Significant weight loss without any effort on your part should alert you and can be a sign of several more or less serious health problems. A discussion with your doctor is essential, as advised by Dr. Gérald Kierzek, medical director of TipsForWomens.
Losing one or more small pounds because you are now paying attention to your diet or have started a weight loss program is normal. But when weight loss, whether it comes with maintaining an appetite or a loss of appetite, occurs without any effort or change in your life, it may be a signal of an underlying cause. do not ignore. Dr. Gérald Kierzek, emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens, lists the reasons that can cause unexplained weight loss.
Gastrointestinal issues can be the number one cause of unintentional weight loss. But it could be several things:
- Celiac disease: either an intolerance to gluten which can lead to malabsorption of nutrients;
- Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis). These disorders can cause weight loss due to reduced absorption of nutrients;
- Liver disease, pancreatitis, or other problems related to nutrient malabsorption can lead to weight loss.
An endocrine disorder can also cause a change in weight, and in particular a loss.
- Uncontrolled diabetes: poorly managed or undiagnosed diabetes can lead to weight loss;
- Hyperthyroidism: An overactive thyroid gland can speed up metabolism and lead to weight loss.
The appearance of cancer
Certain types of cancer can cause unintentional weight loss, especially when the tumor affects metabolism. The link between unintentional weight loss and cancer has just been published in a recent study.
The presence of an infection
Chronic infections, such as HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis, can cause weight loss. But even acute infections such as mononucleosis can have this power.
The case of severe heart failure can also lead to weight loss due to the reduced ability of the body/heart to function effectively.
This is also the case for chronic lung diseases, such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), which can lead to weight loss.
Taking certain medications
Some medications, such as chemotherapies, antidepressants, or thyroid medications, can cause unintentional weight loss as a side effect.
Finally, intense and sustained emotional or psychological stress can lead to weight loss in the affected person.
Unexplained weight loss: don’t wait to consult
Whatever the underlying reason for this loss, it is therefore essential to discover the cause of this change. As Dr Gérald Kierzek advises:
“It is important to note that unintentional weight loss can be a serious symptom, and a thorough medical evaluation is necessary to determine the exact cause. If you or someone you know is experiencing unexplained weight loss, seek professional medical attention promptly.