Why Am I Never Hungry? (And Feel Sick When I Eat)

You are not hungry because you might be facing some health issues or physical issues. For example, stress, anxiety, pregnancy, and depression can be the health issues that lead to loss of appetite. On the other hand, weather changes, aging, or change in lifestyle can be the reason for your appetite loss as well.

Although it took me some reasonable time to realize, I noticed that my husband was always not hungry. Since we both worked, I could conclude he had eaten enough at work. But it happened that we got a vacation leave and we got to stay together more.

Every time food was on the table, he claimed he didn’t feel hungry. This reaction made me realize the weight loss wasn’t due to visit the gym but rather a lack of eating. After making it a point of concern, he also realized he never seemed to get hungry.

We visited our family doctor, and he was diagnosed with bowel inflammatory syndrome. Could you be going through the same too? If so, then let’s go through this article and learn why you’re never hungry.

What’s the science behind hunger?

A young woman is feeling rumbling from her stomach, signaling to her that she's hungry.

Hunger may be defined as that empty feeling in our stomach when the body needs food to re-energize. The hunger feeling causes an increase in appetite levels in us.

The factors that regulate how we feel hungry include:

  • A brain area called the hypothalamus that lets us know when we get hungry.
  • When our blood sugar levels decrease, hunger kicks into our bodies.
  • Emptiness in the stomach and intestines causes rambling to alert us that we need to eat.
  • Certain hunger hormones increase when the body needs food prompting us to go for a food search.

In some people, hunger may also be associated with:

  • Disorientation
  • High levels of irritability
  • Light-headed feeling
  • General body weakness

When all these processes work well yet, we find ourselves staying for long without food, and it becomes a matter of concern. So why don’t we feel hungry? Let’s have a good look at some of the reasons below.

What makes you not feel hungry?

The condition of not feeling hungry most of the time or whenever food gets ready will be called lack of appetite/appetite loss.

If we find that we have no desire for food, it could be a sign of a severe health condition, even for our favorite meal. So what health conditions may lead to low appetite levels?

Stress and Anxiety

A stressed-out young woman is sitting in the dark thinking and isn't feeling hungry at all.

As much as stress and Anxiety might cause some people to eat a lot, it may reduce appetite in others. Stress may lead to low appetite levels in the following three ways:

  • Firstly, stress causes the body to release an enzyme called epinephrine which, according to a Harvard article, causes temporary loss of appetite. The stress persistence later changes hormone levels making someone eat more.
  • Send, according to Dr. Susan, when we focus so much on our stress factors, we may think less of ourselves and end up not eating. This concentration contributes to general appetite loss as the body adjusts and starts burning out stored fat for energy.
  • Thirdly, it happens that if we don’t focus on anything else rather than our stressing issues, we don’t tune into our hunger cues. A Doctor explains this phenomenon in-depth in a post for the Cleveland Clinic.

The above situations may take place when we suffer stress and anxiety, causing the loss of appetite.

The weather

During summer, most of us will experience reduced appetite levels compared to when it’s cold. So if we find that we don’t feel hungry more often in warm or hot weather conditions, this might explain the phenomenon.

When it’s cold, we tend to feel hungrier and eat more. Hot environments will suppress our appetite, while cold climates boost our desire for food.

Depression

Depression causes many of its patients to experience loss of appetite for a long time. It happens when the brain region that controls the psychological body state gets inactive to some extent for people with depressive disorder.

A study on this depressive effect on appetite revealed that people in depression had their brains inactive in those areas compared to healthy individuals. Imaging was used in comparing the fit and the depressed individuals.

So, prolonged appetite loss may signify depression in some people.

Pregnancy

A pregnant woman in her third trimester is not having a normal appetite for food lately.

Most women may experience a loss of appetite in the first and third trimesters. In the first trimester, we may blame hormonal imbalance and nausea for decreased appetite levels.

In the third trimester, heartburn and stomach pressure by the baby may make a mother not realize her hunger levels, which leads to decreased appetite.

The above health factors contribute to significant causes in the decrease of appetite levels. However, once treated or the period causing a reduction in appetites like weather and pregnancy passes, appetite levels may resume.

Other health and physical causes of prolonged decrease in the need for food include:

  • Nutritional deficiency, especially zinc deficiency
  • Digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and inflammation in the bowel; the bowel inflammatory disease.
  • Most endocrine disorders lead to prolonged appetite loss. These disorders include Addison’s disease and Cushing’s syndrome.
  • Hypothyroidism disease
  • A chronic obstructive pulmonary condition
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis
  • Kidney and liver diseases
  • Certain types of cancer lead to extreme appetite loss. These cancers include stomach, colon, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers.
  • Aging
  • Medication

To get a diagnosis of any of the above health-related causes, we need to visit a doctor. After the cause has been determined, medications will help in treatment, and our appetite levels will increase.

The table below summarizes the physical and health triggers to loss in appetite

Health causes of appetite lossPhysical causes of appetite loss
DepressionWeather change
PregnancyAging
StressChange in lifestyle
Nutrition deficiency 
Digestive conditions 
Endocrine disorders 
Hypothyroidism 
Obstructive pulmonary diseases 
HIV 
Kidney 
Cancer 
Liver Disease 
Hepatitis 
Anxiety 

What are the home remedies for appetite loss?

As much as medication helps treat diseases that lead to appetite loss, try the following home remedies that may help manage the loss of appetite at home.

Try developing unique eating habits

If we plan on regular times for having meals, it may help in boosting our appetite levels. When those specific times come, the body may signal us to find something to eat. Even when we don’t feel hungry, eating at these times helps in restoring energy and calories.

People who feel nauseated, often associated with low appetite, eating with friends and company helps a lot.

A study conducted on the effects others had on eating patterns of people with a reduced desire for food approved this technique.

  • Lifestyle changes will help people with appetite loss. This change involves regular sleeping schedules, staying calm, and exercising regularly.
  • Try taking supplements that boost appetite levels.

Even with less appetite, the following meal composition will help balance the food intakes of such people to enhance nutritional diets.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What do you do, especially when you don’t feel like eating?

Appetite loss will be the reason behind this feeling. According to this article, you need to see a doctor and have the cause for loss of appetite determined. Treatment helps in regaining your appetite as well as practicing the home remedies and eating a balanced diet.

Is the loss of appetite a symptom of depression?

Yes, loss of appetite may signify depression.

Why do I not feel like eating?

Loss of appetite might be contributed by health conditions or physical conditions like a change of weather. It would help if you saw a doctor and find out the health-related reasons behind prolonged loss of appetite.

Can anxiety cause loss of appetite?

Yes, Anxiety may cause loss of appetite in most people, especially when it’s extreme.

All the above causes of appetite loss have a medical or home remedy solution. However, we should not suffer appetite loss silently by ourselves. Visiting our doctor will offer us closure into our appetite loss nightmare.