Loss Of Appetite After Pneumonia: Causes, Effects & Home Remedies

Pneumonia is a lung infection which is equally common in adults as well as children. It is caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. Infection can occur in one or both lungs. Pneumonia is a debilitating condition accompanied with host of symptoms. Fever, chest pain, cough, distressed breathing, headache, tiredness and loss of appetite are few of the prominent symptoms of pneumonia.

In this lung infection, the tiny air sacs called alveoli are filled with fluid and pus. Alveoli contain tiny capillaries. Exchange of gasses takes place in alveoli. However, when the sacs get filled with fluid and pus exchange of gases is compromised, thus it makes oxygen difficult to get absorbed in the blood.

Low level of oxygen in the body can affect metabolic activity.

What Causes Loss Of Appetite After Pneumonia?

Loss of appetite which is also called anorexia in medical parlance is common symptom of pneumonia. The exact cause contributing loss of appetite is not known with certainty, but is it believed to be due to the condition itself or due to treatment with antibiotics which affects the taste of food. Person suffering from pneumonia losses desire to eat food. As a result he suffers from loss of weight and weakened immune system.

Loss of appetite after pneumonia can also develop due to changes in metabolism that occurs during the course of disease.

Pain in chest and medicines to relieve pain also trigger anorexia in some patients. Difficult breathing, low level of physical activity, anxiety and depression after pneumonia for a short time are all responsible for lack of appetite in a person who has suffered from pneumonia.

Effects And Recovery Time From Loss Of Appetite

The degree of loss of appetite may vary from person to person and the severity of the condition. However, in most cases it is temporary and appetite returns to normal once patient starts recovering. In some cases it may take several weeks for regaining normal appetite. Severe loss of appetite can lead to several changes in the body.

Patient loses weight and muscle mass besides malnourishment. There may be electrolyte imbalance leading to malaise and disorientation. Considering these aspects in mind all efforts should be made to restore normal appetite, nutritional deficiency and electrolyte imbalance and ensure quick recovery from the disease. Proper nutrition also helps the body to cope with side effects of antibiotics used to treat pneumonia.

Home Remedies To Cure Loss Of Appetite

It is important for a person to take proper nutrition after pneumonia to cope up lost vitamins, electrolytes as it helps the body’s immune system to work well.

  • Even though you are feeling loss of appetite, do not try to avoid your meals. Accept that you have to eat food that is appealing even though there is less variety.
  • Try to eat small amount of meals and snacks throughout the day instead of concentrating on three large meals. If your appetite is good in the morning, consume large breakfast.
  • Eat in a pleasant environment as it makes the food more appealing. Eat in different shapes and sizes of crockery for a variation. Eat in soft light with music in the background. Use decorative things on your table.
  • Avoid eating alone instead take your lunch and dinner with your family.
  • Include yogurt and buttermilk in your diet as they both contain healthy bacteria which will help to balance the flora which is destroyed by antibiotic treatment.
  • Eat bone broth as it contains vital minerals and vitamins. Add few stewed vegetables and meat pieces to make it tastier.
  • Add spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, mint, coriander, oregano to your dishes to make the meal pleasant the tasteful. To reduce strong smell, eat food that is warm. Also brush your teeth after each meal to keep your mouth fresh.
  • Alternate protein containing foods such as chicken, egg, milk, soy, tofu etc. Eat different variety of food each day to enhance your taste.
  • Try to do light exercise as it will help to stimulate your appetite, however avoid over doing it to prevent exhaustion.


  1. CL said:

    My wife had pneumonia and she is now recovering from it. She was sick for at least 12 weeks. She eats every less because of her gagging all the time. Even she does not like to take medicines. She has lost her appetite after suffering from pneumonia. She has almost lost 17 kg of her weight. What do you suggest to regain her normal appetite?

    June 14, 2018
    • PUP said:

      Pneumonia is a lung infection. Loss of appetite is common in patients suffering from pneumonia. This is partly due to the condition itself or because of the medicines that may affect the taste of food. However, patient must always remember to take her medicines as prescribed. Since the person’s desire to eat food diminishes, she is naturally going to lose weight. Often these patients have slight depression and anxiety because of their illness. This may also affect their appetite. In such cases, patient as well as caregiver must keep patience. She must be encouraged to eat food. Try to eat small meals frequently instead of 3 large meals. Let the place of eating be pleasant and food appealing. She must avoid eating alone. Instead she must eat her meals with all members of family together. Usually lack of appetite is temporary and it returns back to normal as the patient starts recovering. However, the time for restoration of normal appetite may vary from one patient to another.

      August 3, 2018

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