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Loss of Appetite Due to Anxiety

by
author image Dana Severson
Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Dana Severson has been writing marketing materials for small-to-mid-sized businesses since 2005. Prior to this, Severson worked as a manager of business development for a marketing company, developing targeted marketing campaigns for Big G, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, among others.
Loss of Appetite Due to Anxiety
A young slim woman sits on the window ledge, looking sad. Photo Credit tatyana_tomsickova/iStock/Getty Images

Anxiety is often characterized as a feeling of nervousness, apprehension, worry or fear. It isn't uncommon to experience this sensation from time to time as a result of unfamiliar or uncomfortable situations and events. Most of the time, anxiety passes once the instigating factor is removed. However, the National Institutes of Health explains that some people continue to experience this worry or fear, and it even gets worse over time. This is often a sign of an anxiety disorder.

Symptoms

Besides the feeling of nervousness, worry or fear, an anxiety disorder can cause fatigue, irritability, restlessness and lack of concentration. It also manifests physical symptoms, such as sweating, nausea, diarrhea, trembling, shortness of breath and rapid heartbeats. It can even affect sleep cycles, causing insomnia, where you have a difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep.

Loss of Appetite

The loss of appetite that may accompany the feeling of anxiety isn't usually a result of the anxiety itself. It's actually a symptom of depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health and the Mayo Clinic, generalized anxiety disorders and panic disorders rarely occur alone. Many people also suffer from depression either as a result of or concurrent with an anxiety disorder.

Diagnosis

To ensure proper treatment and management of your condition, it's important to consult with a mental health professional. Anxiety comes in many different forms, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress, generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia and other similar conditions. Proper diagnosis inevitably helps treat the condition.

Treatment

Psychotherapy can help identify the root cause of the disorder as well as establish steps to change behavior and attitude. Negative thoughts and behaviors are redirected to positive ones, which allows for better coping skills. This form of therapy may also be accompanied by a prescription medication, like antidepressants, sedatives or antianxiety drugs. The combination of therapy and medication can often correct symptoms associated with either condition, including the loss of appetite.

Self-Care

Along with supervised care, you can also find some benefit in concentrating on your diet, according to the Mayo Clinic. Eating smaller meals a number of times throughout the day can help to stabilize blood sugar, and thereby ease the feeling of anxiety. It's also suggested that you eat plenty of complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, vegetables and legumes, while limiting your intake of sugar, processed grains, alcohol and caffeine. Even drinking plenty of water can help to stabilize your mood. That being said, these dietary changes can by no means replace medical treatment. They should only be used in conjunction with supervised care.

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