Let’s discuss Are The Causes of Unexplained Weight Loss?
Is unexplained weight loss a good thought to hold back? Is it a good idea to see my doctor? Many thoughts begin to arise when you started experiencing unexplained weight.
Several things can trigger it; It can be depression, some healthy challenges, and many others. You find some of the things that may cause unexplained weight loss in this post.
When experiencing these symptoms, it best you speak to your doctor, don’t keep it to yourself. It may end up causing more harm than good.
Here are some of the medical conditions that may cause unexplained weight loss.
Have it in mind that not all unexplained weight loss is a serious issue. It can happen after you might have stressed yourself so much in preparing an event or life-changing habits.
Here are the conditions:
- Muscle loss
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Overactive thyroid
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Addison’s disease
- Congestive heart failure
- HIV | HIV
Lets us go into details about all the listed conditions
1. Muscle loss or muscle wasting
What role is muscle loss or muscle wasting had to do with unexplained weight loss
? Is not surprising that this condition has 80% to contribute to your weight loss.
The major symptom you may likely have is the weakness of the muscles. One of your limbs may even look smaller than the other.
Remember that the body is made of fat mass and fat-free mass, including muscle, bone, and water. So, whenever you lose your muscle, you are definitely likely to lose weight.
This usually happens to people who don’t exercise, work desk jobs, or use the muscles for a period of time.
However, the good news is that when placed on diets or engaged in exercise, the muscles may be revered.
Also, below are other causes of muscle loss include:
- injuries, such as broken bones
- rheumatoid arthritis
- nerve damage
- multiple sclerosis
2.Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition that causes your immune system to attack the lining of the joints, however causing inflammation. Also, chronic inflammation can reduce weight and speed up metabolism.
Although, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) include joint swelling and pain. This mainly affects the same joints on both sides of the body.
Some persons may experience joint stiffness when the leg is not in active condition.
Furthermore, it is not known the causes of RA yet. However, it may be linked to:
- hormonal changes
- secondhand smoking
Treatment of RA begins with medication. Also, some medications include biologics,disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, corticosteroids, and Janus-associated kinase inhibitors.
3. Hyperthyroidism or Overactive thyroid
Hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid is a condition that develops when the thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone. However, these hormones have been seen to control many functions in the body, including metabolism.
Mind you that, If the thyroid is overactive, you will likely burn calories even if you have a good appetite. The result can be unintentional weight loss.
Other symptoms include:
- heat intolerance
- fast, irregular heart rate
- hand tremors
- light periods in women
- Difficulty in sleeping
Possible causes of hyperthyroidism include:
- taking too much thyroid medicine
- eating too much iodine
- Graves’ disease
Before any treatment, consult with your doctor because treatment of hyperthyroidism varies depending on your age and the severity of your case. However, You can treat it with anti-thyroid medications, beta-blockers, radioactive iodine, or surgery.
Type1 diabetes can cause unexplained weight loss. The immune system attacks cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Without insulin, your body can’t use glucose for energy. This causes high blood glucose.
Your kidneys remove unused glucose through urine. As sugar leaves your body, so do calories.
Type 1 diabetes also causes:
- excessive thirst
- frequent urination
- blurry vision
- excessive hunger
Additionally, treatment of type 1 diabetes includes insulin, diet modifications, blood sugar monitoring, and exercise.
5.Inflammatory bowel disease
Unexplained weight loss may be a symptom of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is a term that describes several chronic inflammatory disorders of the digestive tract.
The two most common types are
The chronic inflammation of IBD puts your body in a catabolic state, which means that it’s constantly using up energy.
IBD also disrupts ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and leptin, the satiety hormone. This results in decreased appetite and weight loss.
Other symptoms include:
- stomach pain
- bloody stools
Additionally, these symptoms are triggered by certain diets. If you have IBD, you might be hesitant to eat. Treatment of IBD normally consists of nutritional support, medication, and in some cases, surgery.
Depression is defined as feeling sad, lost, or empty for at least two weeks. These emotions interfere with daily activities, such as going to work or other activities.
It is seen that depression affects some parts of the brain that control appetite. This can lead to poor appetite, and most effectively to, weight loss.
In some cases of individuals, appetite varies. Depression may increase appetite, while to some persons, it may lead to loss of appetite.
Other symptoms of depression include:
- constant sadness
- low energy
- poor concentration
- loss of interest in hobbies
- sleeping too little or too much
- thoughts of death or suicide
Treatment for Depression may include behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, and antidepressants.
