Anorexia, Loss of Appetite

Anorexia, or loss of appetite (shi yu bu zhen), is a disorder in which a person has a severe reduction in the sensation of hunger. It is the most severe manifestation of a loss of appetite, which is a less severe reduction in hunger. In Chinese medicine, a good appetite is seen as a sign of healthy Spleen function. A loss of appetite is ultimately caused by weakness or interference with the Spleen and Stomach function. Restoring appetite during recovery from serious illness, chemotherapy, or surgery is considered a primary sign of recovery. Anorexia should be distinguished from anorexia nervosa, which is characterized by a refusal to eat or abnormal eating patterns, rather than a true lack of appetite.