Unexplained weight loss could be a sign of health conditions

It is natural for your weight to fluctuate throughout the year. But if you lose at least 5 percent of your body weight in less than six months, and you can’t find a good explanation for that weight loss, it’s time for your doctor to know what’s going on. That means, if you weigh 70 kilos, a weight fluctuation of around 3 to 3 and a half kilos in a short period of time should be a red flag.

It is not common to lose a significant amount of weight without an obvious reason. If you are losing weight and nothing has changed with your diet or activity, you need to worry about that a bit.

In fact, unexplained weight loss could be an early sign of a serious health condition. Here are eight health problems that could explain why you are losing weight so suddenly.

Thyroid problems

Weight loss is a common symptom of hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid. This means that your thyroid, the butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that helps regulate your metabolism and growth, is pumping out too many hormones, resulting in a host of changes in the body.

If you suspect a thyroid problem, you could have increased hunger or heart palpitations.  Trouble sleeping or feeling hot all the time are also common symptoms of an overactive thyroid.

Intestinal diseases

Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder in which eating gluten causes damage to the small intestine, can cause weight loss, and tends to be accompanied by other gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating and diarrhea.

Why? If you have celiac disease and you eat gluten, your immune system kicks in a bit. This reaction can alter the lining of your small intestine, hindering its ability to help you absorb nutrients properly. Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease can also lead to unexplained weight loss due to malabsorption as well.


Problems with your pancreas, which produce enzymes that aid in digestion, can also lead to unexplained weight loss. People with chronic pancreatitis, a disease in which the pancreas becomes inflamed, tend to lose weight quickly (even if they are eating normally) because the body simply does not produce enough enzymes for proper digestion of food to occur. Look for symptoms like stomach pain, discolored (or oily) stools, diarrhea, or nausea after eating fatty foods.


Loss of appetite is a common side effect of clinical depression and can promote unexplained weight loss if you are not aware that your mood swings are somewhat more severe. In many cases, the person does not even realize that they are losing weight because they are mired in depression. Irritability, binge drinking, indecision, and trouble sleeping are other common symptoms of depression.


Especially early on, new-onset diabetes can cause weight loss. You may also feel a crazy thirst and notice that you are urinating all the time. Your body is literally urinating on the glucose because you can’t absorb it, and that makes you thirsty, he explains. Diabetes also causes your body to suck nutrition out of your muscles, fueling sudden weight loss.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, a condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues, or some types of infection can suppress a patient’s appetite, causing weight loss. These conditions can also cause inflammation in the gut, which could interfere with nutrient absorption, leading to unexplained weight loss before diagnosis.

Not eating enough

There is an „obesity paradox“ according to experts. Later in life, weight loss, not weight gain, is associated with an increased risk of death. As we age, the stomach empties more slowly, which makes you feel fuller for longer. Also, some of the brain signals that control appetite and fullness are attenuated. All of this can cause older adults to eat less, lose weight, and not get enough nutrients to meet their bodies‘ needs.

Many medications can also affect your appetite, so you need to pay attention to how much and how often you are eating.


Various types of cancer, as well as a tumor or ulcer in the stomach or intestines, can cause inflammation or malabsorption problems that can lead to weight loss. If someone is experiencing unexplained weight loss, their stomach, colon, and intestines should be checked for tumors or inflammation. Also, to detect possible tumors in the esophagus, the tube that connects the throat and stomach, which can make swallowing difficult.

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