Why can’t I eat?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Why can’t I eat?” We will also discuss the different medical conditions and psychological conditions that cause loss of appetite. Moreover, we will also talk about the other common causes of loss of appetite.

Why can’t I eat?

There could be many reasons why you can’t eat, the most common ones being you just aren’t hungry and have no appetite for food. We usually use the term “loss of appetite” when you don’t feel like eating anything. This loss of appetite may be due to different reasons like medical conditions, pregnancy, aging, or psychological conditions.

Let us discuss them in detail below:

Medical conditions

Loss of appetite is often related to different medical conditions, especially flu or bacterial infections. It is one of the most basic symptoms of most diseases. So if you don’t feel like eating, it is more likely that you are showing symptoms of some disease. 

However, this does not mean that loss of appetite is always related to a certain medical condition, there are many other reasons for loss of appetite.


Anemia is characterized by an unusually low amount of blood cells. Loss of appetite and weight loss can both be indicators of anemia, especially when you are exhausted.


A variety of stomach illnesses can cause you to lose your appetite. Most of the time, these infections affect your digestive system causing different stomach issues like upset stomach and constipation. Irritable bowel syndrome also causes loss of appetite. 

A person’s appetite to eat may also be affected by a cold, the flu, or other diseases. You feel like eating again when the virus or bacteria is gone from your system.


Different medications like sleeping pills, antibiotics, blood pressure meds, diuretics, anabolic steroids, and pain relievers can cause a loss of appetite. They may also produce nausea and exhaustion.


A loss of appetite can be a symptom of different cancers, including pancreatic, ovarian, and stomach cancer. It is more common in patients with stomach or pancreatic cancer. Likewise, different cancer treatments can also cause you to lose your appetite.


The thyroid gland, which is located in the back of your neck, generates hormones that affect your body’s metabolism. Hypothyroidism can reduce appetite by slowing down many of your body’s functions. It may also result in weight gain despite consuming fewer calories.


Diabetic people may not feel hungry for a variety of reasons. Diabetes can occasionally cause a situation where food goes too slowly through the digestive tract. If you leave high blood sugar untreated, it can lead to a buildup of ketones in the blood and urine. This eventually causes a loss in appetite.


Pregnant women may experience morning sickness, which causes nausea and vomiting. This can make eating unpleasant, and you may discover that you are intolerant to certain foods, even the ones you would normally enjoy before pregnancy.

You usually get morning sickness in the first trimester, but some pregnant women may experience it throughout their pregnancy. Loss of appetite is more common during the earlier months of pregnancy.


Aging causes changes in appetite. Changes in taste buds, dementia, health difficulties, drug side effects, or mental health problems can all cause older persons to lose interest in food. Sometimes elderly folks eat less because their activity level has decreased and they have lower caloric needs.

Psychological conditions 


Some people experience extreme anxiety and become so overwhelmed by their worries and agony that they lose their appetite to eat. People suffering from anxiety don’t even realize when they are hungry and skip their meals.


People suffering from clinical depression may lose interest in everything, and food is the least of their worries. They may lack the energy to prepare meals and have little appetite. They are often nauseated which makes you not want to eat anything even more.


The physical response of the body to acute stress frequently decreases appetite. However, some people tend to have the opposite effect and overeat when they are stressed. Both are problematic. Stress-related physical symptoms include nausea or the sensation of a “knot in the stomach” which makes meals unpleasant.

You can learn more about the different types of stress and their management here.


In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “Why can’t I eat?” We have also discussed the different medical conditions and psychological conditions that cause loss of appetite. Moreover, we have also talked about the other common causes of loss of appetite.