Endocarditis causes inflammation of the heart’s inner lining or endocardium. This condition results from when germs develop (bacteria) enter the bloodstream and collect in your heart.
In some cases, most persons with endocarditis usually have a fever. This may come along with a poor appetite.
Other symptoms include:
- coughing, with or without blood
- abdominal pain
- heart murmur
- chest pain
- difficulty breathing
- night sweats
- back pain
- red or purple spots on the skin
Furthermore, endocarditis is rare in healthy hearts. This condition may likely affect people with damaged heart valves, congenital heart defects, or artificial heart valves. Treatment of endocarditis includes antibiotics and surgery.
8. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease. This includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It is seen that many people with COPD have both.
Additionally, emphysema slowly damages the air sacs in your lungs, making it difficult to breathe. Chronic bronchitis causes inflammation of the airways that bring air to your lungs. This produces mucus, coughing, and breathing issues.
The main cause of COPD is cigarette smoking. Long-term exposure to irritants such as air pollution and dust can also lead to COPD.
Early COPD is mild, While some people will not notice any symptoms.
Some symptoms include:
- shortness of breath
- chest tightness
- mild coughing, with or without mucus
In the late stages, COPD can cause weight loss. Labored breathing burns a lot of calories. According to Cleveland Clinic, a person with COPD may need 10 more times more calories to breathe than a person without COPD. It can also feel uncomfortable to eat and breathe at the same time.
Symptoms of severe COPD also include:
- low muscle endurance
- swelling of legs, ankles, or feet
Treatment includes medications, such as bronchodilators, and lung therapies, like oxygen therapy.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious condition that usually affects the lungs. This is a result of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. The major symptoms of TB are Weight loss and decreased appetite are major symptoms of TB.
Furthermore, TB spreads through the air.
- a bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or more
- coughing up blood or phlegm
- night sweats
- chest pain
Some people are at risk for active TB. This includes people with weak immune systems.
especially those who have:
- substance use disorder
- organ transplant
- low body weight
- Hodgkin’s disease
The treatment for TB is typical with a course of antibiotics for six to nine months.
10. Addison’s disease
Addison’s disease is a result when the immune system attacks the adrenal glands. In turn, the adrenal glands can’t make enough hormones like cortisol and aldosterone.
However, causing cortisol regulates many functions, including metabolism and appetite. Low levels of cortisol may lead to poor appetite and weight loss.
symptoms of Addison’s disease include:
- low blood pressure
- chronic fatigue
- muscle weakness
- salt cravings
Treatment includes medications that’ll regulate the adrenal gland.
Cancer is the general term for diseases that cause abnormal cells to divide and spread quickly.
According to the American Cancer Society, one of the first signs may be an unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more. This is common with cancers of the pancreas, lung, stomach, and esophagus.
Additionally, cancer increases inflammation. This promotes muscle wasting and disrupts appetite-regulating hormones.
A growing tumor may also raise the resting energy expenditure (REE), or how much energy your body burns at rest.
Many conditions can cause these symptoms. Sometimes, cancer doesn’t cause any symptoms.
Early symptoms of cancer also include:
Treatment depends on the type of cancer. Treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy.
12.Congestive heart failure
Weight loss is a complication of congestive heart failure (CHF). CHF develops when the heart can’t fill up with enough blood; the heart can’t pump blood with enough force, or both. It may affect one or both sides of the heart.
If you have CHF, your digestive system can’t receive enough blood. This can lead to nausea and early fullness. Additionally, it might be hard to breathe while eating.
The inflammation in damaged heart tissue also speeds up metabolism, causing unintentional weight loss.
CHF symptoms also include:
- persistent coughing
- shortness of breath
- fast heart rate
There are several medications used to treat CHF, including angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, beta-blockers, and diuretics. In some cases, surgery might be necessary.
HIV attacks immune cells called T cells. This makes it hard to fight infections. If left untreated, HIV can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Advanced forms of these conditions often cause weight loss.
Symptoms like sore throat, mouth sores, and fatigue can make eating uncomfortable. HIV also increases the risk of secondary infections, which increases REE.
Other symptoms of HIV include:
- night sweats
- muscle aches
- swollen lymph nodes
Symptoms of HIV depend on the individual and stage of infection. Antiretroviral therapy is used to treat HIV, stop the spread of the virus, and improve weight loss.