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What causes lack of appetite? - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 25-Apr-2014
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Eating Disorders
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2408 Questions
User:On Phil's Recent Fat & Furious show, he only lightly touched on the wife's opposite issues with being able to eat at all. I was disappointed because I have always had those same issues. I find it very difficult to eat enough calories or the right kinds of food because I am so finicky. It was intimated that the problem was psychological involving control issues, which would also fit my situation. There were no solutions or direction provided on the show. I am currently in therapy for anxiety issues. How do I approach my eating problems? I have to force myself to eat, which increases my anxiety, and I just don't know what to do. Please help me.
Let me read your query for few minutes to be able to have a good discussion here.
Doctor:I am sorry, I do not have the knowledge of the show you are talking about, but I hope I can help you
User:Please try
Doctor:Okay, Can you please tell me what type of thoughts come to you when are eating ?
User:That I know I have to eat but I don't want anything. I'm not physically hungry and have brought to tears just trying to decide what to eat.
Doctor:how about your weight and height?
User:5'8", range 115 to 120 lbs
Doctor:You are normal in weight for your height
User:My dr says I'm at the low end...
Doctor:Yes, you are at the low end
Doctor:but not out of the normal range
Doctor:so, not stressing about this may well add some pounds
User:I have gone for 2 or 3 days without eating anything at all. I drink Ensure Plus, but just can't bring myself to eat at all.
Doctor:Oh, okay
Doctor:It is basically your indecision about what to eat right?
User:No, it's that nothing appeals to me at all, not even sweets.
Doctor:why do you think that is?
User:I have no idea.
Doctor:Do you feel hungry?
User:Not usually, sometimes just empty when it's been a day or more since I ate anything.
Doctor:Now I am getting a better picture
User:When I do eat, it's small portions, half what restaurants generally serve.
Doctor:the condition you are suffering from is called food apathy
User:What is food apathy?
Doctor:No food appeals to you
Doctor:that is food apathy
User:...and what can I do about it?
Doctor:You might need to consult a psychiatrist
Doctor:You may need both a behavioral cognitive therapy as well as medications
User:I'm seeing a psychologist. What should I tell him?
User:What is behavioral cognitive therapy?
Doctor:You should probably explain to him exactly how you feel when a plate of food is in front of you
Doctor:Behavioral cognitive therapy is nothing but counseling
Doctor:or just therapy
Doctor:A better option than a psychologist will be to talk to a psychiatrist
Doctor:a psychiatrist would be better able to diagnose your condition and treat you effectively
Doctor:is there anything else you would like to ask me?
User:I see the psychiatrist every month or so to adjective my medications and he thinks I'm underweight. I will ask for an additional appointment to discuss this with him. I really would like to enjoy eating like other people do. Is that possible?
Doctor:Yes, that is quite possible
Doctor:talk to your psychiatrist
Doctor:he should be able to help you out
User:Thank you very much for listening & for your advice. You've been helpful.
Doctor:You are most welcome
Doctor:I hope you will be fine soon
Doctor:take care
Doctor:and have a great evening ahead
User:Thank you. You take care too.
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