Pathological causes of underweight: what are they?

Pathological causes of underweight: what are they?

Pathological causes of underweight: what are they?

Some may be pleased when they lose weight without effort, but it may be the result of medical conditions, so let's get to know the causes of pathological weight loss.

Unjustified weight loss means a noticeable decrease in body weight without the person making any attempts to lose weight, so this may be an indication of the presence of diseases or serious health problems that require treatment as quickly as possible, what are the causes of pathological weight loss?

Pathological causes of underweight

Body weight can change and fluctuate regularly, but a persistent and unexplained weight loss of more than 5% of body weight over 6 to 12 months is usually a cause for concern, especially if it is accompanied by other symptoms, such as :



A change in toilet-going habits.

Recurring infection.

Many medical conditions can cause unexplained weight loss, and patients can help the doctor determine the underlying cause by noting any additional symptoms they are experiencing. Common pathological causes of weight loss may include the following:

1. Hyperthyroidism

The thyroid gland produces some hormones that regulate the metabolism in the body, so the increased levels of these hormones as a result of hyperthyroidism, and can often lead to the body burning a lot of energy and calories more than usual, causing weight loss, and may Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:


Shivering with a tremor of the hands.

They are muscular.

difficulty sleeping

Rapid heartbeat.

Mood changes, such as irritability or nervousness.


A lump in the neck as a result of an enlarged thyroid gland.

2. Depression

Weight loss can be a symptom of depression, which is defined as feeling sad, lost, or empty for at least two weeks, as depression affects the parts of the brain that control appetite, which can lead to poor appetite and eventually weight loss. 

Its other symptoms also include the following:

Constant sadness.

Loss of interest in hobbies.

Low energy.

Poor focus.

Too little or too much sleep.

Thinking of death or suicide.


3. Addison's disease

Addison's disease is often caused by a rare autoimmune disease that damages the adrenal glands and prevents them from adequately producing the hormones cortisol and aldosterone. pathological weight.

4. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Inflammatory bowel disease refers to two inflammatory conditions of the digestive system with impaired immune system function, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis. 

This disease can reduce the body's ability to properly digest food and absorb nutrients, which can lead to malnutrition. 

Consequently, weight loss, especially in the youth group, is one of the causes of pathological weight loss.

5. Muscle loss

Muscle loss, or what is known as muscular dystrophy, occurs when muscles shrink and their mass decreases, and this condition can cause unexplained weight loss, and many reasons cause this condition, including:

Lack of physical activity as a result of injury.




Multiple Sclerosis.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

6. Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints as the immune system attacks the lining of the joints. 

Chronic inflammation can speed up metabolism and reduce body weight. People with rheumatoid arthritis may experience muscle atrophy due to their inability to engage in the activity. Exercising regularly due to joint pain.

In addition, some medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis can cause side effects including diarrhea and loss of appetite, which may also contribute to weight loss.

7. Cancer

Cancer is known to occur as a result of abnormal cells dividing and multiplying faster than normal, and according to the American Cancer Society, weight loss of more than 10 pounds may be one of the initial signs of cancer, especially in cases of pancreatic, lung, stomach and esophageal cancers.

That's because cancer increases inflammation, which promotes muscle damage and disrupts appetite-regulating hormones, and a growing tumor may also increase the amount of energy the body burns at rest.

8. Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is also a common pathological cause of being underweight.

In this case, the immune system attacks the cells of the pancreas that secrete insulin, without which the body cannot use glucose as a source of energy, which causes a rise in the level of glucose in the blood, so the kidneys excrete it in the urine, thus ridding the body of sugar, which also eliminates calories.

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