Changes in your appetite: When to see a doctor

By: Jun 11, 2014
Changes in your appetite: When to see a doctor

Here are five changes in your diet that should never be ignored.

Noticed your appetite has either increased or decreased? If so, you need to be informed so that you know when to seek medical attention. Here are five changes in your diet that should never be ignored.

1. Decreased Appetite and Extreme Fatigue
When you experience extreme tiredness or fatigue accompanied by decreased appetite, hair loss, or a poor tolerance to cold you should see your doctor to have your thyroid checked. Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid is a condition that requires medical attention. Your doctor will issue a blood test and check your lab work to see how well your thyroid is functioning. In some cases, thyroid treatment and hormone replacement medication may be required. 

2. Decreased Appetite Accompanied with Change in Bowel Movement
If you haven’t felt like eating in a prolonged period of time and other symptoms accompanying the decreased appetitive include nausea, blood in stools, or severe changes in bowel habits there is a possibility of cancer. Your doctor must be kept informed of your condition and symptoms. If you experience any of the above, see your doctor and undergo the diagnostic tests that need to be done. 

3. Increased Appetite and Insomnia
If you experience an increase in appetite accompanied with excessive thirst and frequent bowel movements, hair loss, or increased perspiration, you should see your doctor right away. The possible cause for these changes is hyperthyroidism or other hormone problems associated with an imbalance. When the thyroid is overactive, your doctor can prescribe medication to cause a balance and slow the thyroid down. Diagnostic tests are required for your doctor to assess the problems and see if there are issues associated with your thyroid and hormone production. 

4. Increased Appetite and Poor Healing from Wounds
An increase in appetite accompanied by poor wound healing, frequent urination, excessive thirst, and fatigue may be a sing of diabetes. If you experience any of the above symptoms, it is important to see your doctor and undergo the proper tests. Your doctor will order diagnostic tests and measure blood sugar. Early onset diabetes may be treated with modifications to your lifestyle, but if you do not seek medical attention the problem could increase. It is critical to see your doctor right away if you suspect you may have diabetes or early onset diabetes. 

5. Increased or Decreased Appetite with New Medication
Have you noticed an increase or decrease in your appetite after starting a new medication? If so, you may need to speak with your doctor to see if a different medication is available. Certain side effects of medications such as corticosteroids, allergy pills, and antidepressants may arise that affect appetite. If this is the case, seek medical attention and discuss alternatives. Some side effects subside after a few days or a few weeks, but if the symptoms do not decrease, it is important to inform your doctor.