Planned weight loss is beneficial, but an unexplained loss of weight is something serious that you ought not to ignore. Unexplained loss of over 5 percent of your weight within a matter of a year may be a cause for serious concern. It could signal an underlying medical condition. Typically in such situation, you tend to lose weight without changing your dietary and exercise regimen. So what could be the causes of unexplained weight loss? Let’s get a deeper insight into some of the causes.
Unexplained Weight Loss Due To Hyperthyroidism
When you have an underactive thyroid, the thyroid gland starts producing thyroxine hormone in excess. This hormone is responsible for metabolism. The abnormal increase in the hormone results in an accelerated metabolism process, causing rapid weight loss. Other symptoms include sweating, restlessness, a rapid heartbeat, irritability, increased sensitivity to heat, and fine, brittle, and thinning hair.
Diabetes Resulting in Unexplained Weight Loss
One of the most common causes of unexplained weight loss, diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which your body cannot produce sufficient amount of insulin to metabolize glucose from the food you eat. This means the glucose from food is not absorbed in the body, which causes a spike in blood glucose levels. Due to the lack of insulin or insulin resistance, the body is unable to convert sugar into energy. Thus it starts burning fat and muscle for energy. This leads to a drop in your overall body weight.
Excessive thirst, frequent urination, excess fatigue, injuries that do not heal properly, and tingling sensations in the extremities, such as hands, feet, and toes, are some of the other symptoms of diabetes. If you are experiencing unintentional weight loss and have any of these symptoms, it’s time you went for a blood glucose test.
Parasitic Infestation and Unexplained Weight Loss
You tend to experience rapid weight loss if you are suffering from a parasitic infestation. Some types of parasites survive on the food you eat. These parasites may sneak in your body through the skin. Hookworms, tapeworms, and pinworms are some of the most common parasites infesting the human body. A person fighting parasitic infestation frequently experiences hunger pangs because the worms consume most of the food you eat. As a result, you tend to get hungry more often than usual.
A parasitic infestation could be at the root of your sudden weight loss if you have increased appetite but experience rapid weight loss, besides suffering from diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nutritional deficiencies.
Cancer Causing Unexplained Weight Loss
Cancer is one of the most common causes of unexplained weight loss. Reports reveal that at least 40% people diagnosed with cancer complain of sudden loss of weight. When a person suffers from cancer, there is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. This causes the metabolism process to speed up. As a result, the process strains your body of resources and wears it out, leading to weight loss. It could even affect the digestive system, which means your body is unable to absorb and digest food, causing weight loss. Some of the chemical changes triggered by cancer could affect the functioning of various organs, making weight gain difficult.
Additionally, side effects of some cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can lead to loss of appetite, thus causing weight loss.
HIV May Result in Unexplained Weight Loss
A Change in your body fat is a common symptom of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Some of the most common reasons of unintentional weight loss in a person suffering from HIV is the virus itself that destroys the immune system. Additionally, a person experiences loss of appetite, nausea, mouth ulcers, diarrhea, and digestive problems. As a result, your body is unable to absorb nutrients from foods. Some HIV drugs are also responsible for dulling your appetite.
Unexplained Weight Loss Due to Anxiety, Stress, Depression
When you are stressed or suffering from anxiety, there is a stress response that results in the release of stress hormones into the bloodstream. These stimulants travel to targeted spots in the body and increase the body’s metabolism.
An increase in metabolism can cause the body to burn fuel at a faster pace. If you do not increase your consumption of food, your body will not receive sufficient fuel and start feeding on its fat stores. Reduced nutritional intake and relative fat burning by the body can cause rapid weight loss.
Crohn’s Disease Leading to Unexplained Weight Loss
Weight loss is one of the most common symptoms of the Crohn’s disease. The inflammatory bowel disease is associated with an inflammation of the lining of your gastrointestinal tract. Inflammation can result in severe pain in the abdomen, diarrhea, and malnutrition. Studies reveal that people with Crohn’s disease who reported a sudden loss of weight experienced low appetite and less pleasure from eating. As a result, their calorie intake reduced, leading to unintentional weight loss.
Tuberculosis and Weight Loss
Appetite loss is one of the common symptoms of tuberculosis, caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacterium. The bacterium often affects the nervous system, digestive system, and lymph nodes. A person often experiences frequent episodes of nausea and vomiting. These factors contribute to the lack of appetite and weight loss.
Unexplained Weight Loss Due to Stomach Ulcer
A peptic or stomach ulcer can cause unexplained weight loss. The painful ulcer develops on the inside lining of the stomach or small intestine. Since the person experiences severe abdominal pain, with bouts of vomiting and nausea, they tend to feel full after small meals. A peptic ulcer is also associated with the loss of appetite. As a result, the person suffers from rapid loss of weight.