Unwanted Weight Loss: Overview, Symptoms & Causes

Divya Tripathi

, Health A2Z

Sometimes, weight loss can be deliberated, such as through dieting and exercise, or unwanted and be a reaction of some illness.


It’s normal to fluctuate the weight with the time. A usual up or down of few pounds is natural and nothing to worry about. But if you lose 5% of your body weight in the duration of six months then it became a cause to worry.


(People Also Like To Read: Top 6 Common Disease that Breaks Down the Immune System)


Unwanted Weight loss can consequence from a decrease in the muscle mass, body fluid, or fat. After pregnancy weight loss is completely normal. Other sources of weight loss include cancer, viral infection (such as CMV or HIV), parasite infection, bowel diseases, gastroenteritis, depression, and overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) and many more.




How Much Unwanted Weight Loss is a Concern?


Losing more than 5% of your body weight can be a sign of malnutrition, where one’s diet doesn’t carry the correct amount of nutrients.


The one should pay special attention if you feel any other symptoms, like:


  • Loss of appetite


  • Tiredness


  • An increase in illnesses or infections


  • A change in your toilet habits.




11 Most Common Reasons for Unwanted Weight Loss


So, here the list of some common causes of unwanted weight loss;


1. Overactive Thyroid


Overactive thyroid or Hyperthyroidism develops when your thyroid gland produces excess thyroid hormone. If you have an overactive thyroid, the calories burn quickly even if you feel a good appetite. This can lead to unwanted weight loss.


Other symptoms include:


  • Fast, irregular heart rate





  • Heat intolerance


  • Light periods in women


  • Hand tremors


2. Muscle Loss


Muscle loss, or muscle wasting, can also lead to unwanted weight loss. The main symptom of it is muscle weakness. One of your limbs may even look different or smaller than the other.


Your body is made of muscle, bone, and water. If you lose muscle, you’ll lose weight as well. It’s common in people who don’t exercise, are bedridden, work desk jobs. Generally, exercise and proper nutrition will recover muscle loss.


Some other causes of muscle loss are:


  • Aging




  • Injuries, such as broken bones


  • Burns


  • Osteoarthritis


  • Osteoporosis


  • Multiple sclerosis


  • Nerve damage



3. Diabetes


Another most common cause of unwanted weight loss is ‘type 1 diabetes‘. The immune system of type 1 diabetes patient attacks cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Without insulin, the body can’t use glucose for energy. This causes high sugar level. So, kidneys remove unused glucose through urine and then sugar leaves your body along with calories.



4. Rheumatoid Arthritis


Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that makes your immune system attack the to your joints, which causes swelling. Excess swelling can speed up your metabolism and reduce weight.

Symptoms of RA include joint pain and swelling. Generally, it affects both sides of your body in the same joint.


Some causes of RA is can be one of the following:


  • Genes


  • Age



  • Hormonal changes



  • Secondhand smoking



5. Depression


Unwanted weight loss can lead due to depression, which is defined as lost, feeling sad, or loneliness for more than two weeks. These emotions affect your daily activities, like going to work or school.

Depression affects the parts of the brain which controls your appetite. This can lead to a poor appetite which leads to weight loss.


(You Might Also Like To Read: Know About Your Menopause Stage: Cause, Symptoms andMore)


Other symptoms of depression include:


  • Loss of interest in hobbies


  • Constant sadness


  • Poor concentration


  • Low energy


  • Thoughts of death or suicide


  • Sleeping too little or too much


  • Irritability



6. Inflammatory Bowel Disease


Unwanted weight loss might be a symptom of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is a phase that surrounds several chronic inflammatory diseases of the digestive system. The two most common types are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.


Additional symptoms include:

  • Stomach pain


  • Diarrhea


  • Bloody stools


  • Bloating


  • Fatigue



7. Endocarditis


Endocarditis causes inflammation of the heart’s inner lining or endocardium. It develops when germs like bacteria enter into your bloodstream and collect in your heart.


The most common symptom of endocarditis is fever which comes along with a poor appetite. increased body temperature also enhance metabolism and causing weight loss.


Other symptoms of Endocarditis are:


  • Chest pain


  • Heart murmur


  • Coughing, with or without blood


  • Abdominal pain


  • Night Sweats


  • Difficulty breathing



  • Back pain


  • Red or purple spots on the skin



8. Tuberculosis


Tuberculosis can also cause unwanted weight loss, a communicable disease that generally affects the lungs. It’s caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. Sudden weight loss and reduce appetite are major symptoms of TB.

It may affect accelerates through the air. If you have a weak immune system you can catch TB even without getting sick, and with the strong immune system, bacteria will become inactive. It is also known latent TB.


Symptoms of active TB include:


  • A bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or more


  • Chest pain


  • Coughing up blood or phlegm


  • Fatigue


  • Chills


  • Fever



9. Cancer

Cancer is the diseases that cause abnormal cells to quickly divide and spread. One of the first signs of cancer may be an unwanted weight loss of around 10 pounds or more. This is common in pancreas cancers, lung cancers, stomach cancers.


Early symptoms of cancer also include:


  • Fever


  • Fatigue


  • Pain


  • Skin changes



10. HIV


HIV attacks on the immune cells known as T cells, which makes the immune system difficult to fight infections. If remains untreated, HIV can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Advanced forms of this often cause weight loss.

Symptoms like a mouth sores, sore throat, and fatigue can make eating uncomfortable. HIV also increases the risk of other infections.


Other symptoms of HIV include:


  • Fever


  • Rashes


  • Chills


  • Swollen lymph nodes


  • Night Sweats


  • Muscle aches


  • Symptoms of HIV varies on the person and stage of infection.



11. Congestive Heart Failure


Weight loss is an issue of congestive heart failure (CHF). CHF grows when the heart can’t fill up with enough blood, and it can’t pump blood with enough force, or both. It may affect either one or both sides of the heart.

If you are affected with CHF, your digestive system can’t receive enough blood. This can tends to nausea and early fullness even hard to breathe while eating.


CHF symptoms also include:

  • Shortness of breath


  • Swelling


  • Persistent coughing


  • Fast heart rate


  • Fatigue






So, here we have discussed different condition which can lead to unwanted weight loss. Well, not all weight loss is this much serious. It can occur after a life-changing or stressful event. However, the reason is if you feel sudden weight loss you should contact your doctor.


(People Also Like To Read: Seizures: Learn How To Tackle This Brain Disorder)

Disclaimer: GoMedii is a recognized and a considerate healthcare platform which tends to connect every dot of the healthcare needs and facilities. GoMedii facilitates the accessibility of all health news, health tips, and information from the Health experts and Doctors to the eyes of readers. All of the information and facts mentioned in the GoMedii Blog are thoroughly examined and verified by the Doctors and Health Experts, elsewise source of information is confirmed for the same.

 About GoMedii: GoMedii is a Healthcare Technology Platform That Works Out Your Treatment / Surgery the Way You Need & Plan. A Treatment partner that simplifies the patient journey at every step. Drop Your Queries for the most affordable & world-class treatment options.You may simply download the GoMedii app for Android or iOS.