Zero appetite


I suffered an ischaemic stroke just over a week ago and since and really struggling to eat. I have zero appetite and when i try to eat it makes me feel physically sick. Is this normal post stroke? 

Hi Niki, so sorry to hear you suffered the stroke.  You will get information and support from stroke survivors on this site, they will share their stories with you.  Just to answer your question, when my husband suffered a stroke, 2017, it was a long while before he returned to 'normal' eating habits - foods tasted odd, he had issues with textures of some foods, he barely ate enough to keep a sparrow alive.  It was also difficult to keep him hydrated, because he just didn't feel thirsty.  I think most people who have suffered a stroke have issues with appetite in some way, shape or form, so what you're experiencing is most likely to be a legacy of the stroke.  However, most people find that their appetite returns in time, certainly this has been the case for my husband.  However, when he is tired he seems to revert to loss of appetite, but we recognise what this is, and just realise that things will gradually return to normal.  The brain has suffered a trauma, and everything is disordered, once your brain starts to re-boot itself, things like appetite will improve.  

I'm sure you will receive lots of replies and advice.  Take good care, get plenty of rest xx

Hi Niki, Welcome to our site. Yes, I think this is quite normal. My stroke was four years ago. I didn't eat much in hospital or when I first cane home. In fact, while in hospital I lost a stone in weight.

Over time, I got my appetite back, but cannot eat as big a meal as I used to. Mind you, I am getting on a bit now. I think the important thing us to eat what you like and never feel that you have to finish everything on your plate.

Stroke is likely to affect your appetite.

I was exactly opposite to your experience. Pre stroke I was a right faddy eater but as soon as I was settled in to a hospital bed after the stroke, I wanted to eat meals at the appropriate time and I loved the hospital food. Since then I have eaten well and have worked away at ensuring I do not over eat. I am thin and have often been underweight.

Never lose sight of the possibility that you have some physical damage, but other than that, accept that stroke messes with your feelings etc. Many of us cry without reason (emotionality) but a minority of us laugh without reason.

I suspect and hope that the eating issue will ease. I do hope you can drink without a problem. Your brain really needs extra water to repair itself. 

If this isue continues I think you could ask for some counselling.

We are all different. There isnt much in the way of "normal" for us survivors.

I do however promise that things will improve, albeit slowly. So be positive, smile a lot and never ever give up.





I'm  3 years post stroke  andstill have no appetite and have to force myself to eat. I struggle  with the texture  of some foods, particularly  bread and rolls. I have also lost my sense of smell,  which affects  your appetite. I think this is normal  following  a stroke and seems to affect  most stroke  survivors. 


Regards Sue 

Hi all

I hope you're all well? I've been interested to read these, its 5 weeks today since my mum had her stroke and one of the things I'm struggling with is her not eating. Unfortunately due to this she is still being tube fed, mum will have a few sips of water and few spoons of yoghurt. Mum is allowed soft food but she just doesn't want itsad due to her speech and understanding its very difficult to communicate and ask her why?? I really hope this improves as I'm worried it will affect her strength for physio


Dear Louise

stroke affects so many parts of us. My appetite changed. I was a faddy eater, but from the day of the stroke, i wanted and enjoyed hospital food. Also my taste buds changed. A few foods tasted totally foul.

These changes are not too bad and i live with the new me.

i understand that the brain works hard ar repairing stroke  damage and rewiring around unrepairable parts. It is overheating and needs more water than usual. The brain has no feelings so it doesnt tell you it needs water. So ideally we provide the extra litre a day.

mum does indeed need to keep her strength and should take nourisment and liquid. 

best wishes




Hi Louise, my husband was physically able to eat following the stroke, but just had no appetite. The more I tried to encourage him the worse it was for both of us.  Then one morning he asked if we had any croissants - he just suddenly decided that was what he wanted to eat.  So then he just had croissants for a few days until he fancied other foods.  He often complained that food tasted bitter, or the texture didn't appeal to him, but gradually his tastes and appetite returned.  The dietician suggested that I keep a food diary and a record of his weight.  This became a diary of his recovery, and I noted nearly everything, not just his intake of food, but what he had done, how much he'd slept etc.  I often look back and refer to this log, particularly when he had difficult days, or complained that he hadn't made progress.  A useful tool, and only took a few minutes a day.

Be patient, things will gradually improve, but may take time.  Best wishes xx ??