Unintentional weight loss. Weight loss, or wasting, is one of the most common symptoms of untreated HIV infection, and can occur at any stage of infection. Weight loss occurs when the body is using up more nutrients than it is absorbing from food. You may eat less than you used to (and need to) because of loss of appetite during ill health. The most important ways to prevent weight loss are to treat HIV-related infections promptly, and to ensure that your nutritional intake is adequate. A dietician can help you look at your diet to ensure you have an adequate intake of all the main types of nutrients, and recommend any changes to fit in with any drugs you are taking and to help you cope with problems such as nausea. You can help by taking symptoms such as loss of appetite, persistent nausea and diarrhoea seriously and seeking prompt medical advice. However, weight loss can still occur in people taking anti-HIV drugs and needs to be taken very seriously as some research suggests that unintentionally losing 5% of your body weight in a six-month period is an indicator that you could become seriously ill because of HIV. If you have been unwell and have lost weight as a result, then taking HIV treatment is likely to help you to increase your weight and lean muscle mass. If you have lost weight after an HIV-related infection, a dietitian may recommend increasing your calorie and protein intake to try to regain it.
Weight loss is common among people with cancer and is often the first noticeable sign of the disease. As many as 40% of people with cancer report unexplained weight loss at the time of diagnosis, and up to 80% of people with advanced cancer experience weight loss and cachexia, or wasting, which is the combination of weight loss and muscle mass loss. Weight loss and muscle wasting also often come with fatigue , weakness, loss of energy, and an inability to perform everyday tasks. Controlling cancer-related weight loss is important for your comfort and well-being. Consider asking your doctor about receiving food through a tube that goes directly to the stomach, which may help people with head and neck or esophageal cancers who are having difficulty chewing or difficulty swallowing . Megestrol acetate (Megace) is a progesterone hormone that can improve appetite, weight gain, and a person's sense of well-being. Steroid medications can increase appetite, improve a person's sense of well-being, and help with nausea, weakness, or pain. Other medications are being studied to help people with cancer improve their appetite and gain weight. Nutrition counseling may help people with cancer get essential nutrients, such as protein, vitamins, and minerals into their diet and maintain a healthy body weight. You can also find a dietitian through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. These details can help you work with your health care team to find the best way to maintain your weight, or gain needed weight, during cancer treatment.
Causes Of Rapid Weight Gain. Actually deficiency of thyroid hormone can reduce metabolism of food, resulting in loss of appetite and modest weight gain. Weight gain occurs owing to fat accumulation and fluid retention caused by protein deposits in the body. After hours later, symptoms like bloating and swelling in the hands, feet, ankles, abdomen, chin and around the eyes, can appear. Much of the weight gained is fluid retention, which occurs due to inflammation and the release of certain hormones. Besides, fermentation of foods, especially carbohydrates, in the intestines can result in a swollen belly and gas production. Steroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antidepressants and diabetic medications are some other drugs that can cause weight gain. Sources of stress may not be always evident, but may still influence eating habits and cause weight gain. Note: Organ enlargement, like an ovarian cyst, and obstruction of lymph fluid, can also lead to weight gain.
Unintentional Weight Loss Symptom Evaluation. Unintentional weight loss is often a consequence of physiological and psychological disorders and should be promptly investigated. On the other hand, sudden and unintentional weight loss requires immediate medical attention, as it could predict the presence various serious disease conditions. A decrease in appetite and therefore total calorie intake, and an increased rate of metabolism or activity level are associated with weight loss. Some of the health-related disorders that are associated with weight loss are listed below: Patients with cancer produce substances like cachectin and interleukins that are responsible for weight loss. Increased metabolism may be responsible for weight loss in patients with blood cancer. Various infections like lung abscess, HIV, fungal diseases, and subacute bacterial endocarditis (infection of the heart) cause unintentional weight loss. Tuberculosis should be suspected in a patient with chronic cough, low-grade fever in the evenings and weight loss. Lung Diseases: Besides lung infections, conditions like severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and breathlessness are also associated with weight loss. Digestive System Disorders: Digestive system disorders can reduce appetite and the absorption of nutrients from food, thereby resulting in weight loss. In addition, dental problems may also be associated with reduced food intake and therefore weight loss. Kidney Diseases: Kidney diseases may be associated with weight loss due to loss of protein in the urine, and the associated nausea and vomiting. Social factors like isolation and financial hardship are also responsible for the weight loss.
