9 Reasons Behind You Are Not Hungry

Have you ever thought to yourself without consuming a single meal all day that why am I never hungry? Meals can be energizing. People feel motivated by constantly thinking about the upcoming dinner menu on the table. However, some days, you can’t bring yourself to chow down even your favorite meal.

Why is it that some days you think you could eat more while other days you can’t? Do you ever wonder why am I never hungry and feel sick when I eat? Is a loss of appetite an indication that something else is wrong with your body? Is this normal? When you are bothered and thinking, why am I never hungry, should I worry about it?

When people are stressed, they could lose their appetite. People experiencing recurring or prolonged stress may experience a loss of appetite.

Loss of appetite is not usually something to panic about. What are the potential causes of a person’s inability to feel hungry, also the therapeutic approaches? How can I enhance my appetite?

A person’s appetite is influenced by various factors, including age, current medications, and prevailing mental or physical health situations. A stomach bug, for example, is a temporary reason. On the other hand, not being hungry may indicate a more chronic problem.

Why Am I Never Hungry?

Hunger is your body’s indicator that it requires energy. Your brain and digestive tract work together to provide you with that sensation. If you do not even feel like eating, several factors, such as certain medications, emotions, and health problems, could be the root cause.

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Appetite pertains to how much or how frequently a person desires to eat. It is not always constant with the quantity of food or nutrients required by a person. Depending on the underlying cause, people can increase their appetite by making dietary or lifestyle changes.

There is no shortage of reasons why you are not feeling hungry. However, I have rounded up the nine most common ones.

Loss of Appetite

You ask yourself why am I never hungry, and what do I call this feeling? You are probably suffering from what we call, lack of appetite.

This sensation can happen for a variety of causes. Also, the symptoms may vary depending on the etiology. A lack of appetite can manifest as:

  • Having no desire to eat
  • Never feeling hungry disorder
  • Never hungry and feel sick when I eat
  • Bloating or physical discomfort, other manifestations that make eating unpleasant.

When someone’s appetite is suppressed and consumes less food, they may undergo unintentional weight loss, fatigue, or dietary deficiencies.

loss-of-appetite

Stress and Depression

Why am I never hungry when I am sad or stressed? When people are stressed, they could lose their appetite. People experiencing recurring or prolonged stress may experience a loss of appetite.

Nevertheless, according to a 2018 study, chronic stress is more often linked with overeating than underrating, especially when high-calorie foods are easily accessible. Grieving, depression and other negative feelings can impact and reduce appetite. This effect can also be caused by some mental health problems, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders (e.g., anorexia and bulimia)
  • Disorder in substance use

Medications

A wide range of prescription drugs can impact a person’s appetite. They may suppress hunger, alter a people’s sense of taste or smell, or end up causing nausea. Any one of these adverse effects may decrease a person’s desire to eat.

Among the drugs and medical interventions that may have these effects are:

Pregnancy

Pregnancy can also trigger a loss of appetite due to hormonal fluctuations, morning sickness, or heaviness in the belly. Why am I never hungry and constantly tired when you begin to think? One reason could be pregnancy.

pregnancy
It’s also usual for your appetite to transform during pregnancy, mainly because your body undergoes many modifications.

Patients suffering from Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) have a reduced appetite and paradoxically elevated ghrelin hormone activity than healthy controls.

If you lose your appetite, you may encounter an overall disinterest in all foods or a lack of desire to eat. Bear in mind that appetite loss is not similar to an aversion to a few foods. Aversion is usual during pregnancy.

Stomach Problems

There are many factors associated with stomach problems or gastrointestinal tract that could be the reason for loss of appetite. Some are severe conditions, and others are not. Possible causes include:

  • Problems with the mouth and teeth. Any situation which makes it difficult to chew food, swallow it, or taste it might interfere with appetite. For example, toothache, poorly-fitting dentures, dental abscesses, a dry mouth, jaw dysfunction, or loss of taste.
  • Ingestion of acidic reflux.
  • Conditions affecting the guts, including coeliac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, appendicitis, and diverticulitis.
  • Gallstones can cause severe pain, particularly after eating fatty foods.
  • Constipation

Aging

Your appetite can also vary and change as you age. A decreased appetite is usually common among older adults, particularly women who live in a nursing home or stay in the hospital.

Aging can impact appetite in various ways, such as:

  • Physiological or bodily changes
  • Psychosocial reasons
  • Medicinal factors

Anemia

Anemia is a disorder in which there is a lack of healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen to all the tissues in the body. If someone is diagnosed with anemia, the blood test report will show a low hemoglobin level.

Low HB levels induce tiredness and weakness in the body. Anemia is of different types, and each one is associated with a different cause.

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is associated with decreased appetite. The ghrelin hormone is one of the primary regulators of appetite. Patients suffering from Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) have a reduced appetite and paradoxically elevated ghrelin hormone activity than healthy controls.

Treating Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) enhances appetite and lowers ghrelin levels.

