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Unexplained Weight Loss



What could be the causes of a 15 pound weight loss over an 8 week period?


Thanks for your question. There are several reasons for weight loss. Some may be easy to explain, and others more serious. Weight loss can be the result of inadequate calorie intake (as in dieting), or increased energy expenditure (such as starting an exercise program, or having an illness like a cold or flu). It may however, be something more serious; an underlying infection (such as pneumonia), diabetes, cancer, TB or AIDS. Another reason for weight loss is medication. Are you taking any medicines which contain diuretics (water losing drugs)or drugs that increase metabolism (such as metabolife or ephedrine)? Are you having any change in bowel habits (such as diarrhea or frequent bowel movements)? Do you suffer from nausea and vomiting for any reason? Or, are you simply not eating your usual amount of food, or exercising more frequently? If you`ve noticed other symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, extreme thirst, hunger or excessive urination, your weight loss may be due to diabetes. Did you know that most people have diabetes an average of 8 years before it is diagnosed? The criteria for diagnosing diabetes is more strict now because of the increased incidence of undiagnosed cases. My advice is to see your physician for a full physical including blood work. He/she can refer you to a Registed Dietitian to evaluate your eating habits and overall diet adequacy. Good Luck to you! 














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Response by:

Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Adjunct Faculty
University of Cincinnati