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Classification according to ICD-10
R63.0 Anorexia, loss of appetite
ICD-10 online (WHO version 2019)

The anorexia ( ancient Greek ὄρεξις orexis , Desire 'with alpha privative ) or anorexia ( Latin Appetitus , Desire') is the medical term for loss of appetite . Symptoms and complaints of anorexia are the loss of appetite or the need for food ("reduced urge to eat"). With prolonged anorexia, the feeling of hunger subsides ; any subsequent malnutrition can lead to serious physical damage.

Anorexia ( anorexia nervosa ) is a psychogenic special form of anorexia and is sometimes also referred to as shortening "anorexia", which is medically not correct.


Anorexia is a general symptom and can therefore occur in a number of other disease entities. As a symptom it is common in almost all serious infectious diseases , but also in tumor diseases , in the case of permanent abuse of psychoactive substances or as an independent psychological disorder ( anorexia nervosa , anorexia). Other causes can be a gastrointestinal obstruction (closure of the gastrointestinal tract), e.g. B. in the superior mesenteric artery syndrome .

Consequences and complications

Malnutrition as a result of anorexia can be life-threatening and cause serious physical damage. It leads to a lack of nutrients with the breakdown of body tissues ( catabolism ), to emaciation ( inanition ) up to marasmus ( energy and protein deficiency ) or to cachexia (pathologically severe emaciation).

The quick consequences of anorexia are particularly visible in organs with high metabolic activity and building blocks with a short half-life , such as an albumin deficiency in the blood with the formation of edema (→ hunger edema ).


Treatment of anorexia depends on the cause and may also include artificial nutrition .

Web links

Wiktionary: Anorexia  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Definition in the Pschyrembel, e.g. B. 1984, p. 83.