Unexplained weight loss might be related to health conditions that might need medical attention. In case you are experiencing weight loss without trying to lose weight, it is important to know the root cause. People who lose at least 5% of their total body weight without dieting must consult their doctor right away if it happens within a period of 6 to 12 months. Aside from that, look for other signs and symptoms that you can discuss with your doctor. Take note that losing weight are most of the time, not a serious health issue. However, sudden weight loss might be a sign of these health conditions.
1. Muscle Wasting
This condition is also known as muscle loss that can cause a sudden drop in weight. One of the most obvious signs is muscle weakness. In some cases, people experience the uneven size of their limbs. The entire human body is made up of fat mass and mass without fat that includes water, bones, and muscles. Once you lose a lot of muscle then you are sure to go through a rapid weight loss.
It can happen if you are not using your muscles often than you used to. These are common for people who are active and suddenly shift to a sedentary lifestyle. People who are sick and become bedridden will suffer from unintentional weight loss. It is good to know that the condition is reversible through proper nutrition and exercise. There are other possible causes of muscle loss such as aging, stroke, osteoporosis, broken bones, nerve damage, and multiple sclerosis.
2. Abnormal Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland may experience overactivity or also known as hyperthyroidism. It can happen when the thyroid is producing a lot of hormones that can hamper many bodily functions like metabolism. A hyperactive thyroid can cause the burning of too many calories that can result in rapid weight loss. There are possible symptoms that you need to look out for such as fatigue, tremors, irregular heartbeat, sleep troubles, anxiety, and some women go through the light menstrual flow. Some other causes of this condition are consumption of too much iodine in the diet, Grave’s disease, taking thyroid medicines, and thyroiditis.
There are available treatments for hyperthyroidism that is depending on the health status and age of a person. Healthcare providers can suggest taking radioactive iodine, beta-blockers, anti-thyroid drugs, and surgery.
3. Rheumatoid Arthritis
This condition is known as an autoimmune disorder that is characterized by abnormal functioning of the immune system that can result in attacking the lining of joints and later on lead chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation can increase metabolism and cause muscle wasting and unexplained weight loss.
The common signs of RA are swelling and joint pains and stiffness of the joint if you are unable to move for some time. The root cause of rheumatoid arthritis is still unknown but medical professionals relate it to age, smoking, obesity, genes, and hormonal changes in the body. The most common treatment to solve this condition is through medication.
4. Diabetes Type 1
One of the most common causes of unintentional weight loss is type 1 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes can suffer from sudden weight loss because of the inability of the pancreas to produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. This happens when the immune system attacks cells within the pancreas. The kidney eliminates unused sugar into the bloodstream through the urine. Some of the known symptoms of diabetes type 1 are fatigue, excessive hunger and thirst, urination, and blurry vision.
People with this type of diabetes can opt for treatments such as constant monitoring of the blood sugar level, insulin shot, exercise, and a healthy diet.
Rapid weight loss is a sign of depression that can last for more than two weeks. This emotional distress can hinder a person to do his or her daily activities like going to work, exercising, and even eating. Depression can also affect a vital part of the brain that is responsible for controlling appetite. Loss of appetite will eventually lead to massive weight loss. Possible treatments are psychotherapy, behavioral modification therapy, and antidepressant drugs.