Maybe you eat a bit too much during the holidays and gain a bit of weight, or you come down with the stomach flu and end up dropping a few pounds—a slight swing on the scale is normal and nothing to worry about. Cappola says. In fact, unexplained weight loss could be an early sign of a serious health condition, says Kerry Hildreth, M. Weight loss is a common symptom of hyperthyroidism —or an over-active thyroid, Dr. This means your thyroid—the butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that helps regulate your metabolism and growth—is pumping out too many hormones, resulting in a slew of body changes. Sleeping problems or feeling hot all the time are also common symptoms of an over-active thyroid, she says. Hildreth adds. Celiac disease —an autoimmune disorder common in white people in which ingesting gluten causes damage to the small intestine—can lead to a drop in weight, and tends to be accompanied by other GI symptoms like bloating and diarrhea, says Jamile Wakim-Fleming, M. If you have celiac disease and eat gluten, your immune system freaks out a bit.
Unexplained weight loss occurs when people lose weight without changing their diet or exercise routine. Most people are very aware of the dangerous consequences of weight gain, and many articles focus on ways to lose weight. People may gain or lose weight in response to seasonal changes or when facing important or stressful life changes, such as moving home or starting a new job. However, a person may wish to see a doctor if they experience significant weight loss that has no clear explanation. In this article, learn about the possible causes of unexplained weight loss and when to see a doctor. Several medical conditions can cause unexplained weight loss. People can help their doctor pinpoint the underlying cause by paying attention to any additional symptoms that they experience.
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