Poor appetite and weight loss
Due to abdominal swelling and enlargement of liver, spleen, or kidneys, the child with leukemia may have a low appetite, or may not be able to consume a reasonable amount of food. Studies have shown that poor appetite in such children is also due to low production of hunger-stimulating hormone called “ghrelin”.
Ghrelin is produced in the body when the stomach is empty. It sends signals to the brain to let the person know that his body needs energy in the form of food. Low production of ghrelin secondary to different factors, including leukemia, causes poor appetite. Low consumption of food for many days can cause severe weight loss.