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Can anxiety reduce your appetite?

Anxiety is a condition that manifests as excessive worry and stress. Anxiety is a mental condition that causes excessive worry and stress.

Anxiety is not just a mental condition. Anxiety affects the body because it triggers your central nervous system. According to a 2013 report by the American Psychological Association 30% of Americans said they skipped meals due to stress.

Stress can cause undereating, whether it’s the first day of a new job or a horrible traffic jam. Stressors like these trigger the fight-or-flight response in the nervous system. This response is designed to increase our ability to respond quickly to a given situation. It also reduces our appetite, so that we can focus on other things.

A person with chronic anxiety is in a state of high stress, so the fight-or flight response and its effects can be persistent and prolonged.

Signs and symptoms of stress-related undereating
It may appear that stress and a lack of appetite are unrelated at first. During times of stress or anxiety one may notice changes in eating patterns, such as:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Usually unintentionally, people skip meals.
  • Working without stopping to eat for several hours or even thinking about food is not recommended.
  • Long periods of time without eating.
  • Weight loss.

How To Manage Emotionally Driven Changes in Appetite
The most important thing to do is address any mental health issues. Consistent anxiety can be reduced through therapy, counseling or medication.

You can also use more practical methods to control your eating habits, like:

  • Track your food intake to ensure that you get enough nutrition.
  • Set an alarm for every meal to reduce the likelihood of forgetting or skipping meals.
  • Exercise regularly to control your psychosomatic reaction to stress and to create more natural appetite urges.

When anxiety is acute, it’s normal to experience episodes of diminished appetite. Underrating can be a problem for people with anxiety disorders. This can cause uncontrolled weight loss, among other problems. It’s crucial to address your mental health problems if you have anxiety and are undereating.

Can anxiety kill your appetite? Why we under (and over) eat (verywellhealth.com).
Stress eating (APA.org)
Anxiety & Appetite Problems – Calmclinic.com



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