Causes of Rapid, Unexplained Weight Loss & Bruises. Rapid, unexplained weight loss and easy bruising may indicate a serious medical condition. Though modest weight loss and bruising are seldom cause for alarm, rapid, unexplained weight loss coupled with easy bruising may indicate a potentially serious medical condition. Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid, a gland in the neck that produces hormones and affects the body's metabolism. As a result, the body burns calories too rapidly, which can lead to unexplained, potentially rapid, weight loss. Graves' disease may also cause changes in the capillaries beneath the skin. Though Graves' disease can affect men and women, it is 10 times more prevalent among women, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Unexplained rapid weight gain and pain. Persistent bloating, feeling full faster, and pelvic pain are typical symptoms. But also weight gain, diarrhea, abdominal tenderness, lower back pain, and . Here are nine medical reasons that can cause weight gain. Symptoms can include irregular periods, trouble getting pregnant, excess hair and weight gain. “The main symptoms are swelling in the abdomen, weight gain, . There are medical causes for seemingly unexplained weight gain. Sudden weight gain and bloating may indicate a serious health problem. Consider signs and symptoms that merit medical attention, from weight loss to flashes. If you are confused regarding the reasons for your rapid weight gain, then here are listed some of the responsible causes. Unexplained weight gain in women may be noticed inspite of maintaining a balanced diet and regularly exercising. I already suffer from weight gain due to thyroid. Women who has always exercised and has always had to watch my weight.
Involuntary Weight Loss - An Ignored Vital Sign in Seniors. Estimates suggest 13.3% of the population experiences unintentional weight loss, and up to 7% experiences a loss exceeding 5% of baseline weight.1 Elders are disproportionately impacted; 27% of frail elders over the age of 65 experience involuntary weight loss.2. Most practitioners and researchers define unintentional weight loss as a 5% to 10% decrease in body weight over a period of 1 to 12 months.3-6 A clinically useful benchmark is 5% over a 6-month period. Cancer is the leading cause, accounting for 24% to 38% of cases (weight loss may be the only symptom of tumor burden).5 Dementia results in marked taste and smell alterations, decreasing food’s desirability. Medication side effects (anorexia, xerostomia, dysgeusia, dysosmia, dysphagia, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea) are major causes for weight loss among elders.8. Involuntary weight loss is a predictor of mortality. Normal Age-Related Weight Loss. Beginning around age 65 to 70, weight loss occurs at a rate of 0.1 to 0.2 kg/year as a result of changes in hormones regulating appetite and satiety, along with decreases in basal metabolic rates.6,8. When patients state their weight loss is the result of dieting, probe for lifestyle changes. Maintaining weight loss is difficult, and if the patient is keeping the pounds off easily, dieting may be a coincidental occurrence. Determine if weight loss is intentional. Depression and nonmalignant GI diseases are common reversible causes.8 Interventions used to reverse or minimize further weight loss include nonpharmacologic (Table 1) and pharmacologic (Table 2), the former being first-line. No drugs are approved by the FDA for involuntary weight loss. The epidemiology of recent involuntary weight loss in the United States population. An approach to the management of unintentional weight loss in elderly people.
