Individuals who experience a loss of appetite due to anxiety should take steps to address the issue. Long-term appetite loss can lead to health problems. Potential remedies and treatments include:
1. Understanding anxiety
Simply realizing that sources of stress can trigger physical sensations can go some way toward reducing anxiety and its symptoms.
2. Addressing sources of anxiety
Identifying and dealing with anxiety triggers can sometimes help people regain their appetite. Where possible, individuals should work to eliminate or reduce stressors.
If this proves challenging, a person may wish to consider working with a therapist who can help them manage anxiety triggers.
3. Practicing stress management
Several techniques can effectively reduce or control anxiety symptoms, including appetite loss. Examples include:
- deep breathing exercises
- guided imagery practice
- progressive muscle relaxation
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4. Choosing nutritious, easily digestible foods
If people cannot eat much, they should ensure that what they do eat is nutrient-rich. Some good choices include:
- soups containing a protein source and a variety of vegetables
- meal-replacement shakes
- smoothies containing fruits, green leafy vegetables, fat, and protein
It is also a good idea to opt for easily digestible foods that will not further upset the digestive system. Examples include rice, white potato, steamed vegetables, and lean proteins.
People with symptoms of anxiety may also find it beneficial to avoid foods that are high in fat, salt, or sugar, as well as high-fiber foods, which can be difficult to digest.
It can also help to limit the consumption of drinks containing caffeine and alcohol, as these often cause digestive problems.
5. Eating regularly
Getting into a regular eating pattern can help the body and brain regulate hunger cues.
Even if someone can only manage a few bites at each mealtime, this will be better than nothing. Over time, they can increase the amount that they eat at each sitting.
6. Making other healthful lifestyle choices
When a person is anxious, they may find it difficult to exercise or sleep. However, both sleep and physical activity can reduce anxiety and increase appetite.
Individuals should try to get enough sleep each night by setting a regular sleep schedule.
They should also aim to exercise most days. Even short bursts of gentle exercise can be helpful. People who are new to exercise can start small and increase the duration and intensity of activities over time.
Source: Medical news today