ZocdocAnswersWhat causes spontaneous weight loss?

Question

What causes spontaneous weight loss?

If a person loses some weight for no real reason, is that a bad sign? I'm a guy, and I've never been overweight - but I've never been that thin either. Over the last few months, I've been really dropping the pounds. It's nice so far, but it's strange because I haven't changed my diet or lifestyle at all.

Answer

Unfortunately the causes of "unintentional weight loss" are many, and all of them require evaluation by a qualified health care physician. I'll review a few possibilities here. The first thing you need to do is keep track of exactly what you are eating each day. A drop in your appetite can make it seem like you are eating the same but in fact you may be eating a lot less. If you are sure you are eating the same, and you are not trying to lose weight, then your weight loss may be due to something that needs evaluated and treated. A healthy body is very unlikely to lose weight unintentionally unless you have a lot more physical activity you do daily or you are limited in your access to food. In the case of unintentional weight loss, there may be a disease process that is actively burning the calories you are eating essentially starving the rest of your body. Diseases that manifest this way include cancer, chronic infections such as tuberculosis, and intestinal infections with worms. This does not mean that you have one of these diseases, but your doctor will have to rule them out. In summary, even if you feel fine right now, you should definitely schedule and appointment with your primary care physician who can help work up whatever is going on if anything. Good luck.

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