Usually the words unintentional and weight loss do not go together. Commonly, it is quite intentional for people to lose weight, and they could be doing that for a number of reasons. Whatever the reason for losing weight, people are usually doing it to be healthy and create the body that they want. However, there is such a thing as unintentional weight loss, and this is unhealthy and not positive, like losing weight on purpose. Unintentional weight loss is the process of losing weight without dieting or increasing physical activity. It can occur following a loss of appetite or when a person is consuming the same amount of calories as usual, and losing a lot of weight without changing their calorie intake. This unintentional weight loss can be a sign of something serious, like illness or disease. It can also be a sign of something as minor as a stomach virus. Unintentional weight loss can also be prevalent in people with preexisting medical conditions like: diabetes, aids and depression. Unintentional weight loss should always be checked with a doctor, because it could be a sign of something quite serious.

There are a lot of factors that can cause unintentional weight loss. As mentioned above, it could be a chronic medical condition, or even a short-term illness like the flu or the common cold. There are other common causes of unintentional weight loss, such as: diarrhea, depression, and oral ulcers. There are other causes of unintentional weight loss that could point to something much more serious than just a cold. These can include: cancer, malnutrition, dementia, HIV/AIDS, abdominal infection, Celiac disease, and gastroenteritis. The causes of unintentional weight loss do not only take a toll on how much a person weighs, but it can also cause other major problems throughout the body. Unintentional weight loss can be a sign of something much more serious, and should not be taken lightly.

Unintentional weight loss can be accompanied by a number of symptoms. These symptoms vary depending on the cause of the weight loss. The weight loss can also be in one part of the body, or distributed all over. People usually do not notice the weight loss until they get on the scale and see the numbers in front of them, but people do notice their waist, abdominal regions, arms or legs getting smaller. Symptoms of unintentional weight loss can include: loss of appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, fever, and abdominal discomfort. Children have similar symptoms when they are experiencing unintentional weight loss, but they can also show: a change in their appetite, fussiness over certain foods, and a smaller physical stature. Certain medications can also cause unintentional weight loss as a side effect, but your doctor should let you know about this possibility before you start taking a medication. However, if you start noticing a significant amount of weight loss when you start taking a medication that you did not know had that side effect, you should ask your doctor if it’s the medication that is affecting you.  

Often times, unintentional weight loss is the beginning sign of something much bigger. If you experience any of these symptoms, and do not know about any preexisting conditions, you should consult your doctor so they can test you and begin treatment for whatever is causing the unintentional weight loss.