Food aversion: it has different causes, which ones do you know?

Food aversion: it has different causes, which ones do you know?
Photo source: Getty images

Malnutrition is a symptom that can have a number of causes. These can be psychological as well as physical. The most common psychological disorders are anorexia and bulimia. The incidence in physical problems is variable. Malnutrition can be manifested by any disease.

Food aversion or refusal to eat has several causes. It can be either a symptom of an illness or a temporary condition. In the case where a person has, for example, an upset stomach, refusal to eat and lack of appetite is quite understandable.

Nausea is also associated with nausea, which precludes the intake of food. Also, with constipation, there is a feeling of fullness in the abdomen, so the person cannot take any more food.

Anorexia and bulimia

Loss of appetite is also a symptom of some diseases and eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia.

Anorexia is a psychological disorder, i.e. an eating disorder. It is a mental illness characterised by a constant effort to lose weight. The person either tries to restrict food intake or tries to lose weight by extreme exercise and overloading the body.

Woman with peas on her plate, restricts food
Food restriction in anorexia. Photo source: Getty Images

Very often, in addition to food refusal and lack of appetite, symptoms include weight loss, dissatisfaction, nervousness, restlessness and, as a result of reduced food intake, other symptoms of nutritional deficiency in the body.

Binge eating can also occur in bulimia. It is less common. Although this psychological disorder is also an eating disorder, it is characterised more by phases of binge eating followed by binge eating.

In this case, it is in the phase after the vomiting has been induced that the distastefulness occurs. Sometimes bulimia and anorexia combine and occur simultaneously.

Food aversion in children

In young children, lack of appetite is often associated with abdominal pain. But it can also be associated with other problems, such as toothache. It occurs with inflammation or problems in the oral cavity.

Common respiratory illnesses can also cause a reduced appetite. It can occur in upper respiratory tract infections, but also in tonsillitis, when there is pain in the throat and neck. The pain is made worse by swallowing.

Children are particularly sensitive to changes in the body. Even a rise in body temperature may cause the child to react with lack of appetite. When refusing food, it is important that sufficient fluid intake is maintained. This prevents dehydration.

In children, it is more difficult to detect these causes, especially in young children. The smallest children are not yet able to accurately describe all the signs and symptoms. In this case, it is advisable to see a doctor.

A child's hand, two red candies, bad eating habits
Poor eating habits may be behind food refusal in children. Photo source: Getty Images

Other causes of lack of appetite

Often, cancer is behind a naturally reduced appetite. In this case, the affected person may not feel disgust for food, but rather a lack of appetite, although he or she does not find the food disgusting. Weakness and fatigue are associated.

Even in some diseases of the nervous system, it is possible to observe inappetence in affected (mainly elderly) people. For example, in Alzheimer's disease, dementia or Parkinson's disease.

Nephropathy in pregnancy

In pregnant women, food aversion occurs mainly during periods of nausea. Dietary modification is important. Equally important is the division of portions into smaller but more frequent ones throughout the day.

Appetite can be one of the symptoms of pregnancy.

Woman refuses food, there is an apple on the plate, disgusting
In women, it is common to have a lack of appetite in: anorexia, stress, pregnancy. Photo source: Getty Images

Some causes of inappetence:

  • Eating disorder, anorexia and bulimia
  • acute but mainly chronic inflammation and infections
  • septic conditions
  • increased body temperature, fever
  • pain
  • tumours
  • diseases of the digestive system
  • liver failure
  • kidney disease
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • neurological diseases
  • autoimmune diseases
  • post-operative conditions
  • older age
  • poor eating habits in children
  • stress
  • medications, especially when there are many of them, polypragmasia
  • pregnancy
  • alcoholism

In general, it is necessary to think about the possible reasons why a person does not want to eat, why he does not like it. Behind the lack of appetite in adults, but also in children, there can be a number of diseases. It is a reason to visit a doctor.

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