Losing weight not always good, could be a sign of ailment- when to see a doctor – Times Now

Posted: September 25, 2019 at 8:46 am

Unexplained weight loss: 5 reasons youre losing weight without trying; when to see a doctor  |  Photo Credit: Getty Images

New Delhi: Many people who want to get fitter and leaner find it hard to shed those extra pounds. On the other hand, there are some people who have unexplained weight loss, which can be a cause for concern. While the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight go far beyond improved health and appearance, losing weight without trying may signal an underlying condition. Health experts warned that unintentional weight loss can be a symptom of a serious illness, including heart failure, diabetes or cancer.

Anybody can experience unexplained weight loss especially after a life-changing or stressful event. But, in older people, losing weight of even less than 5 per cent of the body weight or 10 pounds may indicate that something isnt just right, as per Cleveland Clinic. Below are some reasons why unexplained weight loss could be a serious problem.

Congestive heart failure

Weight loss can be a sign of congestive heart failure (CHF), a condition in which the heart cant pump enough blood and oxygen to the bodys tissues. Heart failure is associated with weight loss as the inflammation in the damaged heart tissue can also increase the bodys metabolism. Other symptoms of CHFinclude:


Often people with type 1 diabetes, prior to diagnosis, have unexplained weight loss - although it can also affect people with type 2 diabetes. According to the Diabetes.co.uk, insufficient insulin stops the body from getting glucose from the blood and into the cells of the body to use as energy. Hence, the body begins to burn fat and muscle for energy, which leads to a reduction in overall body weight. Other symptoms of type 1 diabetes are:


Unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more could be one of the first signs of cancer, as per the American Cancer Society. In fact, 40% of people experienced weight loss when first diagnosed with cancer, a group of diseases that cause abnormal cells to divide and spread uncontrollably, destroying body tissue. Unusual weight loss is common especially in cancers of the pancreas, lung, stomach, and oesophagus. Other early symptoms of cancer include -


Hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, is a condition in which your thyroid gland produces too much of thyroxine, a hormone secreted by the thyroid gland into the bloodstream. It can accelerate your bodys metabolism, causing your body to burn calories quickly despite having a good appetite. This can result in unintentional weight loss. Other symptoms of an overactive thyroid include:

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

COPD is an umbrella term used to describe chronic inflammatory lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, causing obstructed airflow from the lungs. And that effort to breathe burns a lot of calories - way more than someone with healthy lungs, Albert Rizzo, MD, chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Christiana Care Health System, told WebMD. The Cleveland Clinic said damaged lungs can burn as much as 10 times more calories than normal, healthy lungs, which can lead to unintentional weight loss.

Other symptoms of COPD include:

Apart from this, there are many other health conditions that can cause unusual weight loss such as - tuberculosis, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, etc.

The fact is its quite normal for anybody to experience weight fluctuations. However, if youre losing weight without changing your habits or trying through diet/exercise, it may signal something more serious. It is advisable to seek medical help if a person is experiencing a 5% weight loss of their body weight in 6-12 months.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.

Losing weight not always good, could be a sign of ailment- when to see a doctor - Times Now

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