Loss of appetite during pregnancy

Dr. Ayush PandeyMBBS,PG Diploma

December 13, 2018

March 06, 2020

Loss of appetite during pregnancy
Loss of appetite during pregnancy

What is Loss of Appetite During Pregnancy?

One of the common signs and symptoms during pregnancy is a loss of appetite, which can develop due to several causes, primarily because of the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

Although the signs and symptoms of pregnancy vary with every woman, the commonly seen symptoms associated with loss of appetite are

  • Loss of weight
  • Severe nausea and vomiting (morning sickness)
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Unusual taste change with a distaste for foods that are generally liked
  • Sour or metallic taste (dysgeusia) even while not eating
  • Mood changes (such as unexplained crying)
  • Constipation

What are the main causes?

The causative factors for loss of appetite in pregnancy include

  • Morning sickness, which occurs mainly during the first or second trimester and suppresses the desire to eat leading to loss of appetite
  • Hormonal changes
  • Pregnancy-related stress and anxiety
  • Frequent mood alterations
  • Sense of smell: A heightened sense of smell is noted in some women during pregnancy due to which there is a loss of appetite.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Loss of appetite is mainly diagnosed by the physician by taking a complete history and performing a physical examination, which may indicate malnutrition and measurable weight loss and extreme fatigue. Blood tests to assess nutritional deficiencies can be advised.

The management of loss of appetite during pregnancy involves

  • Management at Home
    Diet should be fortified with plenty of fruits and vegetables (rich in fibres), dairy products (milk, cheese, and yoghurt), starchy foods (pasta, rice, chapattis, bread, and breakfast cereal), and beans and pulses along with meat and poultry products rich in proteins. Over boiling of food should be avoided.
  • Medical Management with Medications
  • Antacids to reduce gas, indigestion, acid reflux, and heartburn
  • Antiemetic drugs, such as promethazine, ondansetron, and metoclopramide, to stop vomiting
  • Vitamin supplements to correct nutritional deficiencies if any
  • Minerals like calcium supplements
  • Vitamin D3 supplements


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