In today’s world in which more than 50 percent of dogs and cats are considered overweight or obese, weight loss is often a desirable outcome for our sedentary, overfed pets. A change in diet can sometimes cause weight loss either because the pet finds the food less appealing or because it has fewer calories. A move to a new home, a change in schedule, or greater access to the outdoors can lead to weight loss if a pet becomes more active as a result. Geriatric pets can sometimes lose small amounts of weight as part of the normal aging process. Persistent, rapid, or dramatic weight loss (greater than 10 percent of a pet’s body weight), however, can be the sign of a serious condition, such as: Has the pet’s home life or schedule changed? Has the pet’s diet changed? If changes in diet or activity level don’t seem sufficient explanation for the degree of weight loss (particularly if the pet’s weight loss is greater than 10 percent of her body weight), a veterinary visit is absolutely in order. There are several steps a veterinarian may undertake to discern the origin of the weight loss. When did you first notice the weight loss? What a pet looks and feels like can tell your veterinarian a lot about weight loss. Definitive treatment depends on the underlying cause of the weight loss.
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Understanding unexpected weight loss. What are some possible causes of weight loss, what questions might your doctor ask, and what can you expect as you and your doctor seek to determine the cause? What Is Unexplained Weight Loss? Weight loss may occur because you are eating less, or because your body is using nutrients differently due to a change in your metabolism or the growth of a tumor. If you are losing weight without trying it is important to make an appointment to see your doctor, even if you think there is an explanation for your weight loss. Diagnosing Weight Loss That Isn’t Intentional. If you have unintentional weight loss, your doctor will first take a careful history and do a physical exam. How fast have you been losing weight? Have you ever had weight loss like this before? How upsetting is the weight loss to you? Causes of Unexplained Weight Loss. There are many reasons for unexplained weight loss, some serious, and some more of a nuisance. Importance of Unintentional Weight Loss. Unintentional weight loss in older adults . Weight Loss – Unintentional.
Unexplained Weight Loss. Unexplained weight loss is weight loss of 10lbs or 5% of your body weight without trying. Unexplained weight loss is the term used to describe a decrease in body weight that occurs unintentionally and can be a warning sign of diabetes. What are the possible causes of unexplained weight loss? Potential causes of unexplained weight loss include: Diabetes with substantial weight loss.
The presentation will depend on the underlying cause. A thorough history and examination are essential in establishing the underlying cause and identifying appropriate investigations. Renal function and electrolytes: may indicate chronic kidney disease, Addison's disease. Other investigations will depend on the context of the weight loss. Possible further investigations may include HIV serology, endoscopy and autoimmune disease screen. Management is otherwise directed at the cause of weight loss and may include physical, psychological and social (eg, 'meals at home scheme', respite care) interventions. Elderly patients with unintentional weight loss are at higher risk of infection and depression.
Weight loss is a common problem in patients with pancreatic cancer. The weight loss can be associated with treatment or the cancer itself. Unexplained weight loss may be an early symptom of pancreatic cancer and can occur without any pain or apparent change in digestion. In addition, please note that any personal information you provide to Pan CAN’s associates during telephone and/or email communications may be stored and used to help Pan CAN achieve its mission of assisting patients with, and finding cures and treatments for, pancreatic cancer. Information also may be provided in aggregate or limited formats to third parties to guide future pancreatic cancer research and treatment efforts.
If you suddenly begin to lose weight and you're not sure why, it may be the sign of an underlying health condition that may have developed. It can also be a signal that something about the way that you eat and exercise is not promoting a healthy body stasis. Only by recognizing that you've had unexplained weight loss will you then be able to examine the reasons why this is happening. One of the major reasons for unexplained weight loss is a stomach virus or disease that you may not otherwise be aware of. When you see that you've lost weight, consider whether you've felt sick at all and whether you might have a condition of this type. When this happens, you'll not be able to absorb those nutrients for yourself, and you'll consequently lose weight and begin to be malnourished, even when you're eating the same amount of food that you usually do. If you've been exercising more frequently than normal, you may have burned more calories than you're used to, and the result is that you may begin to lose weight. If you continue this pattern, you'll continue to lose weight and may even have some difficulty putting it back on. If you're concerned about your unexplained weight loss, consult with a doctor or a nutritionist for more information.
