Recent Loss Of Appetite

What Causes Loss Of Appetite?

Loss of appetite can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'troubling' to 'very serious'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose loss of appetite, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "loss of appetite" as a symptom.  Here are two possibilities:
  • Infectious Mononucleosis
  • West Nile Virus

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
sensitivity to bright light
multiple swollen axillary nodes
painful axillary nodes
enlarged liver
recent onset nausea
weak appetite
severe muscle weakness
multiple painful cervical nodes
swollen inguinal nodes
resolved atypical recent headaches
frequent confusion/disorientation
frequent unexplained nausea
... and more than 10 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of loss of appetite:
Cause Probability Status
West Nile Virus 92% Confirm
Infectious Mononucleosis 70% Possible
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate eating-related issues, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Have you lost your appetite suddenly within the past 4 weeks?
Possible responses:
→ I lost it more than 4 weeks ago / don't know
→ No, my appetite is fine
→ Yes, but it has now returned
→ Yes, 2-4 weeks ago and it has not returned
→ Yes, under 2 weeks ago and it has not returned
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate no loss of appetite, recent loss/regaining of appetite or recent loss of appetite, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
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