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Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (diet, exercise) or involuntary (illness) circumstances. Most instances of weight loss arise due to the loss of body fat, but in cases of extreme or severe weight loss, protein and other substances in the body can also be depleted. Examples of involuntary weight loss include the weight loss associated with cancer, malabsorption (such as from chronic diarrheal illnesses), and chronic inflammation.
HOW IS WEIGHT LOSS DIAGNOSED?
The health care provider will do a physical exam and check weight. He will ask details of medical and family history and symptoms. The doctor will also ask questions related to lifestyle of the patient.
HOW IS WEIGHT LOSS TREATED?
Treatment of unexplained weight loss depends on the cause. Diseases like cancer, thyroid problems and liver problems need to be treated appropriately.
DID YOU KNOW?
The loss of weight and lack of nutrition associated with a chronic illness is referred to as cachexia. Unintentional weight loss due to an illness may occur along with these symptoms:
• loss of appetite
• abdominal discomfort
• abdominal pain