Strong Or Weak Appetite

What Causes Weak Appetite?

Weak appetite can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'troubling' to 'generally fatal'.  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 weak 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 "weak appetite" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Cirrhosis Of The Liver
  • Pinworms
  • Kidney Disease
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Leukemia
  • Atrophic Gastritis
  • Nephrotic Syndrome

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:
atrophic gastritis
recent onset vomiting
painful inguinal nodes
edema of the feet
being medication sensitive
long-term hypertension
abdominal pain reduced by eating
mild meal-induced pain
diffuse bone pain
nails that are mostly white
confirmed liver cirrhosis
chronic nausea
... and more than 80 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of weak appetite:
Cause Probability Status
Pinworms 94% Confirm
Hyperparathyroidism 30% Unlikely
Cirrhosis Of The Liver 25% Unlikely
Leukemia 3% Ruled out
HIV/AIDS 2% Ruled out
Atrophic Gastritis 0% Ruled out
Kidney Disease 0% Ruled out
Nephrotic Syndrome 0% Ruled out
* 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.

In the Diet section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about strong or weak appetite:
How strong is your appetite (desire to eat) generally?
Possible responses:
→ Very weak - I eat infrequently and small amounts
→ Weak
→ Average / don't know
→ Strong
→ Very strong - I rarely miss an opportunity to eat
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate loss of appetite, weak appetite, normal appetite, strong appetite or very strong appetite, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Congestive Heart Failure

Accumulation of fluid (due to congestive heart failure) in the liver and intestines may cause nausea, abdominal pain, and decreased appetite.


While there is no direct link from dehydration to reduced appetite, water is vital for proper digestion.  Dehydration impairs the digestive process, food remains in the stomach longer, so we feel full longer and don't feel like eating again so soon.

Diabetes Type I

Intense hunger is a sign of Diabetes I.

Fluoride Toxicity

Loss of appetite is an early sign of fluorosis.


In more severe cases there may be loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, constipation, confusion or impaired thinking and memory, and increased thirst and urination.


Hunger is a symptom of hypoglycemia.

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

There are several mechanisms through which IBS can cause weak appetite:

  • Loss of appetite due to indigestion and subsequent acid reflux, which is common with IBS
  • Feeling overly full or bloated as a result of IBS
  • Feeling stressed or anxious because of IBS: the release of adrenaline puts the body into 'fight or flight' mode and redirects resources away from the digestive system
  • The abdominal pain that often results from IBS can cause loss of appetite
Kidney Disease

Loss of appetite is a possible symptom of kidney disease.


Loss of appetite and weight loss can occur with AML, CLL or CML.

Nephrotic Syndrome

As nephrotic syndrome progresses, appetite is greatly decreased.

Pinworm Infection

A heavy pinworm infection can cause loss of appetite.

... and also rule out issues such as:
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