Although most of us would welcome the opportunity to shed a few excess kilos, there are times when unexpected weight loss can pose a very real threat. What are some scenarios that can lead to unintentional weight loss? Are there any situations that might require the advice of a medical professional? In this article of Spatz3, we will discuss some causes of unexplained weight loss, as well as highlighting when more serious problems may be present.
Why is Body Weight an Accurate Gauge of Health?
There are many variables which can be used to determine our physical health. Some common examples include nail and hair growth, skin elasticity, appetite, and energy levels. Body weight is another factor that should be taken into account. Why is this the case?
Under normal conditions, the human body always tries to achieve what is known as “homeostasis” within medical circles. We can view this goal as striving for a perpetual balance. Unfortunately, there are times when an illness, an injury, or a chronic health condition may be present. In such scenarios, the body could begin to metabolize (break down) tissues such as lean muscle and fat in order to obtain a source of “backup” energy.
In other words, unexplained weight loss could be a signal that an underlying health issue is present. The only problem here involves the simple fact that any drop in body weight is a decidedly general symptom. Those who want to get to the root of the problem will therefore require the advice of a trained professional.
What Might Cause Sudden Weight Loss?
To be perfectly clear, unexplained weight loss does not necessarily result in a life-threatening situation. There are actually a number of reasons why you might be losing weight for no apparent reason. Let’s take a look at a handful of common real-world examples.
Have you noticed issues when digesting certain foods? In the event that your small intestine is not functioning properly, a drop in weight could occur. Some conditions that fall into this category include celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Lactose intolerance and a lack of “healthy” bacteria within the gut can likewise lead to weight loss within a short period of time.
A Change in Your Mental or Emotional State
Have you been experiencing increased levels of stress? If so, these sensations can have an impact upon your appetite. Some individuals eat more as a result, while others might, instead, lose interest in their favorite foods. When combined with other responses such as poor sleeping habits, weight loss could very well manifest as a primary side effect.
The thyroid gland regulates a host of biological activities; one of the most important being the metabolism. If specific hormones become imbalanced, conditions such as hypothyroidism may become present.
Hypothyroidism is associated with a host of symptoms including lethargy, depression, a decreased appetite, and weight gain. This is why it is essential to obtain a professional diagnosis if you feel that this might apply to your current situation.
Unexplained Weight Loss During Perimenopause
Yet another common situation is associated with females who may begin to experience sudden weight loss during perimenopause (the period immediately before the common symptoms of menopause become present).
During this transition, many women tend to accumulate body fat while simultaneously losing a slight amount of lean muscle mass. As muscle is (roughly) twice as dense as fat, a decrease in weight may occur. However, this is normally nothing to be worried about, and perimenopausal symptoms will often resolve themselves without requiring intervention.
When Weight Loss Without Trying May be a Concern
Unfortunately, there are also instances when sudden weight loss could indicate that a more serious underlying problem is present. Experts tend to agree that a drop in five percent or more of your body weight within a single year should be evaluated by a professional. The main point here is that discovering the root causes will ultimately lead to a targeted solution.
Even if you have been outfitted with the Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloon, keep a close eye on your weight. While this device will offer tangible results, a fine line exists between losing excess kilos and what might evolve into a more profound health worry. Summarily, any type of unexplained weight loss should always be taken seriously.