the blood. The condition of hyperparathyroidism means that too much of the parathyroid hormone is being created and released. This causes increased levels of calcium which causes fatigue, weakness, depression, muscle aches, constipation, nausea and lack of appetite.

The treatment is usually surgery and complete removal of parathyroid glands.



Influenza is caused by the influenza virus which infects the respiratory system, specifically the throat, nose and lungs. It is transmitted by an infected person through airborne droplets during the acts of coughing or sneezing. Common symptoms of influenza are chills, fever, cough, profuse sweating, headache, muscle aches, and loss of appetite.

No specific treatment is required as it is a virus that will go away on its own. The recommended course of action is to rest and take large amount of fluid while symptoms last.



One of the most common causes of loss of appetite & nausea is a physiological state in pregnancy. The increased levels of estrogen and hCG hormones during the first trimester are what causes the sensation of nausea, sensitivity to smell and vomiting. Studies have shown that roughly 80% of women during pregnancy are affected by this.

Increasing water intake, taking vitamins, eating smaller meals with lighter foods and avoiding strong smelling foods are some of the ways to combat these uncomfortable symptoms.



Stress is the universal reason for a multitude of problems including loss of appetite and nausea, which you may never think of. While this might not seem like an alarming problem, it can have serious long term consequences if it is not corrected. The exact reason is unknown but it is theorized that it has to do with serotonin, a hormone that regulates the feeling of hunger and excess stomach acid formation. When a person is under stress and has anxiety, there is an issue with serotonin balance.

Meditation, exercises, keeping positive mindset and having a healthy diet in moderate are worth trying to relieve these symptoms caused by stress.


Motion Sickness

Your inner ear, eyes and sensory receptors work together to send proper signals regarding balance to your brain. However, conflicting signals during travel by car, plane, boat or train break the balance, causing motion sickness and loss of appetite and nausea.

A visit to your doctor will help, as the doctor will give you prescription medicine to take as prevention before traveling.


Peptic Ulcer

The lining of the stomach, small intestines, and lower esophagus can be damaged from sores called peptic ulcers, which is usually from stomach acid erosion and inflammation by a bacterium called Helicobacter Pylori. Regardless of the cause, the symptoms include loss of appetite & nausea, bloody and dark stools, indigestion, weight loss and vomiting.

A doctor’s appointment is required and treatment depends on the specific causes. Usually the doctor will prescribe a mix of over the counter medication, antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors.


Premenstrual Syndrome

PMS affects the emotional, behavioral and physical health of a majority of women. Estrogen and progesterone levels increase and cause symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, headaches, irritability, anxiety, loss of appetite, vomiting, and so on.

There is no cure in this condition, but proper hydration, balanced diet, supplements, regular sleep, and exercising can help ease the symptoms.



Appendicitis is an acute and serious condition that is caused by the inflammation of the appendix, usually between the ages of 10 and 30. Symptoms include pain around the bellybutton or right lower region of the abdomen, loss of appetite, vomiting, fever and abdominal swelling. Complications due to appendicitis are serious and can be fatal.

Therefore, immediate medical assistance is required as the treatment of choice is immediate surgery to remove the appendix.


Other Causes

It is important to note that loss of appetite & nausea are such vague symptoms that they can be seen in countless diseases and conditions that affect a wide array of symptoms and diseases such as pancreatitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, cancer, urethritis, strep throat, food allergies, alcoholism, STDs, mononucleosis, hepatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, Meniere’s disease, meningitis, migraines, diabetic ketoacidosis, celiac disease and so much more, besides what have been listed above. What is important to note is that some of these causes are serious, therefore if symptoms persist and do not go away, go see your doctor for further information.


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