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Suffering from severe loss of appetite. All tests normal. Should I be worried?

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Pathologist and Microbiologist
Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 6996 Questions
I am 27 years old and I am suffering from severe loss of appetite for more than 6-7 months now. I eat very less, but that hasn't reduced my activity levels. I play outdoor sports everyday regularly. But even after playing games I dont get any appetitie. My eating habits are very bad and most of the times I feel I can manage well without food. I have done all the blood, thyroid, ESR tests recently and all seems to be ok. My BMI is 17. I wonder what could the reason be for this? Is this something which I really should worry about?
Wed, 30 Jan 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Shailja Puri 3 hours later

A low BMI (Body Mass Index) suggests that you are underweight.

Have you lost weight over last couple of months?
Is the loss of appetite associated with weight loss?
In addition, is there any associated fever, weakness, sputum production, etc?
If yes, then you need to be investigated. These findings suggest some chronic illness.
ESR is quite informative in such instances but you have mentioned that it is normal.
C-RP (C-reactive protein) levels must be done. An ultrasound abdomen& pelvis and X-ray chest should be added.

Let me know the answers to my queries so that I can help further.

Dr Shailja P Wahal

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suffering from severe loss of appetite. All tests normal. Should I be worried? 24 minutes later
Hello Doctor,

There has been no weight loss. I have been underweight all my life. I regularly check my weight and it is more or less constant. Infact over the last 8 months I have gained 2 kgs. So I dont think loss of weight is associated with weight loss. There is no fever, sputum production or weakness. As I mentioned, I play sports regularly and I am a pretty active person. Yes my ESR level is normal. I have checked it a month before.

Are you suggesting that I should go for the ultrasound and Xray?

Answered by Dr. Shailja Puri 9 minutes later

Thanks for the follow up.

You had been under weight all through your life and your concern now is just decrease in appetite. Since you are not having any other symptoms of chronic diseases, I don't think there is any need to get worried about the loss of appetite. You have already done the blood tests and those were normal.

Depression and Smoking is also known to decrease the appetite. If these factors are not present, then you need not worry. For a normal check up, you should visit your physician and see if any detectable causes are there. Ultrasound scanning and X-ray can help in ruling out any chronic infection such as tuberculosis. That can be done on the advise of your physician.

In case you have more queries, I will be glad to answer.


Dr Shailja P Wahal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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