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Unexplained Weight Loss

How to Diagnose Unintentional Loss of Weight

Q. How Much weight Have You Lost in the Past 10 Weeks?

Less than 9 pounds?
If so, your weight loss is unlikely to be a serious cause for concern unless you are below a healthy weight.

9 Pounds or More?
If so, How Normal Has Your Appetite Been Recently?

Normal or Increased Appetite?
If so, have you experienced any of the following symptoms?

Increased Thirst? Passing More Urine Than Usual? Blurred Vision?
If so, diabetes is a possible cause.

None of the Above Symptoms?
If so, have you experienced any of the following symptoms?

Feeling on Edge? Increased Sweating? Bulging Eyes?
If so, hypothyroidism, or an anxiety disorder are possible causes.

None of the Above Symptoms?
If so, have you recently increased the amount of exercise you do?

No Increased Exercise?
If so, you are probably eating less than you need to meet your energy requirements. See your doctor to confirm that an underlying problem is not responsible for your weight loss.

Increased Exercise?
If so, your increase in energy output is the most likely cause of your weight reduction. Increase your food intake to balance your increased energy needs.

Poor Appetite?
If so, have you experienced any of the following symptoms?

Recurrent fever? Unusual Sweating at Night? Persistent Cough? Blood-Stained Sputum?
If so, a chronic infection (eg. tuberculosis), an AIDS related illness, or an underlying cancer are possible causes.

None of the Above Symptoms?
If so, have you experienced any of the following symptoms?

Recurrent diarrhea? Recurrent Constipation? Recurrent Abdominal Pain? Blood in Feces?
If so, an intestinal infection, (eg. Giardiasis), or a long-term bowel condition (such as, Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease), or possibly colorectal cancer, could be the cause of your symptoms.

None of the Above Symptoms?
If so, have you experienced any of the following symptoms?

Difficulty Sleeping? Low Self-Esteem? Lack of Interest in Sex? Inability to Concentrate? Lack of Energy?
If so, possible causes include depression or an anxiety disorder.

None of the Above Symptoms?
If so, contact your doctor for more advice.

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