Weight loss causes

What Are The Causes Of Weight Loss?

Causes Of Weight Loss

Losing weight without trying should be a concern. It might indicate some underlying issues with your health. You must be aware of the things that are happening in your body before it's too late.

A good rule of thumb is to consult your doctor once every 6-12 months and try to note down symptoms to talk over with your doctor over the period. 

However, sudden weight loss might be a serious problem but not all weight loss. Below are a few causes of unintentional weight loss you must know.

Causes Of Sudden Weight Loss:

Overactive Thyroid:

Overactive thyroid or hypothyroidism happens when the thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone. Well, these hormones can control all functions of metabolism and if your thyroid is overactive you'll result in burning your calories faster than before even if you have a good appetite. 

Other symptoms also include:

  • Heat intolerance
  • Sleep troubles
  • Hand tremors
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Light Periods in Women

Treating hypothyroidism depends on your age and the severity of your problem. However, it can be easily treated with antithyroid medications, beta-blockers, radioactive iodine, or even with surgery.


According to a study in 2017, researchers examined that the causes of sudden weight loss are because of depression and people with depression also have associated with the suppressed interplay among the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, adrenal glands which may affect the function of the gastrointestinal tract.

Pituitary glands can also affect the adrenal glands that produce multiple hormones in the body. These hormones include cortisol which helps to regulate blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and metabolism.

Symptoms of depression include :

  • The recurring feeling of sadness, hopelessness, and apathy
  • Unintentional weight loss or weight gain
  • Changes in appetite such as eating too much or too less

Muscle Loss:

Muscle loss is also known as muscle atrophy is a major symptom of muscle weakness. Generally, your body is made up of fat mass and fat-free mass which includes bones, muscles, and water. So, if you lose muscle you’ll lose weight.  

This is very common in people who do not exercise regularly or have work desk jobs or are bedridden. Following proper exercise and eating nutritious food can easily reverse muscle loss. 

Below are a few other causes of muscle loss that lead you to lose weight unknowingly.

  • Burns
  • Stroke
  • Aging
  • Injuries
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Nerve Damage

Inflammatory Bowel Disease:

Sudden weight loss may also happen due to the disease called inflammatory bowel disease often called IBD. It encompasses several chronic inflammatory diseases of the digestive tract. The chronic inflammation of IBD keeps your body in a catabolic state which means your body is using your energy constantly. It also disrupts ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and leptin, the satiety hormone. 

Additional symptoms of IBD include:

  • Bloating
  • Stomach upset
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Bloody stools

You can easily prevent this disease by following a nutritious diet or by taking proper medications or sometimes surgery.


Tuberculosis is another common reason behind your sudden weight loss. It is a cautious condition that affects your lungs, where weight loss and decreased appetite are major symptoms of TB.

It spreads through the air, if your immune system can fight it the bacteria can become inactive which is called latent tuberculosis.

Some other tuberculosis symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • A bad cough that lasts more than 3 weeks
  • Chest pain

Addison's Disease:

Addison’s disease develops when the immune system attacks adrenal glands. When they attack adrenal glands can't make enough hormones like cortisol which is responsible for metabolism and appetite. Low levels of cortisol may lead to poor appetite and weight loss.

Other symptoms of Addison's disease include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Salt cravings
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Muscle weakness

Congestive Heart Failure:

Congestive heart failure is caused when your heart doesn't get enough blood and your heart cannot pump blood with enough force. And if you have CHF your digestive system also doesn't receive enough blood for proper functioning. This leads to nausea and early fullness.

CHF symptoms also include: 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling
  • Fatigue
  • Fast Heart Rate
  • Persistent coughing


Pancreatitis is a problem related to the pancreas which produces enzymes that aid in digestion, this is another cause for unexpected weight loss. When you have this disease, the pancreas becomes inflamed and doesn't produce enough enzymes for the proper digestion of food.

Other symptoms of Pancreatitis also include:

  • Stomach Pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea after eating fatty foods


Cancer is one of the most common causes of sudden weight loss in the body. Cancer is a disease that causes abdominal cells to quickly divide and spread, it even increases inflammation too. It also leads to promoting muscle wasting and disrupts appetite-regulating hormones.

Cancer can happen in the pancreas, lungs, stomach, and oesophagus. Some other symptoms of cancer include:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Pain
  • Change of skin

Even though many times cancer causes these sometimes, it doesn't even show any symptoms. Treatment of cancer depends upon the type of cancer you deal with and typical treatments include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, and immunotherapy.

Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks your joints lining and causes inflammation. Chronic inflammation in joints can speed up metabolism and reduce overall weight easily.

The exact cause of RA is unknown, it might be linked to 






Treatment of RA starts with medication and the medications include antirheumatic drugs, biologics, corticosteroids, and inhibitors.

Take Away

It is completely normal for your body weight to fluctuate but, if you're losing weight without making any changes in your lifestyle then it's time to visit your doctor.