On Diseases and Weight Loss

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Unintentional weight loss happens sometimes – gradually or rapidly.

No, this is not something to be happy or feel lucky about as this almost often implies a serious disease which can be more life threatening or even incurable.

During your bout with a serious problem, unintentional weight loss occurs which could lead to malnutrition and other complications. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the most at risk to this are the elderly patients since they have a lower immune system and are more susceptible to depression. The most ideal solution to disease related weight loss is proper management of your disease.

At first signs of sudden or unintentional weight loss, seek prompt guidance from your doctor. Learn more about your case by asking questions from various professional health practitioners, reading up on studies and keep a close watch on any changes – physical, emotional, mental, even psychological like intense mood swings or sudden depression.

Aging

A good deal of secondary health issues are brought about by general aging, often including depression. As you age, key hormones responsible for behavior and mood suffer a decline in production which leaves you feeling depressed, even anxious at times. One of the factors that help contribute to weight loss is stopping medication for depression and anxiety, according to DementiaGuide.

When you’re depressed, you lose your appetite leaving you less likely to eat regularly or healthily. As always, listen to your doctor and heed his instructions when dealing with any mood changes that affects your appetite.

Dementia

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia which affects the brain by gradually decreasing memory and intellectual abilities, serious enough to affect daily life. The disease is said to account 50 to 80 percent of all dementia cases.

Symptoms develop slowly and get worse over time affecting even physical movements. This disease apparently causes sensation problems too, according to DementiaGuide. If you’re suffering from dementia, you lose your sense of touch, taste and smell causing a decrease in nutritional intake. You’ll find yourself unable to smell the food, feel the food in your mouth, much less swallow it. The usual course of action for this is nutrition through a feeding tube, especially for advanced cases of dementia.

Diabetes

Uncontrolled diabetes affects your body in many ways.

Intentional weight loss for people with diabetes is a good thing, but unintentional weight loss is usually not. Appetite suppression is common when there is a constant attack on your immune system as well as blood glucose fluctuations.

If you have diabetes, you suffer a condition referred to as dry mouth. According to Staci Nix, author of “Williams’ Basic Nutrition and Diet Therapy, Volume 1,” dry mouth happens when there is a decrease in production of saliva from your salivary glands, making it more difficult to chew and swallow food, increasing the risk of choking. This basically is the reason why many diabetes patients do not eat regularly as they should, hence the sudden unintentional weight loss as well as blood glucose problem.

Cancer

Unintentional weight loss is the usual symptom of cancer as well as the usual side effect of cancer treatments.

Significant weight loss occurs because the patient suffers from a reduced quality of life and shorter survival time. The patient’s body gets weaker and weaker, becoming less tolerant to the treatment. As bodily functions decline, so will the body weight decreases, leading to infection, malnutrition, illness or even death.

The most common effects of chemotherapy are nausea and vomiting, preventing you from eating regularly, according to Nix. Immune boosting drugs are sometimes given as a treatment for infection, but this too can cause severe stomach upset, vomiting and nausea.

To ensure you get the proper nutrients needed by your body, liquid nutritional shakes are the best possible solution.

You might not want to question your sudden weight loss, seeing it as a blessing or some sort of miracle. Sounds like you should. Apparently, nothing in life comes free, just like the old “it sounds too good to be true…” adage.