Weight Loss

Published Date: 6/17/2023 6:06:49 AM

  • Unexplained Weight Loss is a decrease in body weight when you did not try to lose weight on your own. Many people gain and lose weightUnintentional weight loss is the loss of 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) or 5% of your normal body weight over 6 to 12 months or less without knowing the reason.
  • The weight loss does not come about because of diet, exercise, or lifestyle changes. Weight loss of 10 pounds or more, or five percent of body weight, over a period of 6 to 12 months is considered "unexplained". Unexplained weight loss can be a symptom of a serious condition or illness.
Causes of unexplained weight loss include:
  • Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency)
  • Cancer.
  • Celiac disease.
  • Changes in diet or appetite.
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) exacerbation.
  • Bowel Obstruction
  • Dental Problems
  • Infections (Parasites)
  • Malabsorption
  • Medications (Both Prescription and Nonprescription)
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Heart failure


  • Loss of Appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
When to see a doctor:
  • It's normal for your body weight to fluctuate. However, if you’re losing weight without changing your habits, something else might be going on.
  • If you experience a 5 percent weight loss in 6 to 12 months, or if you notice any of the above symptoms, visit your doctor.
  • Your doctor will work with you to try to determine what's causing the weight loss. At first, that will involve a thorough history, a physical examination, and basic laboratory testing. Imaging scans to look for hidden cancers are not usually helpful unless some other clue points in that direction.
  • Sometimes, if the basic evaluation is negative, watchful waiting for one to six months is a reasonable next step. You may need a special diet to prevent further weight loss or to regain lost pounds.


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