Weight Loss As A Signal Of Danger

In our modern times we are usually concerned if someone is gaining weight as we all know how dangerous obesity is. But if someone is losing weight. Is it really great for their health or could it be a sign of something more serious than just dieting in order to look and feel better.

Norm or Pathology?

Before answering this question, we need to know what is concidered a critical weight loss. MBI is one of the ways to measure where a person’s body weight stands. It can be calculated by dividing your weight (in pounds) by the square of height (in inches), there are many calculators available online. An indicator of a normal BMI is a number between 18.5 to 25, below 18.5 indicates low weight. Below 16 – a serious pathological processes that occurs in the body.

When assessing the BMI the person's age should be taken into an account. Adolescents and youth weight fluctuations may be due to physiological processes associated with high emotional and physical demands (while studying, playing sports), anorexia (severe mental disorder associated with loss of appetite), changes in hormonal levels (especially in puberty) .

The elderly and middle-aged people are more prone to weight gain (due to slow metabolism), weight loss without any restrictions of food should be alarming and could indicate extreme physical and emotional stress.

The list of diseases with weight loss as a symptom, is long. Weight loss can occur with these types of diseases.

Type 1 Diabetes

Possible symptoms:: Extreme thirst, dry mouth, frequent urination (including at night), insatiable hunger, fatigue.

How It Is Diagnosed: The first thing to be tested for is blood sugar level. According to the recommendations of the World Health Organization, normal blood sugar, or in other words, plasma glucose (blood from a vein) on an empty stomach, is less than 6.1 mmol / l and 2 hours after the load test (given to drink 75 grams of the dissolved glucose ) – less than 7.8 mmol / l. The diagnosis of diabetes is discussed, if a fasting plasma glucose level equals to or more than 7.0 mmol / l and / or 2 hours after the test is equals to or more than 11.1 mmol / l.

Hyperthyroidism (hyperthyroidism)

Possible symptoms: nervousness, anxiety, quickened heart rate, increased appetite, tremor (shaking hands), sweating, menstrual disorder.

How It Is Diagnosed: blood test for thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism TSH level decreased, T3 and T4 – upgraded), thyroid ultrasound.


Anemia is a condition in which a decrease in the number of red blood cells in the blood occurs – red blood cells or hemoglobin.

Possible symptoms: constant fatigue, frequent headaches, dizziness, hair loss, brittle nails, pale skin, heart palpitations.

How It Is Diagnosed: Analysis of the level of serum iron levels. The rate of hemoglobin in women is 120-160 g / l, in males – 130-170 g / l. The normal number of erythrocytes – 4,0-5,11012 / l. Lower number of these indicators – a sign of anemia.

Disorders Of The Gastro-Intestinal Tract

(atrophic gastritis, esophageal stenosis, inflammation of the small intestine and colon, colitis, liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis)

Possible symptoms: defecation disorders (diarrhea, constipation), blood in stool, stomach pain, pale and dry skin, brittle hair and nails.

How It Is Diagnosed: general and biochemical blood tests, abdominal ultrasound, gastroscopy, colonoscopy.


(tumors of the gastrointestinal tract, brain, blood)

Possible symptoms: It depends on localization process. The decrease in body weight is more often associated with tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. Then, loss of appetite and body weight is usually associated with abdominal pain, unstable stool, jaundice, or bleeding.

Other symptoms may also include: prolonged fever (fever), fatigue, pain (depending on the affected area), itchy skin, scars and ulcers, bruises, unusual bleeding or discharge, indigestion.

How It Is Diagnosed: general and biochemical blood tests, ultrasound, CT, MRI study (depending on the affected area), chest x-ray, blood tests for tumor markers.


Possible symptoms: cough for more than three weeks, long-term fever (low), fatigue, loss of appetite, sweating at night. Although in recent years tuberculosis often is silent – without pain and without coughing. Weight loss is sometimes the only symptom of tuberculosis.

How It Is Diagnosed: general and biochemical blood tests, chest X-ray, sputum smear microscopy.

While weight loss is welcome by most people, it is important to keep track of your weight and take note if sudden weight loss occurs without any measures to change your diet.

Stay healthy!

*this article is meant to be informational only and is not meant to treat or diagnose, please seek advice from your medical professional