Sudden Loss of Appetite

Published: October 11, 2022
Dear TeenHealth FX,
hey TFX, recently, i've had a very sudden loss of appetite: Before, i would pretty much be hungry at the normal times (morning, lunchtime, dinnertime). I'd be very hungry, so eat a decent amount of food (but nothing extra for a teenager) and sometimes i was still hungry after. Now, i'm not hungry anymore, like hardly ever. I eat because i know i should, and because i enjoy it, but not because i'm hungry. I eat about half of what i used to eat and i feel full after every meal. And it was not a gradual change either, it was over the span of like 2 weeks. I dont think it's an eating disorder, i dont keep myself from eating and dont feel insecure about my body. The only reaon I can think of is that i have recently experienced way less stress than before. Could that be an explenation? Should I be worried?
Signed: Sudden Loss of Appetite

Dear Sudden Loss of Appetite,

There can be many causes for a loss of appetite. For instance, stress which effects many of us in different ways can make some people have more of an appetite and others to have less of one.

Sometimes the things going on emotionally or mentally will show up physically: like feeling hungry or not feeling very hungry, tired and many other things; as you know, eating and drinking water are extremely important for us all. It is important to always speak with a trusted parent, guardian, or doctor when you have questions about your body and health; that includes both your physical health and your mental health.

According to WebMD, “Anxiety triggers emotional and psychological changes in your body to help you deal with the pressure. These changes often affect the stomach and digestive tract and can make you lose your appetite. If stress is the reason, your hunger usually returns once you're feeling more relaxed.” The Effect of Serious Health Conditions on Appetite (

Coping skills are a helpful way to relieve some stress and anxieties we may be feeling. Some healthy coping skills are deep breathing to self soothe, calming activities like listening to music or drawing to help distract you from what is stressful, dancing or yoga, squeezing stress balls, or doing things that you enjoy can help to relieve some of that stress you feel.

Here at TeenHealth FX we recommend speaking with your doctor when you have concerns about your body and mind.

If you need help finding a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist.

Signed: TeenHealth FX