A bruise occurs when the blood vessels under your skin become damaged. The blood vessels bleed slightly, causing blood to pool under the skin and causing bruising to occur. If you are losing weight and experiencing more bruising than you typically do, this can be an unexpected side effect of losing weight. While not typically cause for concern, in some instances bruising related to weight loss can signal a more serious condition.
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When you are trying to lose weight, it’s likely that you may be cutting back on calories or foods you typically eat in an attempt to create a calorie deficit that helps you to lose weight. While cutting calories can help you lose weight, cutting out the wrong nutritional elements from your daily diet can lead to easier bruising. If you are eating less than 1,200 calories per day, this could be the case. Nutritional deficiencies associated with easy bruising include vitamins B-12, C, K and folic acid. These vitamins are found in foods like spinach, dairy, fish, meat, citrus fruits, asparagus and broccoli. The best sources of these vitamins should come from whole-food sources, but you can take a multi-vitamin to further supplement your diet and reduce easy bruising.
If you are working out more in an effort to lose weight, you may experience increased muscle soreness that leads you to take medications like aspirin or ibuprofen. These medications can interfere with your normal platelet function, which can lead to easier bruising. Taking herbal remedies or other dietary supplements also may interfere with your normal blood function and lead to increased bruising. Talk to your physician to determine if medications you are taking may be causing you to develop bruising.
When you lose weight, your skin becomes thinner because you lose fat that previously padded your skin. Losing weight can make bruises more noticeable because your skin is thinner. The same is true for people as they age -- as the skin becomes less puffy, the blood vessels do not have as much cushion to protect you against damage that can lead to bruising.
While bruising while losing weight is not typically cause for concern, some symptoms could indicate a more serious condition. This includes bruising accompanied by bleeding in the gums or nose. If your bruises do not appear to be healing after two weeks or have gone away after four weeks, this could indicate a more serious condition. Easy bruising also can be a sign of anorexia -- if you or someone you love experiences unexplained bruising and has recently lost a significant amount of weight, talk to your physician about your symptoms, particularly if you have felt depressed or down.