Intentional vs Unintentional Weight Loss
‘Everything in moderation’ is an adage we are all familiar with, especially when it comes to weight loss. Being overweight can cause an array of health issues, including high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, but unintentional weight loss is a health risk that should also be taken seriously. Intentional weight loss is normally called slimming. Weight loss in people who are too heavy or obese can lower health risks, enhance fitness and might delay the onset of diabetes. Losing weight unexpectedly, however, even with a good appetite, can be very distressing, particularly when you don't understand why. Unexplained weight loss may be a symptom of diseases or a condition.
Low weight may be hereditary.
If you are rapidly losing weight it could be a result of your diet. Dramatic weight changes can occur because of inadequate nutrition in one’s diet relative to that person's energy needs and is generally referred to as malnutrition. Symptoms of malnutrition include lack of interest in eating, fatigue and weakness.
Stress from a traumatic event such as a job change, moving, or divorce can cause dramatic weight loss. A solution to this kind of physical change can be counseling; many people notice their weight return after they begin to work through their issues.Read More
Depression is more than just feeling blue. It is a consistent feeling, over a period of weeks and months, and is characterized by unhappiness, a feeling of hopelessness, loss of interest, and weepiness. These symptoms can be accompanied by anxiety and loss of appetite. Doctors often recommend anti-depressants, therapy, exercise, healthy eating, and no alcohol or smoking.
Thyroid issues are commonly associated with weight gain, but an under-active thyroid can also lead to weight loss. This occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones. One symptoms of an under-active thyroid is depression, another disorder tied to weight loss. Fatigue is a common symptom of thyroid issues; if you think you could be suffering from an under-active thyroid talk to your doctor and they may prescribe hormone tablets.
- Eating Disorder
Anorexia and bulimia are mental disorders associated with food, and if not treated can end fatally. Bulimia is when people binge eat and then purge their food through throwing up or by taking laxatives. People with anorexia also vomit but they eat as little as possible and exercise obsessively. Those with anorexia have a distorted image of them and think they are fat, even when they aren’t. Warning signs of both anorexia and bulimia start with an obsession over food.
Cancer occurs when cells reproduce at an uncontrolled rate in one part of the body. Cancerous cells destroy the surrounding healthy tissue. There are more than 200 types of cancer, so vast testing from your health-care provider would have to be done.
Less Common Reasons for Weight Loss
Less common factors that can cause involuntary weight loss include:
- Drug or alcohol abuse.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Dental problems.
- Issues affecting swallowing (dysphagia).
- Stomach ulcer.
- HIV or AIDS.
- Dementia (can’t communicate dietary needs).
Should You Be Worried?
Fluctuations in body weight are normal, but consistent weight loss of more than 5 per cent over 6 to 12 months is cause for concern, according to the British National Health Service. Handling weight loss is difficult enough in spite of a normal metabolism. Being mindful of your weight can provide a good gauge of whether you're at risk of rapid weight loss or gain.