Loss of appetite. Anorexia is seen in depression, malaise, commencement of fevers and illnesses, disorders of the alimentary tract (especially the stomach), and alcoholism and drug addiction (especially cocaine). Many medicines and medical procedures have the undesired side effect of causing the suppression of appetite.
PATIENT CARE: Oral hygiene is provided before and after eating. The patient’s food preferences are determined, and only preferred foods are offered. Small, frequent meals or smaller meals with between-meal and bedtime nutritional snacks are provided. The patient area is kept free of odors, and a quiet atmosphere is provided for meals. Family and friends are encouraged to bring favorite home-cooked meals and to join the patient for meals. Meal time conversation should focus on pleasant topics and should not involve the patient’s food intake. Actual intake is documented, indicating food types, amounts eaten, and approximate caloric and nutrient intake.