Gold Member Badge


  • You're all caught up!

Symptoms of Unintentional Weight Loss

author image Julie Boehlke
Julie is an avid outdoor enthusiast who loves to camp with friends and family. Julie spends her free time writing, working on her novel and brewing up new recipes of wine—her newest hobby. She enjoys scouring junk shops and antique boutiques in search of rare finds and one of-a-kind treasures. She collects vintage dishes and antiquarian books. Julie spends her days being followed around aimlessly by her most adoring fan—Mushu the pug. She ventures out on weekends to the remote trails and deep north woods of Michigan. Julie also enjoys exploring out of the way nooks and crannies along the great lakes shoreline.
Symptoms of Unintentional Weight Loss
Feet on a scale Photo Credit: TPopova/iStock/Getty Images

Almost everyone experiences fluctuations in weight loss and gain throughout life. There can be a variety of causes for weight loss or gain including over or under eating, medication, sedentary lifestyle and illness. If you are experiencing weight loss that you can’t explain, it could be the sign of a serious medical condition. Determining the exact cause of your weight loss, will help pinpoint a diagnosis and get the right amount of treatment.

Video of the Day


An unintentional weight loss is generally an indication that something is going on internally. Sometimes the onset of a disease identifies itself with fluctuations in weight that are the result of the body’s metabolism changing or the immune system fighting off disease or foreign bodies. In mental health cases, having feelings of sadness or anxiety can also trigger an unintentional weight loss, notes Help It is important to determine the cause so that you can get the right treatment and help.


Losing 10 percent or more of your total body weight over the course of a six month period is considered a health problem, explains Sudden drastic loss of weight followed by nausea, vomiting and general malaise could indicate a parasite or blood borne illness. This could be from the parasite invading your blood stream and your internal organs. Other causes of unintentional weight loss could also be cancer, diabetes, gallbladder disease, liver disease, depression, bacterial infection, hyperthyroidism, or a malabsorption disorder.


Other than a visible indication that you are losing weight, you may also see that your body is changing shape. Your bone structure could also be affected as it begins to accommodate a smaller frame. You could also see sagging skin or stretch marks on your skin, especially if your weight loss is sudden and drastic. Gastrointestinal problems along with diarrhea and possibly a fever could also accompany an unintentional and sudden weight loss.


Weight loss that continues or begins to affect your health should be taken seriously. Some illnesses such as cancer, gallbladder disease, liver diseases and infection need to be addressed immediately so proper treatment can be instilled. If you are suffering from severe depression and thoughts of suicide and have weight loss, this could mean you are not nurturing your body properly without realizing it. Ask for support and treatment to prevent yourself from further harm.


Once a diagnosis can be made; your doctor will prescribe a regimen for treatment. This could include a variety of things including prescription drugs, physical therapy, psychotherapy, surgery or a feeding tube if you are severely malnourished. If you have a cancer diagnosis, your doctor will go over treatment options with you right away and plan the best course of action to help cure or assist with the progression of your disease, explains Merck. This should include medications that will help curb nausea and vomiting.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great! Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.



Demand Media