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Diagnostic Tests for Poor appetite

Diagnostic Test list for Poor appetite:

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Poor appetite includes:

  • Physical examination
    • Look for evidence of jaundice - e.g. yellows skin and sclera of eyes - may suggest gallstones that pass into common bile duct, cancer of the pancreas or acute viral hepatitisabdominal examination for tenderness e.g. tenderness in epigastric area (midline below ribs) may suggest peptic ulceration; tenderness over the right upper abdomen may suggest gall bladder disease.
    • Feel the abdomen for a mass. A mass in the epigastrium (midline, justbelow the ribs) may indicate stomach cancer. A mass in the right upper abdomen may indicate a pancreatic cancer
    • Examine for enlarged liver which may indicate primary liver cancer, metastases to the liver, congestive heart failure or viral hepatitis
    • Pelvic examination to detect ovarian mass, if suspected
    • Examine for signs of hypothyroidism - e.g. slow heart rate, slowed reflexes, coarse dry brittle hair, dry cool skin, goiter.
    • Mental state examination - including appearance, behavior, rate and continuity of speech, mood, affect, thought content, evidence of any hallucinations or abnormal beliefs, orientation to time, place and person, attention and concentration, short-term memory, insight and judgement. This will help diagnose psychiatric illness that may cause poor appetite such as depression, anxiety and bipolar affective disorder.
  • Blood tests
    • Full blood count and ESR
    • Electrolytes and renal function tests ( renal failure can present with reduced appetite, dyspepsia, nausea and vomiting)
    • Calcium (elevated calcium may cause reduced appetite, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain)
    • Thyroid function tests
    • Fasting blood sugar
    • Liver function tests
    • Amylase
    • Digoxin level, if suspect digoxin toxicity
    • Helicobacter pylori serology, if suspect gastritis
    • Viral Hepatitis serology
    • Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels are elevated in 65% of people with stomach cancer and in some ovarian cancers
    • Serum alpha-fetoprotein is raised in liver cancer
  • Urine tests
  • Stool tests
    • Test for occult blood which may be positive in peptic ulcers, stomach cancer and colon cancer
    • Stool sample for microscopy and culture
  • Radiological investigations
    • Upper GI series
    • Barium enema
    • Chest X-Ray
    • Abdominal ultrasound scan - can give information about the liver, bile ducts, pancreas, kidneys. This is the best test for gallstones.
    • Abdominal CT Scan, if ultrasound suggests pathology but undefined
    • Ultrasound and/or CT Scan of ovaries (if suspect ovarian cancer)
    • Bone scan
    • Barium swallow if suspect achalasia
    • Scintographic gastric -emptying studies may help to diagnose delayed gastric emptying e.g. in diabetes
  • Gastroscopy and biopsy - if suspect gastric cancer, peptic ulcer or gastritis with gastrointestinal bleeding.
  • Colonoscopy
  • Laparoscopy and biopsy of ovary - if suspect ovarian cancer.
  • Manometry - used to measure esophageal motility, if suspect achalasia.

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Poor appetite causes:

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Poor appetite:

The following list of conditions have 'Poor appetite' 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 Poor appetite or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Poor appetite:

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


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