Loss Of Appetite In Teens: 6 Causes And Their Treatment

Loss Of Appetite In Teens: 6 Causes And Their Treatment

Food has an essential role in teens, as this is the age when teens are facing a lot of things simultaneously like Physical growth, learning new things in studies as well as in playgrounds, hormonal changes and attraction of fast-changing technology.

If we ask doctors what are the food requirements for teenagers. Basically doctors advise us to provide a balanced diet to teens. According to W.H.O. teenager, boys need 2200 to 2800 calories on daily bases whereas teenager girls need approximately 2000 calories on daily bases along with other nutrients.

But sometimes we see that our teens are not taking sufficient food because of loss of appetite or they have just lost interest in food. There may be some reasons for loss of appetite as follows.

1. Anxiety and Stress

Good grades and comparison with classmates can easily put stress on teens which can result in loss of appetite. Learning disability, bullying behaviour of classmates can also create anxiety in teens which can lead to loss of appetite. Last but not the least the pressure of keeping up with studies and sports can also lead them towards loss of appetite.

How To Regain Appetite In This Case

  • Communication is the key to break anxiety and stress in teens. Loss of appetite and changed sleeping pattern can be noticed easily which shows that teens are facing anxiety or stress. It is advisable to ask them, spare some time for them, be their friends in such situations and try to mentor them. If they feel hesitation in sharing their problems with you, we should give them more time, go for outing, come close to them and win their trust, so that they feel free to share their problems with you.
  • Meditation can also help teens with anxiety and stress. Meditation helps in two ways, first, it helps in retaining concentration which helps teens to learn and maintain harmony between studies and sports. Second, meditation increases self-confidence, which helps teens to handle naughty/disturbing behaviour of their classmates. 

2. More Video Games Than Outdoor Games

According to surveys, more than 50% of teenagers like to play indoor mobile/video games and spend approximately 2.5 hours on video games on a daily bases. This directly results in loss of appetite. In their friend circle, they discuss many benefits of video games like playing as their favourite heroes and that too without any issues like being injured or sweating.

How To Regain Appetite In This Case

Education is the only key to get them out of such myths and lame excuses. Video games have many advantages but only video/mobile games are not the solution. Educate them about the importance of outdoor games especially in growing years. Tell them how body workout strengthens their immune system, helps in building muscles and fastens their metabolism which will boost their appetite

3. Wrong food choices

Medical science says the human body needs 80% Alkaline foods(pH value 7 to 14) and only 20% Acidic foods(pH value 0 to 7). Foods like vegetables, fruits, dry fruits are alkaline in nature while rest eatables are mostly acidic. Water is neither acidic nor alkaline (pH value 7). However, nowadays teens prefer more acidic foods like fast foods, refined wheat recipes, highly acidic soft drinks etc. These acidic foods not only make our metabolism slow which becomes a cause of loss of appetite but also becomes a barrier in the physical growth of teens.

How to regain appetite in this case

Dietary changes can boost up teen’s appetite just in a few weeks by using freshly cooked home food and more alkaline food. In addition to that scheduled meals are also very important in order to restore their appetite. Doctors say, if we follow a particular time table for our meal for at least 21 days, it can play a game-changing role in regaining their appetite.

4. Different Kinds Of Infections

A) Fungal
B) Viral
C) Bacterial

It is observed that sometimes contaminated food or water consumption can lead teens towards above mention infections further causing diseases like gastroenteritis which also become a cause of loss of appetite. 

How to regain appetite in this case

In such a case, teens may end up encountering symptoms like light pain or bloating in the abdomen. This can be cured with medication. As soon as we consult a physician and start medication, teens get their appetite back.

5. Medications

It is a fact that some medicines can cause some side-effects. Some antibiotics can show side effects like constipation or diarrhoea, which can lead teens toward loss of appetite. In addition to this medication for chronic diseases may also lead to some different kind of side-effects, which can also lead teens towards loss of appetite.

How to regain appetite in this case

Doctors can help here as they are well aware of the side effects of medication. Doctors can suggest some kind of appetite stimulants, which increases the appetite of teens. Sometimes, In spite of suggesting appetite stimulants, doctors can also suggest some kind of Home remedies as well.

6. Substance Abuse/Intoxication

Teens in their growing age can learn a lot of things, good things as well as bad things. They don’t only learn from their teachers and parents but also they learn from seniors, games and movies. Bad company can lead them in the wrong direction. Showing swag is common nowadays, smoking, consumption of some kind of illicit drug and alcohol, all are getting popular to show swag. These things are not only able to reduce Appetite, In spite of that these things can also stop their mental and physical growth. It can stop their learning in studies as well as it can break their interest in sports.

How to regain appetite in this case

Awareness about health risks is the key to avoid such situations. Parents and teachers need to make teens aware of such substances before they get habitual of consumption of these things. After all, "Prevention is better than cure". But if we find them already addicted to such substances then without thinking much we need to consult the doctor.

As we know age from 13 to 17 is when the body and mind both are growing rapidly. In this age, appetite loss can be resolved in a short time, but long time loss of appetite can lead toward high risks. So spend more time with your teens, keep eye on them and guide them as a friend.