Cancer patients are overhydrated


Your lifestyle, certain medications, and illnesses can suppress your appetite and lead to unintended weight loss that puts your health at risk. If you're too thin and have a body mass index less than 18.5, it can affect your immunity, energy, hormonal function, and bone health. When you eat more you will regain a healthy weight, but after just a few bites you will feel full. Talk to your doctor about your poor appetite and they may prescribe one of the approved medical pills for appetite stimulation. Only resort to pills if you've tried to stimulate your appetite, and only with the guidance of your doctor.

Taking tablets stimulates the appetite. Credit: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Blend Images / Getty Images

Prescribed appetite stimulants

The US Food and Drug Administration has officially approved only three pills for appetite stimulation. Megastrol is a corticosteroid that is usually prescribed to people in the later stages of cancer treatment. Oxandrolone is an anabolic steroid that helps people gain weight after trauma, surgery, or chronic illness. Dronabinol is a version of Cannibis sativa L., or marijuana, and is made in a laboratory. Smoked Cannibas Sativa stimulates the cravings for food and increases the enjoyment of food. The appetizing pill does not have any of the hallucinogenic properties or other substances found in smoked marijuana.

All of these pills have potentially negative side effects. So, discuss with your doctor whether these pills are right for your situation.

Zinc therapy for your appetite

Zinc deficiency can suppress your appetite and make foods appear unsavory. Talk to your doctor if you suspect that you are not getting enough of this essential mineral. Zinc is found in a wide variety of foods such as oysters, red meat, cheese, shellfish, legumes, whole grains, tahini, and sunflower seeds. A study published in a 2011 edition of Recent Food, Nutrition, and Agriculture Patents found that zinc supplementation increased appetite in zinc-deficient rats and showed promise for use in humans. More research is needed to understand how well it works in humans.

Take a look at your current medication

Instead of adding a pill, think about what pills you are currently taking and how they can affect your appetite. Certain antibiotics can upset your taste buds and slow your digestion, making you less hungry. Sometimes cancer patients find that chemotherapy drugs can cause nausea and loss of appetite. Heart medications and diuretics can also affect your appetite. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives to any medication you are currently taking. Never stop taking any medication without your doctor's approval.

Lifestyle adjustments that can help poor appetite

A sedentary lifestyle can cause poor appetite. So get up and exercise more if you can. A brisk walk or other moderate-intensity cardiovascular activity - even for 20 minutes - can make you feel hungrier.

Make dining an event to enjoy with family and friends rather than a task to be done by yourself. Experiment with new flavors - add spices, herbs, and citrus fruits to make the food more delicious. Stay hydrated throughout the day as dehydration can sometimes decrease your appetite.