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Appetite changes Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Appetite changes. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. Can you tell me how exactly your appetite has changed?

    Why: This is a an important way for you to tell your Health Professional exactly what has been occurring and which has ultimately resulted in you presenting today.

  2. When did you first notice that your appetite had changed or was changing?

    Why: The period of time that you have been experiencing your symptoms can give an indication of the underlying cause.

  3. How did you notice that your appetite had changed, or was changing?

    Why: It may be important for you to mention whether or not you noticed the change, or if someone else noticed it.

  4. Have you noticed that you have lost weight as your appetite has increased?

    Why: This can occur in thyrotoxicosis, hyperthyroidism, gastrointestinal malabsorption or diabetes mellitus.

  5. Have you found that you have gained weight as you appetite has increased?

    Why: This can occur in Cushing's Syndrome, hypoglycemia, or with diseases of the hypothalamus. Additionally, it is important to mention that this may have occurred as a result of your eating and lifestyle habits as opposed to the presence of a disease state.

  6. Have you lost weight at the same time as your appetite has decreased?

    Why: This may happen with anorexia nervosa, adrenal insufficiency/Addison's disease, gastrointestinal disease, or with a wide variety of cancers/malignancies.

  7. Have you found that you have gained weight as your appetite has decreased?

    Why: This may occur in hypothyroidism.

  8. Do you smoke cigarettes or have any liver disease?

    Why: Liver disease can alter your sense of taste, and so alter your appetite. An important indication of this is that the disturbance of taste experienced with liver disease (e.g. hepatitis, jaundice) may cause a smoker to give it up. If you have recently given up smoking then this is important to mention.

  9. Do you take any illicit drugs?

    Why: Some drugs such as narcotics (e.g., heroin, cocaine) or amphetamines (speed) can cause you to lose your appetite/ Some others such as marijuana may change or increase your appetite.

  10. Have you been deliberately trying to change your weight or appetite recently?

    Why: Your change in appetite and/or weight may be the result of you wanting to change it. For instance, you may have tried a new diet or you may be exercising more. Some may take this to an extreme level and may display signs of anorexia nervosa.

  11. Do you have a fear of being or becoming overweight?

    Why: This can be a sign of anorexia nervosa which may also cause a disturbance of appetite.

  12. How do you think you look, and how do you feel about that?

    Why: Those with anorexia nervosa have a disturbed and distorted view of themselves, and may experience change in appetite.

  13. Can you tell me about your menstrual cycles?

    Why: For women of reproductive age, conditions such as anorexia nervosa can cause them to stop menstruating. This is an objective and important way for your health professional to assess why you have had a change in appetite.

  14. Can you tell me about your usual diet?

    Why: This may form a "baseline" from which your health professional can assess your appetite disturbance.

  15. Do you ever binge eat?

    Why: Binge eating can occur in bulimia and can cause appetite disturbance.

  16. Do you ever feel that you are not in control of your eating habits?

    Why: A subjective feeling of "loss of control" over the appetite may occur in those with an eating disorder such as bulimia.

  17. Can you tell me about your exercise regimen?

    Why: Whilst exercise is a healthy thing to partake in, sometimes it can be taken to the extreme. Those with bulimia may exercise excessively and cause appetite changes. Large amounts of exercise can result in the feeling that your appetite has changed as well.

  18. Can you tell me about your lifestyle and what things have been happening in your life?

    Why: Your appetite may have changed due to things which are occurring in your life, or perhaps as a result of a lack of easy access to foodstuffs.

  19. How have you been feeling lately?

    Why: Your appetite may have changed as a result of a psychological condition, and this question is a good way for your Health Professional to open the door for you to tell them that.

  20. Have you ever suffered from, or are you currently suffering from depression?

    Why: Depression is a condition which can cause changes to your appetite, both eating more and eating less.

  21. Have you ever been diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder?

    Why: This is a psychiatric condition typified by interspersed episodes of depression and mania. In some cases it may cause changes to your appetite.

  22. Have you recently suffered any bereavement?

    Why: The death of someone in your life can cause you to experience bereavement, and this in turn can cause appetite changes.

  23. Do you consume alcohol, and if so how much?

    Why: Excessive and long term consumption of alcohol (alcoholism) can result in changes to your weight and appetite.

  24. Has your sense of taste or smell changed at all recently?

    Why: Your appetite may have changed as a result of a change in your sense of taste or smell. Taste and smell are intimately intertwined and any change in them can affect your appetite.

  25. Have you been unwell recently?

    Why: General illness can cause a decrease in appetite.

  26. Is there a family history of diabetes or thyroid disease? Both conditions can affect appetite
  27. How much caffeine do you drink?

    Why: Caffeine can suppress your appetite.

  28. Do you have any abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation or abdominal bloating? Or have you ever been diagnosed with an Inflammatory bowel disease?

    Why: Inflammatory bowel disease can result in a decrease in appetite.

  29. Have you noticed any heat or cold intolerance, increased sweating, palpitations, fatigue or increased energy?

    Why: These questions are directed at thyroid function. Your thyroid gland has an important role in appetite.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Appetite changes:

The following list of conditions have 'Appetite changes' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Appetite changes or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Appetite changes:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Appetite changes' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.

 

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