Unintentional Weight Loss: Cachexia - Get Yourself Checked
Losing weight can be a Herculean task for most of us, but if you are losing weight unintentionally and without any effort, then something may well be wrong. Don’t mistake it for lady luck shining down on you; unintentional weight loss is a serious symptom for many health ailments and it signals the need to visit a doctor. What we're talking about is - Cachexia, a syndrome that involves weight loss, fatigue, loss of appetite, and muscle atrophy among other things. Each of these causes, and Cachexia itself, is a sign of an underlying chronic illness, and warrants immediate medical attention.
But when do you visit the doctor? Simply, when you lose five percent of bodyweight in less than six months or a year without any weight loss diet and exercise to aid you. Secondly, visit a doctor if your weight loss is clubbed with other symptoms like dental problems, obstruction in bowel movement (you will feel uneasy and umconfortable throughout the day) or when your intestine absorption is poor.
If you listen and feel, your body is talking with you every moment; if your feet hurt, then you're wearing the wrong pair of shoes or when your throat is parched, you naturally drink water or juices. Therefore, if you are losing weight drastically without lifting a dumbell or skipping any foods, then your body is sending you an SOS. These are signals to warn you about the grave danger ahead. For example, below are some life-changing diseases that can be avoided with timely treatment.
- Chronic Diarrhea
- Relapsing polychondritis – inflammation of the cartilage
- Bowel obstruction
Self abuse can lead to weight loss too. Lifestyle changes of the 21st century are behind several health issues today. Smoking and alcoholism addiction is an age old problem; however, lately, these have deepened their roots in our lives. Rising stress levels and easy access to cigarettes, drugs and OTC drugs - all contribute to the constant threat of self abuse. Alcoholism, anorexia, bulimia, dehydration, drug abuse, smoking, malnutrition, medication are addictions that were earlier associated with controversially thin models; now they have crept into all our lives. Therefore, self abuse can alter your weight, which in turn can have unhealthy repercussions within your body.
What goes on in your head can make you lose weight as well. Dementia, depression and loss of appetite are closely linked to each other. No hard hitting evidence proves this, but common behaviour suggets they are inter-connected. When one goes through dementia, the initial sign is depression which results in loss of appetite, taste and smell.
If you are losing bodyweight faster than a regular Joe, you should visit the doctor for further tests and treatment.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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