Factors that may cause decreased appetite.
Emotional factors such as depression or anger.
Various diseases such as anemia, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD), etc.
Loss of taste buds.
Difficulty holding utensils.
Treatment such as radiation, chemotherapy, medication, etc.
Measures to decrease anorexia.
Eat small, frequent meals.
Serve foods with garnishes to make them more attractive.
Avoid empty calories.
Allow sufficient time for meals, and eat slowly.
Eat high-calorie, hidden-calorie, and calorie-dense foods. (Provide "Increase Calories" handout.)
Include nutritional supplements such as Ensure, Sustacal, etc.
Eat foods that leave the stomach quickly (carbohydrates leave faster than proteins, and proteins leave faster than fats).
Plan a rest period before meals to prevent fatigue.
Plan easily prepared foods, or consider having meals prepared if exhaustion is a problem.
Take pain medication one-half hour before the meal if pain is a problem.
Adding flavoring or spices if lack of taste is a problem (lemon juice, mint, cloves, basil, cinnamon, bacon bits, etc.).
Encourage socialization and pleasant conversation at mealtime.
Restrict liquids at mealtime to avoid overdistention of abdomen.
Possible complications of anorexia/decreased appetite.