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The word "weight loss", similar to "fat burning" and many other similar terms implying weight loss (usually due to the fat component), is usually associated with something useful, healthy, correct and necessary for everyone.
And although the views of the public have changed a little now, giving rise to such movements as "body positive", which often encourages overweight people, most people on our planet still tend to see a lot of negativity in being overweight. The reason for this is the state of health, which directly correlates with the presence of obesity in a person and affects not only the quality of his life, but also its duration. Therefore, when we talk about weight loss in overweight people, we are certainly talking about the positive aspects that weight loss can provide.
But does it happen when weight loss is not a reason to rejoice, but a dangerous symptom? When does a significantly dropped figure on the scales become a reason to be on your guard and check your health? Of course yes, answers Pavel Baranov - specialist in the field of nutrition, endocrinology and psychology, member of the Russian Association of Endocrinologists, member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, author of many popular articles in the field of sports medicine, dietetics and psychology, participant of the international festival of healthy lifestyle and sports SN PRO EXPO FORUM.
Let's take a look at what can happen to health, because of which a person's weight can collapse in a short time.
According to modern research, more than 50% of the world's population is undernourished. This means that such people are not getting the nutrients they need in the right amount. The reasons are different, from economic to geographical. If malnutrition continues long enough, it can have a significant impact on a person's health, including severe weight loss. Of course, the best way to prevent this is to eat a balanced diet with enough protein, fat and carbohydrates. Unfortunately, such food is not available to everyone. And many of those who still have access to it simply do not care what and when they eat.
Loss of muscle mass
Loss of muscle mass begins at about 40 years of age and progresses much faster after 75. Preventing the development of such a condition will be both the consumption of a sufficient amount of calories (including maintaining the protein norm of 0.7 g / kg and above), and maintaining physical activity in any age. Western countries are often a positive example of this, because it is not so difficult to meet men and women who are well over 70 going in for sports there.
Unexplained weight loss can be a sign that a person has a thyroid disorder called hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxicosis, which causes the thyroid gland to overproduce hormones. Sometimes a person may not be aware of the presence of such a disease and not take any of the measures necessary to prevent its development. Weight loss will typically be one of a combination of symptoms, including a rapid heart rate, heat intolerance, hair loss, and insomnia. If a person suspects such a violation, he should undergo a diagnosis of the state of the thyroid gland from an endocrinologist.
Unexplained weight loss can sometimes be one sign of an ulcer.
Since the main symptom of peptic ulcers is abdominal pain, they often cause a decrease in appetite. Lifestyle modification combined with prescribed treatment is the best way to get rid of this problem. It is necessary to contact a gastroenterologist in such a situation.
Severe weight loss can be one of the symptoms of cancer. There are several types of cancer, such as leukemia, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast and colon cancer, which often lead to significant weight loss.
Some cancers increase resting metabolism, which means the body burns more calories, while others can produce inflammation-provoking proteins that can lead to weight loss. Treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy often cause decreased appetite and can lead to side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and mouth ulcers, that prevent you from eating. All of this also affects weight loss.
Type 2 diabetes is usually associated with obesity, but weight loss can also be an unexpected symptom of this condition. When the body does not use insulin properly, the transport of glucose for further conversion into energy can also be disrupted. The internal system can begin to use fat and muscle to function, which ultimately leads to a decrease in total body weight. Here it will be important to consult an endocrinologist and a nutritionist as early as possible, because the development of type 2 diabetes is much easier to prevent than to deal with its consequences. Type 1 diabetes, in turn, is an autoimmune disease with which a person is forced to live their whole life.
Tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms - thousands of people pick up these and other parasites every year, either from their pets, or due to poor hygiene when eating and drinking. Parasites absorb nutrients in the body and multiply, filling more and more space in our body and devouring more and more of its resources. This can lead to decreased appetite and weight loss, and the person may not even be aware of anything. It can take weeks and months, and sometimes years, for parasites to manifest themselves, and this is the importance of timely diagnosis. A number of analyzes and tests can help cope with this problem.
This mental disorder can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including weight loss. A person in a depressed state often becomes so immersed in his problems and disconnects from the outside world that, in principle, he practically ceases to eat. Although there is no single cause of depression, many cases can be effectively treated with psycho- and drug therapy. As a rule, a multidisciplinary approach in the form of consultations with a psychologist / psychotherapist and a psychiatrist gives positive results.
HIV and AIDS
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, also known as AIDS, is a chronic, potentially life-threatening illness caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV can either make it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients or put a person into a state of depression, which can lead to malnutrition and decreased appetite.
HIV / AIDS can also increase the risk of developing infections that cause weight loss, either because of decreased appetite or when eating becomes painful.
Alcohol intoxication affects people in different ways, someone starts to eat more and more, and someone, on the contrary, loses their appetite. But this is the case if we are talking about healthy people. Alcoholism, on the other hand, can lead to a person losing a significant amount of weight due to a false sense of satiety, which he will constantly feel due to alcohol abuse.In addition, alcoholism can lead to peptic ulcer disease, which also causes weight loss. People with this disease are also often malnourished, because they often prefer alcohol to a balanced dinner. Of course, as in other cases, it is necessary to get rid of this problem with the help of a team of professionals who are able to bring you "by the hand" to the result.
In addition to everything that we have analyzed, there are also many other problems and pathologies that can manifest themselves in the form of a person losing a certain percentage of body weight. Chronic heart failure, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, dementia, Crohn's disease, Addison's disease, Sjogren's disease, achalasia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, etc. - all these pathologies, among other symptoms, can manifest themselves in the form of weight loss.
This once again reminds of the importance of timely diagnosis, the need for anxious attitude to one's own health, and also that any acquired disease is much easier and more correct to prevent than to treat when it becomes severe.