Most people experience a headache and loss of appetite at least once. While there is often no serious cause for this feeling, both could be a sign of an underlying condition. A few of the possible reasons for these symptoms include the influenza virus, stress or anxiety, meningitis, or the development of a migraine headache.
The influenza virus, commonly referred to as flu, may affect a person in several different ways. Many people who have it get a headache and an upset stomach, which includes a loss of appetite. People with the flu may also have a fever, painful joints, and muscle pain.
Stress and anxiety may also cause a person to experience headache and loss of appetite. Often, people who are feeling stressed or anxious will experience a tightening of muscles in the scalp, the neck, and the shoulder area. Tensing these muscles is one possible cause of stress headaches. Some people also lose their appetite when they are stressed; skipping meals can also cause headaches. Such headaches may be acute or ongoing, particularly in cases of chronic stress.
Headache is also a common symptom of meningitis, which is an inflammation of the membranes protecting the spinal cord and the brain. Meningitis is curable, but it is a very serious, possibly fatal condition if not properly treated. Individuals who have a headache, stiff neck, nausea, and a loss of appetite may be infected with meningitis.
Individuals suffering from migraines will also sometimes suffer a loss of appetite. Besides a headache, other migraine symptoms to be aware of are eye pain, blurry vision, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, light or sound sensitivity, sweating and chills. A severe headache in tandem with these symptoms may, in fact, be due to a migraine headache.
Treatment for headache and loss of appetite may be as simple as taking time out for rest and relaxation or may include over-the-counter medications or home remedies. When these do not work, however, medical intervention may be necessary. Often, these symptoms are fleeting, but when they persist and do not respond to traditional headache treatments, they may indicate that they are due to a serious condition.