weight loss is when you lose weight without dieting or increasing physical
activity. It may occur following a loss of appetite or when you’re consuming
the same amount of calories as usual. Either way, it’s usually a cause for
weight loss can be extremely distressing, particularly when you lose a
relatively significant amount and don’t know why. Unintentional weight loss
could be a sign of serious illness or disease, or it could be something as
minor as a stomach virus.
weight loss is most prevalent in people with pre-existing medical conditions.
Some people who experience this symptom suffer from a variety of diseases
including cancer, AIDS, and depression.
What Causes Unintentional
weight loss is often the result of an underlying chronic medical condition. However,
short-term illnesses such as influenza or the common cold can also cause weight
loss due to abdominal discomfort.
causes of unintentional weight loss include depression, diarrhea, oral ulcers,
and viral infections, such as the common cold, that can affect appetite.
less common causes of unintentional weight loss include cancer, hyperthyroidism
(overactive thyroid gland), abdominal infection, gastroenteritis, dementia, celiac
disease, and HIV or AIDS.
periods of weight loss can lead to malnutrition. Malnutrition occurs when you
aren’t consuming a proper amount of nutrients. This can be especially true for
those with a digestive disorder such as celiac disease, which affects how the
body absorbs nutrients.
What Are the Symptoms of
Unintentional Weight Loss?
on what caused the weight loss, symptoms vary widely. You may notice a change
in the way your clothes fit, or in the shape of your face, since that is an
area where many people can see initial weight loss effects. However, some
people are unaware that they’ve lost weight until they weigh themselves.
weight loss due to an illness may occur along with fever, loss of appetite, abdominal
discomfort or pain, diarrhea, or constipation.
who have unintentional weight loss may also have changes in appetite, fussiness
over certain foods, physically smaller stature (if over the long term), abdominal
pain, or fever.
medications can cause unintentional weight loss as a side effect. If you’re on any
medication and experience noticeable weight loss, consult with your doctor.
How Is Unintentional Weight
to keep track of your weight loss. Note when the weight loss started. Also,
make a note of any other symptoms you experienced around the time of the weight
loss. This will give your doctor useful information that can help in making a
weight loss is a symptom of several conditions. Your doctor must go over your
symptoms and any recent lifestyle changes you’ve made to know exactly what’s
causing the weight loss.
doctor may ask the following questions: Have you changed your diet? Have you
had a recent illness? Have you recently traveled out of the country? Are you
less energetic than usual? Have you had any digestive problems, such as
diarrhea or constipation? Have you started taking any new medications?
your doctor feels that your diet or a digestive disorder is to blame, they may
do a nutritional assessment.
This may consist of a blood test that shows levels of specific vitamins and
minerals. The results of this test will determine if you’re deficient in any of
these or if you have anemia.
Anemia occurs when your level of red blood
cells is lower than usual. Iron deficiency or deficiency in a specific B
vitamin can cause anemia.
tests can also determine if a hormonal condition is to blame.
What Are the Treatment
Options for Unintentional Weight Loss?
you have a nutritional deficiency, your doctor may refer you to a dietitian or
devise a diet plan that helps to correct the deficiency. A deficiency due to a
digestive disorder, such as inflammatory bowel disease, may require a
specialized diet during times of inflammation to help you get the nutrients you
need. This may include taking over-the-counter supplements.
doctor will likely prescribe medication if a hormonal disorder is causing the
unintentional weight loss.
can correct unintentional weight loss due to general illnesses such as
influenza, the common cold, or food poisoning with bed rest, an increase in
fluids, and medications used to settle the stomach, and by getting back on your
normal diet when you are feeling better.
your doctor suspects that your unintentional weight loss may be due to a more
serious illness, such as cancer, you may undergo some tests to get more