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Unplanned weight loss means losing weight without trying to. It may be caused by a medical problem, so be sure to see your doctor if you are losing weight without trying.
If you are losing weight because you're exercising more or eating less, it is considered normal weight loss.
Lots of medical problems can cause you to lose weight without trying. These include an overactive thyroid gland, long-term infections, mouth or throat problems that make it hard to eat, digestive problems, depression, diabetes, COPD, and cancer.
Other causes of unplanned weight loss include prescription and over-the-counter medicines, alcohol or drug abuse, and emotional stress and anxiety.
In older adults, memory problems such as dementia can lead to weight loss.
If another problem is causing your weight loss, your doctor will treat that problem. Your doctor may also suggest a change in what you eat. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medicines that help you gain weight.
Talk to your doctor about what you can do to gain weight. Your doctor may suggest that you see a dietitian, who can help you develop a meal plan that fits your lifestyle.
Avoid using expensive supplements for quick weight gain.
If your doctor says it's okay, find ways to eat more high-calorie, nutritious foods. These foods include:
Talk to your doctor if:
Current as of:
March 12, 2014
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
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