The loss of weight can be a symptom of a health problem when it corresponds to a weight loss of 5 kg or equal to 5% of body weight in less than 6-12 months. At the base of the condition there may be problems such as: depression, anxiety or stress, cancer, chronic infection like HIV infection, chronic illness (such as Parkinson's disease or COPD), taking medication (such as chemotherapy or medicines for problems thyroid), drug abuse or laxatives, chronic digestive problems or prolonged intestinal infections, eating disorders or undiagnosed diabetes or hyperthyroidism.


What kind of diseases can be associated with weight loss?

The following diseases may be associated with weight loss:

  • AIDS
  • Amyloidosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Celiac disease
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Colitis
  • Diabetes
  • Esophageal diverticula
  • Ebola
  • Emphysema
  • Hepatitis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Kidney failure
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Leukemia
  • Cat-scratch disease
  • Chagas disease
  • Mononucleosis
  • Addison's disease
  • Crohn's disease
  • Graves-Basedow's disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Pemphigus vulgaris
  • Pleurisy
  • Polycythemia vera
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Scleroderma
  • Syphilis
  • Fatty liver
  • Typhus
  • Tuberculosis
  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Cancers of the larynx
  • Duodenal ulcer
  • Gastric ulcer
  • Peptic ulcer

Remember that this is not an exhaustive list and it would always be better to consult your doctor if symptoms persist.


What is the therapy for weight loss?

The best remedy depends on the cause of the weight loss. Sometimes it can take psychological measures, and sometimes drug treatment is essential. Other times, it may be enough to appropriate measures food and sufficient exercise.


When is most likely to contact your doctor in case of weight loss?

It is good to consult a doctor if your body weight is lower than that considered healthy based on age and height, if you lose more than 5 kg or more than 5% of body weight  for no apparent reason in less of 6-12 months and if the weight loss is associated other symptoms.