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Anorexia (symptom)

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Title: Anorexia (symptom)  
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Subject: Orexigenic, Nutritional neuroscience, Chronic mountain sickness, Yellow fever, Mastoiditis
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Anorexia (symptom)

ICD-10 R63.0
ICD-9 783.0
MeSH D000855

Anorexia (deriving from the Greek "α(ν)-" (a(n)-, a prefix that denotes absence) + "όρεξη" (orexe) = appetite) is the decreased sensation of appetite. While the term in non-scientific publications is often used interchangeably with anorexia nervosa, many possible causes exist for a decreased appetite, some of which may be harmless, while others indicate a serious clinical condition or pose a significant risk.

For example, anorexia of infection is part of the eicosanoids in the endothelial cells of the brain vasculature. Ultimately the control of appetite by this mechanism is thought to be mediated by the same factors normally controlling appetite, such as neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, histamine, norepinephrine, corticotropin releasing factor, neuropeptide Y, and α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone).[1]


Clinically important causes



  • During the post-operative recovery period for a tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy, it is common for adult patients to experience a lack of appetite until their throat significantly heals (usually between 10–14 days).[4]
  • Altitude sickness
  • Significant emotional pain caused by an event (rather than a mental disorder) can cause an individual to temporarily lose all interest in food
  • Physical exercise


  1. ^ Langhans W (October 2000). "Anorexia of infection: current prospects". Nutrition 16 (10): 996–1005.  
  2. ^ Exton, M. S. (1997). "Infection-Induced Anorexia: Active Host Defence Strategy". Appetite 29 (3): 369–383.  
  3. ^ Murray, M. J.; Murray, A. B. (1979). "Anorexia of infection as a mechanism of host defense". The American journal of clinical nutrition 32 (3): 593–596.  
  4. ^ Home Care After Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy
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