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Anorexia (symptom): Wikis


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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.



Clinically important



  • Altitude when it can also accompany sickness.
  • Preoperative anorexia drugs may be prescribed as a prophylactic to ensure no food will back up into the esophagus which might risk pulmonary aspiration.
  • Significant emotional pain caused by an event (rather than a mental illness) can cause an individual to temporarily lose all interest in eating.


  1. ^ Exton, M. S. (1997) "Infection-induced anorexia: active host defence strategy". Appetite. 29: 369-383. PubMed
  2. ^ Murray, M. J. Murray, A. B. (1979) "Anorexia of infection as a mechanism of host defense". Am J Clin Nutr. 32: 593-596. PubMed

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