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Prolonged loss of appetite, help with diagnosis / treatment ideas?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 28, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Hi Paleo People,

I'm after some help working out why I've got very poor appetite. Going through a lot of life changes recently, but would have expected them to cause an increase in my appetite. Actually my appetite is lower than usual (it's usually quite low anyway), and this is slowing me down and making me feel unwell.

Useful info:

  • Diet is mostly vegetables, lots of eggs, not much meat. Typical breakfast 2-3 eggs maybe with oatmeal, typical afternoon/evening meal roast vegetables.
  • Appetite has been low for a long time, typically eating 2 meals a day
  • Find it very hard eating in the morning. Usually have 'breakfast' after I've been up for at least 3,4 or 5 hours.
  • Life changes are leaving my job (by choice). Job was creating stress but I'm now in a low-stress (but quite high excitement) kind of mode of life. Feel like possibly a stress come-down.
  • Exercise over past few months has been poor. Have started doing light exercise recently (walks, short bike rides), but it hasn't improved appetite yet.
  • Probably sleeping too much and at irregular times.
  • Can recognised when I'm depressed, and I'm not right now. Might be anxious about some stuff relating to new work I'm transitioning into although there are no 'direct' stressors.
  • Used to love eggs and eat a lot, but recently my body doesn't feel like eggs at all.
  • Don't eat very much meat at all.

Thanks for any thoughts on anything - diet, lifestyle, should I get bloodwork, etc. etc.

James

Medium avatar

(138)

on June 10, 2014
at 03:30 PM

You kinda missed the point i think, diet & exercise aside fasting is the most beneficial thing I've ever done for my health, even with all the IF-ing that goes on I think prolonged fasting is probably the most underrated health practice in the ancestral health movement. In my opinion the worst Neolithic agent isn't refined sugar or grains or omega 6 oils, it's the constant availability of food whenever we wish. IF can help with that but nothing beats a 3+ day full on fast.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 10, 2014
at 03:10 PM

Loss of appetite in animals typically leads to death in short order, doesn't sound like something we should emulate!

Medium avatar

(138)

on June 10, 2014
at 02:03 PM

I'd also recommend trying just the eggs cooked in fat like coconut oil/olive oil/clarified butter for breakfast if you must eat breakfast, maybe the oatmeal/high carb part is causing your unstable energy. Honestly though, if you're not hungry for breakfast then skip it, eat when you're hungry and not before.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on June 06, 2014
at 03:28 PM

No, I don't, I stopped taking supplements. Only whole foods and exercise for me for some time now.

Ba1c998b18470309687f07606767668a

(161)

on March 29, 2013
at 01:05 PM

From the post: 'and this is slowing me down and making me feel unwell'. General lethargy for a lot of the day, foggy-minded for lots of the day, definitely lost muscle. Not so bothered about stuffing my face :) Am in my mid-thirties though, so useful to know it could just be natural metabolism slow down.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 28, 2013
at 06:12 PM

I got you man, I'll resend it tonight.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on March 28, 2013
at 05:12 PM

............

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 28, 2013
at 03:29 PM

I just sent you an email explaining.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:32 PM

I'll send you an email in a few and let you know what's up.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:23 PM

Stephen. Kind of unrelated and it's maybe too soon to tell, but I'm curious about your taurine experiment. Do you think it's aiding digestion of fats? It's one helluva good hack if it does.

  • Ba1c998b18470309687f07606767668a

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6 Answers

2
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:15 PM

I'd probably lose my appetite too if my meals were that bland. Don't be afraid to step a little out of the dogma and find what works for you. Make food you like and that tastes good and your appetite should come back. You don't want to use paleo as an excuse to develop an eating disorder after all.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 28, 2013
at 06:12 PM

I got you man, I'll resend it tonight.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on March 28, 2013
at 05:12 PM

............

