Reduced appetite, or reduced willingness to eat, can stem from numerous conditions. While temporary appetite reduction is generally not cause for alarm, serious or long-term symptoms may indicate a medical condition. Common causes, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, include emotional upset, liver or kidney disease, cancer, advanced-stage anorexia, pregnancy and certain medications. In order to preserve or improve your wellness, particularly when reduced appetite keeps you from eating properly, effective remedies are important.
Create a Pleasant Eating Atmosphere
A pleasant eating atmosphere may help reduce emotional stress and make food and eating more appealing when your appetite is reduced. If an illness or treatment, such as cancer treatment, has inhibited your appetite, the Mayo Clinic recommends enhancing your dining atmosphere by using candles, soothing music or pleasurable place-settings. Using a comfortable chair or seat cushion and surrounding yourself with colors you enjoy or find soothing may also help. Do your best to eliminate exterior noise and distractions, such as your cell phone or television. Serving food on decorative dishes rather than paper, plastic or the food packaging or containers can also enhance your dining experience.
Oregano oil is an essential oil used in aromatherapy for improved immune system function and reduced asthma and nasal congestion symptoms. According to "Aromatherapy: Essential Oils for Vibrant Health and Beauty," by Roberta Wilson, oregano oil can also help relax tension in the stomach and stimulate your appetite. Oregano oil can be diluted with water, then massaged into your skin or used as a hot steam. You can also add a few drops of oregano oil to clay face masks or body lotion, which can then be applied to your skin. For best results, seek guidance from a qualified aromatherapy specialist.
Regular physical exercise can also help restore your appetite. Cardiovascular forms of exercise, such as walking, jogging, biking or swimming, are ideal because they increase blood circulation and stimulate your metabolism to use, and your body to replenish, calories. Since exercise may not be safe or appropriate if you are underweight or have certain medical conditions, the Mayo Clinic recommends discussing exercise with your doctor before altering your activity level.
Limit Fluid During Meals
Fluids can fill you up during meals and keep you from consuming appropriate amounts of food. For this reason, the Mayo Clinic suggests drinking water between meals rather than during and stopping fluid intake at least 30 minutes before your meals. Limit low-calorie fluid-containing foods, such as soup broth, since they, too, may satiate you before you've consumed sufficient nutrients and calories. Fluids can be reintroduced once your appetite is replenished.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Decreased Appetite Causes and Suggestions
- Mayo Clinic: Improving Appetite During Cancer Treatment
- "Aromatherapy: Essential Oils for Vibrant Health and Beauty"; Roberta Wilson; 2002