Depending on the reason for your cat’s weight loss, you may notice that your cat’s appetite is reduced or entirely gone, a condition known as anorexia. If you are not sure what your cat’s ideal weight should be, your veterinarian will be able to provide guidance and a suggested feeding regimen to meet your cat’s nutritional needs. Causes of Cat Weight Loss. Cats under psychological stress may go off their food, which can result in weight loss. Although not all cat weight loss is caused by cancer, it is a relatively common culprit. This disease, which may be caused by a failure to produce the hormone insulin or an impaired ability to respond to it, commonly causes weight loss in cats, often with a change in appetite.
Weight Loss in Dogs and Cats. Recommendedproducts to help with sudden weight loss in dogs and cats. Pets with dental disease. Pets with dental disease often lose weight because eating is painful. Pets with worms lose weight, but for different reasons. Pets with organ disease. Pets with a disease in vital organs, including in the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and spleen, often lose weight. Pets with cancer. Pets with infectious diseases. These pets lose weight for the same reasons that pets with cancer lose weight: TNF is stimulated. In addition, pets with infectious diseases are often given medications that cause nausea and loss of appetite. Pets with burns. Pets with burns have lost the skin's barrier to infectious bacteria and are often overwhelmed with infections. Aging pets lose weight because they often have nagging pain from arthritic joints and dental infections .
Rapid weight loss can be quick and easy - if you believe the advertising claims. Fad diets and weight loss supplements promise a slimmer body in no time. Do any of these products really produce rapid weight loss? And what are the risks of such fast weight loss? Web MD took a look at some rapid weight loss claims, as well as the available evidence. Rapid Weight Loss: What Is It? Dozens of diet supplements promise to speed weight loss. One proven method of rapid weight loss is the medically supervised very low-calorie diet (VLCD). There seems to be no end to the dubious ideas promoted in the name of rapid weight loss. Does Rapid Weight Loss Work? The FDA also does not regulate claims made by over-the-counter weight loss products. Aside from the very low-calorie diet and weight loss surgery , no other product, pill, or diet has been proven to work for fast weight loss.
There are a variety of different conditions in the gastrointestinal tract that may cause cat weight loss. Common GI problems that produce weight loss in cats include inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies, or certain infections. Also known as worms, intestinal parasites may be the cause of your cat’s unintentional weight loss. Many elderly cats exhibit weight loss, and it can be difficult to determine the precise cause of the problem, especially because metabolism changes with age. In addition to weight loss, hyperthyroidism may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle wasting. To determine what is causing your cat’s weight loss and design the best treatment plan for you and your pet, your veterinarian will likely do a complete physical exam, blood work, and urinalysis. Depending on the reason for your cat’s weight loss, a variety of treatments and dietary changes to treat the underlying condition and restore weight may be prescribed. The weight loss caused by certain conditions of the gastrointestinal tract may be addressed, either solely or in part, by making appropriate changes to your cat’s diet. Cats that lose weight because of food allergies may recover completely when the offending foods are removed from their diet.
Doctors at Rush Focus on You. And improve the lives of future patients all over the world. Rush invites you to take a look at the data that show how the Medical Center stacks up. The choices you make each day can have a huge effect on your health. Rush Opening New Location in River North Rush will open a new health care facility at the corner of Grand and Dearborn streets on April 5. The time to be concerned about weight loss or gain is when the cause isn't readily apparent. "The good news/bad news is that most weight gain, especially as we get older, is usually not the result of medical problems, but the result of a slower metabolism, coupled with a decrease in physical activity," says Jennifer S. "Often, what we need to do for this type of weight gain is to trick the body's system into kick starting the metabolism, by increasing daily physical activity and by eating smaller amounts more frequently," she says. "Otherwise, even when we eat the same amount that we did in the past, we'll be burning fewer of those calories per day and gain weight over the years. And there's no way around it; you have to increase your physical activity as your age. Weight gain that comes with inactivity or age is common and usually occurs gradually, but some changes in weight can be more sudden and hard to account for. Some of the medical reasons for weight change include:
Unintentional rapid weight loss: What causes it? Unexplainable weight loss can be a symptom of a number of diseases or conditions. Weight loss due to gastrointestinal or digestive diseases and disorders. These are likely symptoms of malabsorption and may lead to weight loss. Hyperthyroidism causing weight loss. When the thyroid gland overproduces certain hormones, unexplained weight loss may occur. Medication and a resulting weight loss. Read the accompanying packaging on your prescription medications and talk to your pharmacist or doctor if you suspect this might be the cause of your weight loss. Weight loss as a result of cancer or diabetes. With certain types of cancer, both the disease and the treatments may contribute to weight loss.