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 28, 2013
at 03:29 PM

I just sent you an email explaining.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:32 PM

I'll send you an email in a few and let you know what's up.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:23 PM

Stephen. Kind of unrelated and it's maybe too soon to tell, but I'm curious about your taurine experiment. Do you think it's aiding digestion of fats? It's one helluva good hack if it does.

1
B72e976b2df9e7f01315830062a5209c

(1365)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:43 PM

I would add some grass-fed red meat, some sweet potatoes, and eliminate the oatmeal. If you don't improve immediately, I would recommend getting tested for both nutritional and hormonal deficiencies.

0
Medium avatar

on June 10, 2014
at 01:54 PM

Your loss of appetite could be related to an underlying illness, when animals get sick they usually instinctively fast until they feel better, most humans tend to not do this because they believe they should be eating X amount of food X amount of times per day and some even force themselves to eat when they are sick and have no appetite totally ignoring their bodies signals.

It sounds crazy, you want to eat more and i'm suggesting that you could eat nothing for a while, but i'm also addressing the potential cause of your not eating much - your loss of appetite possibly being related to an illness that your body needs to fast/rest/recover from before it can resume eating normally.

I tend to eat one meal per day as i'm simply not hungry during the day and prefer the stable energy of not eating, i do just fine and by the time I come to my evening meal with the smell of cooking it etc... I LOVE eating it. It's worth nothing that I mainly burn fat for fuel, some people who eat higher carb may find it harder to fast in such an extreme one meal per day method, not everyone though, when I go higher carb I still do it comfortably.

As always, you know the spiel... 'consult a doctor first'

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 10, 2014
at 03:10 PM

Loss of appetite in animals typically leads to death in short order, doesn't sound like something we should emulate!

Medium avatar

(138)

on June 10, 2014
at 02:03 PM

I'd also recommend trying just the eggs cooked in fat like coconut oil/olive oil/clarified butter for breakfast if you must eat breakfast, maybe the oatmeal/high carb part is causing your unstable energy. Honestly though, if you're not hungry for breakfast then skip it, eat when you're hungry and not before.

0
Medium avatar

on June 10, 2014
at 12:17 PM

My dinners (3 a day) comprise of a palm size of leanish protein (about 3 – 4 oz max) 1/2 – 1 container of starch or products of the soil plateful of non starch veggies – mixed greens, stirfry and so forth. A bit included fat, however not normally much, in the same way as olive oil dressings. I was able to achieve a better appetite control

0
800e726cb5dff569fd8edf604c3e2793

on March 28, 2013
at 02:58 PM

Many people would pray for low appetite :-/ But that's not a real problem, so what is your real problem -- low energy levels? constant tiredness? are your muscles wasting away? do you miss the feeling of stuffing your face and then collapsing into a food coma?

If you just eat less food, what's wrong with that?

Note that at certain age it's normal for your metabolism to drop (typically early 30s) -- it's quite common for people to go through their 20s eating large amounts of everything and their weight not budging -- and then see their metabolism plummet so that the same amount of food they're used to now makes them fat. Maybe your body is smart and is trying to avoid the same fate?

Ba1c998b18470309687f07606767668a

(161)

on March 29, 2013
at 01:05 PM

From the post: 'and this is slowing me down and making me feel unwell'. General lethargy for a lot of the day, foggy-minded for lots of the day, definitely lost muscle. Not so bothered about stuffing my face :) Am in my mid-thirties though, so useful to know it could just be natural metabolism slow down.

0
048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

on March 28, 2013
at 02:52 PM

Heck, I'm jealous of you, I could eat everything you put in front of me at any time, hehe.

Seriously. You could try with cheese and fruit if you tolerate them well. They seem to be pretty appetite-enhancer foods. Cheese (cow's cheese specially) because of the A1 form of casein which has casomorphins, a substance that has been said that acts similar to morphine and creates addiction. Fructose also seems to stimulate appetite in the hypothalamus level in contrast to sucrose (found in more starchy vegetables and tubers).

Some people is avoiding these two for this very reasons but maybe you could find a therapeutic use for such properties.

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