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Lack of appetite, nausea (no vomitng)
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Lack of appetite, nausea (no vomitng)

Hi, I am a 20 year old male.  One day I noticed my appetite was off, which is strange for me.  I shook it off as nothing.  Over the next few days the lack of appetite grew along with slight to moderate nausea without vomiting, usually present more in the morning hours or after waking up.  Sometimes at night after being awake for a period of time I notice the symptoms lessen and sometimes I regain my appetite and feel ok, only to have no appetite and the slight to moderate nausea in the morning.  I considered the possibility that I might have hepatitis infection or some other kind of liver infection.  I am becoming fatigued a bit from lack of food, and it's been almost a week since I first noticed my lack of appetite.  What is wrong and how long will this last?
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Hello - thanks for asking your question.

There are many causes for a lack of appetite.  Here is a quick list:
- Emotional upset, nervousness, loneliness, boredom, tension, anxiety, bereavement, and depression
- Anorexia nervosa
- Acute and chronic infections
- Cancer
- Hyperthyroidism
- Medications and street drugs
- Chemotherapeutic agents
- Amphetamines
- Sympathomimetics including ephedrine
- Antibiotics
- Cough and cold preparations
- Codeine
- Morphine
- Demerol
- Digitalis

Without seeing you it is impossible to be more specific.  I would suggest a visit to your personal physician for a medication review and basic blood work, including an electrolyte panel, complete blood count, thyroid tests, and liver function tests.  Further tests should be guided by these results.  

As for how long it lasts - it depends on the cause.  It may range from a temporary symptom if it is caused by a virus (i.e. gastroenteritis) to longer if something more serious is found.  

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
1 Comment
there's no way to diagnose precisely over the internet. Lack of appetite could be many things, including a non-specific virus, hepatitis, mononucleosis, or other stomach problems. Getting some blood tests would narrow it down. There's no way to give a meaningful answer without having a face to face doctor visit and some lab work.
A related discussion, No Appetite was started.
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