When to worry about weight loss. Your body weight can fluctuate, but when you lose more than 5% of your weight in a period of 6 to 12 months, that's usually a cause for concern. You should see your doctor if you have lost more than 5 percent of your body weight or 10 pounds without trying in a period of 6 to 12 months. This is especially important if you also have other symptoms.
Involuntary weight loss occurs when you lose weight without changing your diet or exercise routine. It can be a sign of stress or serious illness. See a general practitioner just in case. Many conditions that lead to involuntary weight loss are difficult to diagnose in the early stages, and sometimes several blood tests or imaging studies (such as x-rays) are needed to find the cause.
Treatment for involuntary weight loss will depend on the underlying cause (s), and there is a good chance that there is one. Other research has found that up to a quarter of cases of involuntary weight loss cannot be explained. You can lose weight because it can irritate the digestive system and make it difficult for your body to absorb nutrients from food. Some of the underlying causes that contribute to involuntary weight loss are serious conditions in their own right.
You should return to your normal weight once you have time to mourn the loss or get used to the change. If you're not sure which of the many diet plans is most effective for you, it can be difficult to start your weight loss process. According to the American Cancer Society, one of the first signs may be an unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more. Whether the reason for extreme weight loss is related to diet or for medical purposes, practicing proper nutrition can go a long way in discovering a remedy.
Extreme weight loss deprives your body of the essential nutrients that are needed for healthy functioning. Another cause of unexplained weight loss is tuberculosis (TB), a contagious condition that usually affects the lungs. Other components, such as muscle-fat ratio and bone density, have a greater impact on health than weight alone, so don't base your health solely on the number reflected on the scale. Weight loss may be the first sign of blood-related cancers, such as leukemias and lymphomas, or solid tumors, such as lung cancer (especially adenocarcinoma of the lung), colon cancer, ovarian cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
Involuntary weight loss can be a sign of a medical condition, and these potentially serious causes can range from thyroid problems to cancer.