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Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"What is the cause of my recent rapid weight loss that is a result of no real lifestyle changes to speak of?"


I am a 20 year old male who has terrible eating habits, eats few vegetables, and drinks a lot of soda. I do walk to class instead of taking the bus, but can walking really do so much?


I would strongly recommend that you see a doctor. Weight loss that is unintentional is rarely normal. See your primary care doctor.

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Our bodies have evolved to protect ourselves. We are very good at storing and conserving energy so our bodies are designed to not loose weight (as fat is stored energy). We simply do not loose weight without another process -- either a concerted effort to eat less + exercise more or some other problem. There are a few problems that should be ruled out. Common weight loss causes in young people are malabsorption -- the body is not absorbing the calories. Examples of this include celiac disease (which presents as diarrhea) or inflammatory bowel disease (abdominal pain). Diabetes is a condition where the energy absorbed cannot be stored. This presents as eating, drinking and urinating more. Talk to your doctor about these. There are problems with using to much energy. Thyroid disease are common causes of this. Another fear is there is a cancer that is consuming energy -- talk to your doctor about this. There are also infections that can cause weight loss -- like tuberculosis. Talk to your doctor. Weighing yourself daily is also helpful to quantify this. This should be addressed.

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