Weight loss.       Poor nutrient utilization can lead to weight loss, and can be caused by fistulae in the gastrointestinal tract, diarrhea, drug-nutrient interaction, enzyme depletion and muscle atrophy. Unintentional weight loss can be the characteristic leading to diagnosis of diseases such as cancer  and type 1 diabetes .  Around 25% experience moderate to severe weight loss, and most others have some weight loss.  Greater weight loss is associated with poorer prognosis. People with HIV often experience weight loss, and it is associated with poorer outcomes. Medical treatment can directly or indirectly cause weight loss, impairing treatment effectiveness and recovery that can lead to further weight loss in a vicious cycle. Intentional weight loss is the loss of total body mass as a result of efforts to improve fitness and health, or to change appearance through slimming. Weight loss in individuals who are overweight or obese can reduce health risks,  increase fitness,  and may delay the onset of diabetes . Weight loss occurs when the body is expending more energy in work and metabolism than it is absorbing from food or other nutrients. The healthiest weight loss regimen, therefore, is one that consists of a balanced diet and moderate physical activity.[ citation needed ] The least intrusive weight loss methods, and those most often recommended, are adjustments to eating patterns and increased physical activity, generally in the form of exercise. In order for weight loss to be permanent, changes in diet and lifestyle must be permanent as well.
Unintentional weight loss Significant weight loss can also be the result of an eating disorder , such as anorexia or bulimia . If your weight loss wasn't due to the above causes, and you didn't lose weight through dieting or exercising, see your GP, as you may have an illness that needs treating. The following information may give you a better idea of the cause of your weight loss, but don't use it to diagnose yourself. Other common causes of unexpected weight loss. Less common causes of unexpected weight loss. Less frequently, unexpected weight loss may be the result of:
Unintentional weight loss is when you lose weight without dieting or increasing physical activity. What Causes Unintentional Weight Loss? Unintentional weight loss is often the result of an underlying chronic medical condition. What Are the Symptoms of Unintentional Weight Loss? Certain medications can cause unintentional weight loss as a side effect. How Is Unintentional Weight Loss Diagnosed? Note when the weight loss started. Also, make a note of any other symptoms you experienced around the time of the weight loss. Unintentional weight loss is a symptom of several conditions. What Are the Treatment Options for Unintentional Weight Loss? Your doctor will likely prescribe medication if a hormonal disorder is causing the unintentional weight loss. If your doctor suspects that your unintentional weight loss may be due to a more serious illness, such as cancer, you may undergo some tests to get more information.
*Features include symptoms and the results of the doctor's examination. People's symptoms and doctors' findings on physical examination suggest the cause of weight loss in about half of people, including many people eventually diagnosed with cancer. When the history and physical examination do not suggest specific causes, some doctors do a series of tests, including a chest x-ray, blood tests, and urinalysis, to narrow down a cause. If all test results are normal, doctors usually reevaluate the person within a few months to see if new symptoms or findings have developed. Feedings through a tube inserted into the stomach are a last resort and are worthwhile only in certain specific situations. Older people are more likely to have involuntary weight loss because disorders that cause weight loss are more common among older people. There are also normal age-related changes that contribute to weight loss. Normal age-related changes that can contribute to weight loss include the following: Depression and dementia are very common contributing factors, particularly among nursing home residents. Tests are done based on the person's symptoms and findings on physical examination. Extensive testing is not usually needed to identify the cause of weight loss.
