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Unexplained Weight Loss in Women

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Unexplained weight loss can be frightening to experience. However, it can be terrifying to witness someone you love inexplicably drop pound after pound. Causes for women losing weight for no apparent reason can range from depression to thyroid problems to cancer. It is important not to dismiss unexplained weight loss. It can be an indication of a serious illness. In fact, that unexplained weight loss could wind up saving your life. Here are some possible reasons why you or your loved one may be involuntarily losing weight.


Depression often causes unexplained weight loss. Depressed people may feel that there is no point in eating. Depression can make you feel it is too much trouble to prepare something to eat, or you may simply have no appetite and can't think of anything that sounds appetizing. In severe cases, you may even feel that you do not deserve to eat. The good news is that there are anti-depressants available and they have fewer side effects than previous drugs.

Stomach Problems

Ranging from the well known ulcer to the lesser known irritable bowel disease, stomach problems can cause unexplained weight loss. It is very hard to make yourself eat if you know that you are going to have indigestion, diarrhea or vomiting afterward. An adjustment in what you eat, such as avoiding wheat gluten if you have celiac disease, can be the answer. Medications that reduce the amount of acid in your system can sometimes resolve the issue.

Thyroid Disease

Hyperthyroidism is often to blame for unexplained weight loss in women. This condition occurs when the thyroid works too hard and produces too many hormones. This will make all of your body systems work overtime, including your metabolism which will make you spend more calories than you consume. Medication can get your thyroid levels back to normal and help you feel much more energetic.


Studies have shown that in the year before dementia, patients have some recognizable symptoms. Among these is the fact that their weight loss rate can double. This makes unexplained weight loss your ally in diagnosing Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. The new generation of anti-psychotic medications can slow down the progression of dementia. In fact, the sooner medications are started, the better chance they have of helping slow the disease down.


It is not widely known that being diabetic can make you lose weight. The stereotype is when you think diabetes, you think overweight. Because of increased urination in diabetics, dehydration is common. Muscle mass can shrink when a person's glucose level is too high. Unexplained weight loss can be an early indicator of diabetes, particularly if there is a family history of the disease. Early treatment of diabetes can be the difference between taking insulin shots or not. There are medications that can control your insulin level and put off or even eliminate the need for daily shots.

If you or someone you love has dropped 10 percent of their body weight in half a year, a doctor should be consulted. The conditions listed above can all be treated to lessen their severity and perhaps postpone their onset. The key is getting treatment as soon as possible.

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