Diabetes

Many diabetic patients also suffer from loss of appetite. The two complications of diabetes can lead to loss of appetite: diabetic ketoacidosis and gastroparesis.

Gastroparesis is one of the leading causes of diabetes, and it is a condition due to which food moves slowly through the gastrointestinal tract. High blood sugar could be the cause of nerve damage, specifically the nerves which are involved in the process of digestion.

Because of such a situation, the digestive muscles encounter difficulty moving the food from the stomach to the small intestine. The condition results in slow digestion and causes a severe reduction in hunger. Gastroparesis also causes difficulty in controlling glucose levels properly.

It is important to figure out the root cause for loss of appetite. If not taken seriously, loss of appetite can lead to severe complications. A prolonged reduction in hunger can cause malnutrition or weight loss.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a thyroid disease that affects people globally. Hypothyroidism affects women more than men. The thyroid gland is present at the level of the neck and secretes hormones into the blood, then carried into the body’s tissues.

Hypothyroidism is a disorder due to which a person’s thyroid becomes under-functioning. Certain body functions slow down when you have hypothyroidism and lead to dry skin, fatigue, or memory issues. A blood test usually detects hypothyroidism.

You may encounter a variety of symptoms, some resembling other health issues. Some signs you might be aware of and some you may not notice at all.

The most common and noticeable symptoms may include:

  • Loss of energy
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

When to See a Doctor?

It is important to figure out the root cause for loss of appetite. If not taken seriously, loss of appetite can lead to severe complications. A prolonged reduction in hunger can cause malnutrition or weight loss. It is essential for people to evaluate the reason for their loss of appetite, as leaving it untreated can be severe.

People can consult a doctor if they experience losing appetite for a prolonged period. If they observe any unusual or quick loss in weight, they should also immediately consult a specialist.

A person should consult with an expert if they notice any other symptoms alongside a loss of appetite, such as:

  • a rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • coughing
  • stomach pain
  • fever
  • shortness of breath

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is it called when you are never hungry?

Never feeling hungry can be due to a decrease in hunger level. There are many factors associated with loss of appetite. Among the multiple factors that can cause reduced hunger, a few of the most common ones are related to mental health conditions like stress, depression, or anxiety. Other physiological causes include several diseases like chronic pain, illness, pregnancy, etc.

Is it normal to forget to eat?

It depends upon the reason behind why you forget to eat. Sometimes due to a busy schedule, people might forget to eat at lunchtime that’s normal. In another case, having a considerable lunch could also be why one might not sit down for the next meal.

If the reasons are pretty casual, there is nothing to worry about if you forget to eat. But, not eating due to loss of appetite or decreased hunger could be an alarming sign. If the condition gets prolonged, you should evaluate the situation or seek medical advice accordingly.

Why am I never hungry when I wake up?

Overnight, the levels of certain hormones fluctuate. The fluctuation in the ranks of hormones can cause the feeling of less hunger or no hunger at all. The hormones include ghrelin, adrenaline, and leptin. If this happens occasionally, then there is nothing to worry about. But, in case the condition prolongs, you should consult with an expert and get proper medical advice.

Why am I never hungry on my period?

Feeling no hunger during periods is due to the hormonal discharge in the body. A hormone called estrogen is associated with loss of appetite. The secretion of estrogen causes decreased hunger. Increased levels of estrogen can make you feel no hunger at all.

Why am I never hungry after working out?

Although it seems apparent that you must feel hungry fairly shortly after working out, research says that losing your eagerness to eat right after a workout is not that uncommon. Workout can make you senselessly famished. In a recent study amidst depleting the body’s energy stores, exercise generally makes you feel less hungry.

Takeaway

There are various potential causes of loss of appetite; you may conclude that your lack of appetite is not a reason for concern. If you are in a positive mood, feeling strong, and you’ve ruled out leading causes like a chronic illness. In that case, your feelings are perfectly normal.

On the other hand, a lack of appetite is not always an indication that a person has enough food and does not require more. Even if you don’t feel hungry, it’s better to eat to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need to become the strongest possible.

Pregnant women, for instance, would still need to make a conscious effort to get the nutrients their bodies and babies require. If your feelings persist and are still wondering, why am I seldom hungry? It is best to consult your physician for further and best advice possible.

Dr. Omair Ansar, MBBS, MSc

Dr. Omair Ansar, MBBS, MSc

Dr. Omair is a skilled medical doctor with a degree in Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from Baqai Medical University. In 2018, he completed a Master of Science degree in Healthcare Management with distinction from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK. With 9 years of clinical and non-clinical experience, Dr. Omair has gained hands-on experience and extensive knowledge in the medical field. He is currently working in a multinational healthcare organization in Saudi Arabia where his primary responsibility is to train doctors, pharmacists, and nurses about the most updated clinical guidelines as well as conduct case discussions with various specialties to ensure patient safety and satisfaction. Dr. Omair is also an exceptional medical reviewer with expertise in the field of healthcare, pharmaceutical, food and nutrition as well as medical insurance. He has years of experience in writing and reviewing medical articles.

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