You have lost more than 10 pounds OR 5% of your normal body weight over 6 to 12 months or less, and you do not know the reason. You have other symptoms along with the weight loss. How much weight have you lost? Are you eating less? Are you exercising more? Do you have more stress or anxiety than usual? Have you vomited? Have you had constipation or diarrhea? Do you have increased thirst or are you drinking more? Are you urinating more than usual? Have you lost any hair? Are you pleased or concerned with the weight loss?
Many of us wouldn't want to question unexplained weight loss. We'd just be happy to be losing weight! Though the prospect of losing weight without even trying may seem like a blessing, it really is something to question. Reasons for Unintentional Weight Loss. Possible causes of unintentional weight loss include depression, frequent diarrhea, hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland), infection, poor nutrition, AIDS, and cancer. If you're trying to figure out why someone else is losing weight unintentionally, you may also want to look into drug abuse, eating disorders, and smoking. Unexplained Weight Loss and Colon Cancer. You're unlikely to notice the diversion of blood and nutrients, but sometimes tumors release chemicals that increase the body's metabolism (such as burn calories faster), which can lead to unexplained weight loss. Medical Attention for Unexplained Weight Loss. (That would be about 10 pounds for a 200-pound person.) You should also call your doctor if you experience unexplained weight loss in conjunction with other potential colon cancer symptoms . "Colon Cancer: Signs and Symptoms." Mayo Clinic 17 Aug. "Signs and Symptoms of Cancer." American Cancer Society 28 Feb. "Weight Loss - Unintentional." National Institutes of Health 22 Jan. If you're trying to figure out why someone else is losing weight unintentionally, you may also want to look into drug abuse, eating disorders , and smoking.
You or a family member loses more weight than is considered healthy for their age and height. You have lost more than 10 pounds OR 5% of your normal body weight over 6-12 months or less, and you don't know the reason. You have other symptoms along with the weight loss. The health care provider will do a physical exam and check your weight. You will be asked questions about your medical history and symptoms, including: When did the weight loss begin? Is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch). The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.
What Is Unintentional Weight Gain? Unintentional weight gain can be periodic, continuous, or rapid. Continuous unintentional weight gain is often the result of pregnancy. Rapid unintentional weight gain may also be caused by medication side effects. What Causes Unintentional Weight Gain? The most common cause of unintentional weight gain is pregnancy. Periodic weight gain is often caused by the menstrual cycle. Symptoms of Unintentional Weight Gain. How Is Unintentional Weight Gain Diagnosed? How Is Unintentional Weight Gain Treated?
Evaluating and Treating Unintentional Weight Loss in the Elderly. Elderly patients with unintentional weight loss are at higher risk for infection, depression and death. Food and Drug Administration has labeled no appetite stimulants for the treatment of weight loss in the elderly. Unintentional weight loss in the elderly patient can be difficult to evaluate. Selected Medications Associated with Unintentional Weight Loss in the Elderly. The use of formal screening instruments for depression, such as the Geriatric Depression Scale, 25 may be necessary in the elderly patient with unintentional weight loss. However, none are specifically indicated for the treatment of weight loss in elderly patients, and few have been studied in this population. Food and Drug Administration has not labeled any of these drugs for use in elderly patients with weight loss. Although medications may help promote appetite and weight gain in an elderly patient with unintentional weight loss, drugs should not be considered first-line treatment. Low body weight and weight loss in the aged. Unexplained weight loss in the ambulatory elderly. Diagnosis and management of weight loss in the elderly.
