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Weight loss can be a symptom of some serious disease or illness. If one loses too much weight over a short period of time, it is a reason to worry. Along with evident weight and inch loss, one also experiences fatigue and weakness. In other cases, the patient may start having aversion to food, be unwilling to eat and also experience other health problems.
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?
Weight loss may be the result of:
• the side effects of certain medications
• alcohol misuse or drug misuse
• heart, kidney, lung or liver disease
• a problem with the glands that secrete hormones – such as Addison's disease or undiagnosed diabetes
• a long-term inflammatory condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
• dental problems – such as losing teeth, having new orthodontics or mouth ulcers
• a condition that causes dysphagia (swallowing problems)
• a disease of the gut, such as a stomach ulcer, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or coeliac disease
• a bacterial, viral or parasitic infection, such as persistent gastroenteritis, tuberculosis (TB) or HIV and AIDS
• dementia – people with dementia may be unable to communicate their eating needs