What is Unintentional Weight Loss?
Unintentional weight loss is defined as the involuntary decrease in body weight. Losing weight and losing excess weight are among the main goals of millions of people worldwide – to achieve this goal, many go on diets and exercise.
Except for that weight loss, sometimes, does not always happen because the person wants to. We call these cases unintentional weight loss. That is, it is when a person loses weight even without dieting or exercising.
Unintentional weight loss can be the result of both a faster metabolism and a sign of a more serious health problem.
Numerous reasons can lead a person to lose weight without the intention of losing weight. Here are some of the possible causes:
- Accelerated metabolism
- Loss of appetite
- Abuse of chemicals such as alcohol and drugs
- Chronic diarrhea
- Eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, can cause a person to lose more weight than they would actually like
- Use of certain medications, such as amphetamines, overuse of laxatives and thyroid medications
- Result of chemotherapy treatment used to treat some types of cancer
- Severe sleep disorders such as insomnia
- Oral ulcers, which cause pain
- Use of dental appliances, which make feeding difficult
- Tooth loss
- Tooth decay
Diagnosis and Exams
Seeking medical help
Seek help from a doctor if you or someone close to you is losing weight without the intention of losing weight. If you are not adopting any specific diet or exercising, but you are still losing weight, it is a sign that something is not going well.
Make an appointment with a doctor, too, if you have lost a lot of weight in the past few months and cannot explain the exact cause of the weight loss. Also, be aware of possible other symptoms that may arise together.
In the medical consultation
Specialists who can diagnose unintentional weight loss are:
- General practitioner
- Dentist / Dentist
- Sleep doctor
Being prepared for the consultation can facilitate the diagnosis and optimize the time. That way, you can already reach the consultation with some information:
- A list of all symptoms and how long ago they appeared
- Medical history, including other conditions the patient has and medications or supplements he takes regularly
- If possible, ask someone to accompany you
The doctor will probably ask a series of questions, such as:
- When did the symptoms appear?
- When did you start losing weight?
- Did you do or are you on a specific diet?
- Do you practice physical exercises? How often?
- How many pounds have you lost?
- Have you ever been diagnosed with a medical condition? What?
- Do you use any type of medication? What?
- Are you undergoing any type of treatment?
- Do you smoke?
- Do you drink alcohol?
- Do you use any drugs?
- Do you usually lose weight naturally or do you believe something is involved in your weight loss?
- How has your food been?
- Did you start eating something specific? What?
- How many liters of water do you drink a day?
- Do you have trouble sleeping?
- Have you been very tired? Are you out of power?
- What other symptoms did you experience?