Unexplained Weight Loss – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Losing weight without making effort can be described as unexplained weight loss. This can be warning signal of underlying medical issue. Your body weight is largely based on what you eat and how your lifestyle is. Amount of calorie intake is the main factor to decide your weight. Under normal health conditions, a person’s weight will remain stable after he reaches adulthood. It is common to add/lose few pounds which are not a concern medically.

A person is said to have unexplained weight loss if he loses 10 pounds in a month or even more without making any effort. This problem can be due to various medical issues like depression, diabetes, cancer, thyroid problem or other infectious diseases. Treatment can be given only if the underlying medical problem is identified.

Unexplained Weight Loss Causes :

Any problem in thyroid gland secretion can alter your weight. It can occur due to hyperthyroidism, celiac disease, Addison’s disease, mal-absorption, heart failure, infectious diseases like TB, or due to peptic ulcer. Heart disease, kidney problems and liver infection can cause loss of weight in due course. Chronic arthritis and lung infection can cause weight loss.

During adolescence, some people will develop eating disorders which will lead to unexplained weight loss. They are constantly under the obsession of maintaining their physique and refuse to eat or drink anything on the fear of losing their image. For some people, significant weight loss occurs after stressful event like loss of loved ones, and sudden loss of job etc. On that case, it has to be dealt by psychologist. Counseling will be helpful to overcome the loss and feel happy again. Subsequently the person will regain his normal weight once he comes out of depressive thoughts.

Unexplained Weight Loss Symptoms :

There is no specific symptom of unexplained weight loss except the loss of weight. The person may not have the regular appetite and he will become weak and tired gradually. Loss of appetite can be due to eating disorder like anorexia nervosa or due to other medical conditions.

Unexplained Weight Loss

Diagnosis :

Your doctor will collect all necessary medical information from you and your family. He will refer your case to psychiatrist to check if there is any mental disorder like anxiety/depression. He would request for various procedures like blood test, urine analysis, renal function test, thyroid function test, liver function test, and various other tests for checking absorption of nutrition. He would rule out other possible disorders like eating disorders.

Treatment :

Doctor will first diagnose the root cause of unexplained weight loss and accordingly give medications and treatment. In case the patient has eating disorder the doctor will give treatment accordingly.

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