Weight loss is not always a goal that we set ourselves to improve our health, in some cases there is an involuntary weight loss caused by some reasons that can even mean that our quality of life is being compromised.

In the following article we will talk about this disorder and which diseases cause weight loss, this being one of the main reasons for this triggering, in addition to making an important mention of when weight loss is worrying.

What is unintentional weight loss?

Involuntary weight loss is one where there are no justifications or identified reasons and leads to a decrease of at least 5% of body weight, in a period of time between 6 and 12 months. (1)

To highlight: It is important to mention that it is quite common for weight loss of this nature to be supported by some disorder or disease that has not been detected and that this manifestation in our body is the reason for its identification. They may or may not be serious.

What can cause unintentional weight loss?

As we mentioned earlier, weight loss can be one of the manifestations of diseases of all kinds, including infectious nature, pathologies and psychological disorders.

It is therefore that below, we mention the main causes of involuntary weight loss , thus allowing their knowledge and identification:

1. Gastrointestinal disorders

Conditions in the digestive system, including the pancreas and liver, are capable of affecting food intake and nutrient absorption , so one of the symptoms within these disorders is weight loss.

You should know: The alteration of the mechanisms of food absorption, leads to digestive failure and can appear under different causes. (two)

2. Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is characterized by an excessive production of the thyroxine hormone, which leads to an acceleration in our body’s metabolism and therefore leads to involuntary weight loss, in addition to other symptoms such as cardiac arrhythmias and nausea. (3)

3. Lung diseases

Diseases of a pulmonary nature are somewhat more serious, chronic, and therefore worrisome, since involuntary weight loss is part of the symptoms of pathologies such as obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hemoptysis, and lung cancer.

4. Infectious diseases

It happens that involuntary weight loss can be considered one of the first symptoms presented by patients with infectious diseases , from parasitic or fungal infections, to serious infections such as HIV or tuberculosis, also due to alterations in the patient’s metabolism. (4)

5. Psychological disorders

Weight loss due to stress, depression, anorexia and isolation is a symptom that alerts both patients and their close relatives. However, pathologies such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder also present involuntary weight loss or lead to neurological conditions that reduce food consumption.

6. Diabetes and cancer

Diabetes is characterized by having a classification, which starts from the body’s response and insulin. In type 1 diabetes, glucose accumulates in the blood and over time the kidneys eliminate it and this is where weight loss occurs.

Important: The presence of cancer and its treatments are also a reason for weight loss and fatigue as part of the symptoms and response of the organism. (5)

7. Alcohol, drugs and psychoactive substances

It happens that alcohol, some drugs and psychoactive substances, consume many calories within the body to be processed, which negatively affects metabolism and leads to weight loss.

Note: An excess of these types of substances could affect the liver and produce an adverse effect such as obesity. (6)

When is unintentional weight loss a concern?

Unintentional weight loss is always worrisome, because it may be a manifestation of a disease or disorder , but it will be noticeable when the loss is significant.

You should know: If weight loss progresses in very short periods of time, it becomes something worrisome and that needs to be defined for its origin .

In this sense, it must be controlled through the percentage lost of the total weight of the person and go to a medical professional to identify the cause, in addition to carrying out the pertinent treatments if necessary.

What is the treatment for unintentional weight loss?

As we mentioned before, the most important thing is to see a medical professional who can determine the origin and subsequently treat the cause . In this sense, a diet with healthy and balanced meals is essential to recover lost weight without affecting our health.

To highlight: There are also supplements and medical treatments, which allow a greater absorption of nutrients and a more appropriate intake of them, always under professional order and supervision.

Key Findings

  • Involuntary weight loss results in the loss of muscle mass, which is usually very noticeable in physical form.
  • Many diseases and health disorders affect appetite in addition to the loss of nutrient absorption capacity .
  • It is important to identify if there is significant weight loss, to receive medical attention immediately and find the source.
  • The consumption of medications, psychoactive substances or even alcohol, are related to involuntary weight loss.

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