An approach to the management of unintentional weight loss in elderly people. Weight loss in elderly people can have a deleterious effect on the ability to function and on quality of life and is associated with an increase in mortality over a 12-month period. We review the incidence and prevalence of weight loss in elderly patients, its impact on morbidity and mortality, the common causes of unintentional weight loss and a clinical approach to diagnosis. Voluntary weight loss among elderly patients is also associated with increased risk of death 17 and of hip fracture, 19 which highlights the importance of maintaining weight with age. 43 , 44 Many elderly patients with unintentional weight loss are experiencing concomitant malnutrition 45 and thereby have cachexia. Unintentional weight loss is common in elderly people and is associated with significant adverse health outcomes, increased mortality and progressive disability. Unexplained weight loss in the ambulatory elderly. Unintentional weight loss: diagnosis and prognosis. Unintentional weight loss in the ambulatory setting: etiologies and outcomes [abstract]. Evaluating and treating unintentional weight loss in the elderly.
Investigation and management of unintentional weight loss in older adults. Get access to this article and to all of thebmj.com for 14 days. 2 Department of Medicine for the Elderly, Monklands Hospital, Airdrie, UK. 3 Department of Medicine for the Elderly, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, UK. Unintentional weight loss is common in elderly people and is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. Weight loss may be the presenting problem or an incidental finding during a consultation for other reasons. There are no published guidelines on how to investigate and manage patients with unintentional weight loss, and responses range from doing nothing (if it is viewed as a normal part of the ageing process) to extensive blind investigation because of the fear that it represents underlying cancer. We review the available evidence (mainly epidemiological and observational studies) and outline a structured approach to investigation and management of the older patient with unintentional weight loss.
Given that unintentional weight loss is a common condition among older adults and is associated with adverse outcomes, our objective was to review the evidence regarding risk factors, differential diagnosis, prognosis, investigation and treatment of unintentional weight loss in this population. Based on evidence from a large cohort study that involved 4010 persons aged 65 years and older from 11 cities in Europe, the most common independent factors associated with unexplained weight loss are those related to food intake. 10 In multivariate analysis, only difficulties in bringing food to the mouth and chewing were significantly associated with weight loss. A chart review of 290 medical records from many centres in the United States that included long-term care residents and home care clients found six factors to be associated with unexplained weight loss. A cross-sectional study of 68 community-dwelling older adults in the midwestern United States (with an average age of 86 years and 51 of whom were women) showed that depression (using the Geriatric Depression Scale) was independently associated with weight loss (OR 1.65, 95% CI 1.12–2.43). 12 Another prospective study (n = 309) found that psychiatric and psychological diseases are one of the primary reasons for unexplained weight loss. Another prospective trial randomized 29 dieticians to the provision of usual nutritional care or a new medical nutritional therapy protocol for prevention and treatment of unexplained weight loss among long-term care residents. One study also looked at the use of dronabinol for unexplained weight loss. Medications that are not clearly required and that may be contributing to the weight loss should be discontinued or appropriate alternatives considered. What is the prognosis for those with unintentional weight loss? Although treatment remains a challenge, clinicians should attempt to identify and address factors that may be contributing to the weight loss. A comprehensive history and physical examination has the greatest potential for eliciting the cause(s) of weight loss.
What's With the Weight Gain? But what if you're doing everything the same as you always do, and your weight still goes up? Drugs That May Cause Weight Gain. Treating hypothyroidism with medication may reverse some of the weight gain. But where you gain weight may be related to menopause, with fat accumulating around your waist more than your hips and thighs. Weight gain is a common symptom of Cushing's syndrome, a condition in which you are exposed to too much of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn causes weight gain and other abnormalities. The weight gain may be most prominent around the face, neck, upper back, or waist. Women with this condition are resistant to insulin (the hormone that controls blood sugar), so it may cause weight gain. When you quit, you may gain some weight, but perhaps less than you think. Rule 1: If You Do Gain Weight . Also, something else may be causing you to gain weight. Rule 2: If You Do Gain Weight . Rule 3: If You Do Gain Weight . Rule 4: If You Do Gain Weight . Rule 5: If You Do Gain Weight .