Loss of Appetite -- Causes and Top 10 Remedies
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Loss of Appetite - Causes and Top 10 Remedies

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5.    Pinworms Can Cause Loss of Appetite.  If you notice a child with a loss of appetite, restlessness, and itchiness around the anus, you may want to take him or her to the doctor for pinworms. 

While there are some benefits to letting your child play in the mud, there are a few consequences to look out for, pinworm amongst them:  In 2006 the New York State Department of Health warned that "Pinworms are spread when an infected person, most often a child, has scratched his/her bare anal area and the eggs get under his/her fingernails." 

Once the eggs are attached to the skin around the anus, they may hatch and then travel up the rectum and to the lower intestine, where they can grow to be adult-size within two to six weeks.

Dr. Brenda Shoup with the University of Florida suggests that treatment for pinworms is     "simple and effective, but relapses are very common."   Dr. Shoup suggests that the drug  mebendazole is perhaps the most effective, though should not be taken while pregnant -     be sure to consult a physician for individual treatment.

6.    Age. There are all sorts of challenges with age, most of which are unexpected and difficult to control --- financial concerns, loneliness, depression, weight gain or weight loss due to a decreased appetite. 

In 2003, researchers at the Istituto di Scienza dell'Alimentazione in Rome proposed that a decrease in appetite amongst the elderly is caused by a combination of social and physiological factors, whether from social isolation and subsequent depression, or a lowered bodily need for energy.  

Solutions to the complications of aging are just as varied and individual as are the    symptoms.  However, there is work being done specifically on how to increase appetite  in the elderly. 

Dr. Grace Huffman at the Brooke Grove Foundation in Maryland  suggests in the American Family Physician (2002) that  "The treatment of unintentional  weight loss is directed at the underlying causes" so that afflicted elderly would benefit     from nutritional support from dietitians, speech therapists (for "swallowing evaluations")  and social services.  Dr. Huffman also suggests that in some cases it may be better to lift     dietary restrictions near the beginning of treatment because patients may find the diet     "unpalatable" --  flavor could also be added to food to heighten its taste . 

Similarly, researchers at various hospitals and science centers in France published a study in The     Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging (2011) that included adding artificial coffee flavors     with high-protein supplements to the food of hospitalized elderly patients.  The study     concludes that "The use of supplements to increase sensory pleasure can be one feasible     way to increase energy intake in hospitalized elderly patients with an infectious   disease." 

7.    Depression.  In 2008, BBC Health reported that "Depression affects one in five people at some point in their lives," and lists "loss of appetite" as one of the symptoms.   While everyone gets "low at times," depression is diagnosed as when these low feelings "don't go away quickly or become so bad they interfere with everyday life."  Other symptoms include losing interest in activities that were previously enjoyed, and inability to make daily decisions.

However, the BBC reminds its readers that "depression isn't an absolute," but rather     progresses from feeling blue to a clinical disease.  In whichever stage of this     "progression" that you may find yourself, you have options.  There are several types of     antidepressant medications, as well as "talking treatments," such as counseling, cognitive     therapy, and self-help group support.
8.    Cat Scratch Disease.  Cat Scratch Disease is what it sounds like: a bacterial infection that is transmitted by scratches and bites from cats, or any other exposure of broken skin to cat saliva.  Two or three weeks after exposure to infected saliva, human lymph nodes near the affected area swell - sometimes this swelling forms a "fistula" (tunnel) through the skin and drains away.   In addition to loss of appetite, symptoms include a bump or blister near the site of infection, fatigue, and headaches.

In 2001 the British Journal of Biomedical Science reported that most cases of Cat Scratch     Disease "resolve spontaneously and do not require antibiotic treatment."  In the rare     severe     case, however, drugs such as "trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole, ciprofloxacin or     azithromycin , [or] gentamicin" can be prescribed. 

9.    Mono (The Kissing Disease).  Even before taking precautions against sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy, young lovers need to worry about Mononucleosis, a viral infection spread by saliva most common in people ages 15 to 17.  Also known as "The Kissing Disease," Mono causes fever, sore throat and swollen lymph glands.   While symptoms generally begin with fatigue, this fatigue is quickly followed by loss of appetite, muscle aches, and fever.   Generally symptoms reduce after a month, though fatigue may last for up to three months.

In 2010 the U.S. National Library of Medicine published that treatment for Mono      includes drinking plenty of fluids, resting, and taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen for     pain and fever.  If the above symptoms continue for more than 10 days, contact your     physician for diagnosis. 

10.    Yellow Fever

In 2001, Thomas Monath with the Harvard School of Public Health published that before the development of a vaccine, yellow fever was "one of the most feared and lethal diseases."  Despite the vaccine, however, the disease still "affects as many as 200,000 personal annually in tropical regions of African and South America, and poses a significant hazard to unvaccinated travelers to these areas."  

Dr. Monath explains that yellow fever is "transmitted in a cycle involving monkeys and mosquitoes, but human beings can also serve as the viraemic host for mosquito infection" - furthermore, higher densities of urban mosquitoes and increased air travel heightens the risk of spread to other parts of the world.

    Loss of appetite is one of the first symptoms of  yellow fever, arising within three to six     days after infection along with headache, vomiting and jaundice.  These symptoms are     often followed by a remission (a seeming relief of symptoms) which might be the end for     some victims - but others may face "intoxication stage" twenty four hours later, in     which dysfunction of several organs occurs.

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