Sudden Weight Loss: Possible Causes & Remedies

a woman suffering from unexplained weight loss is wearing a loose jeans | Sudden Weight Loss: Possible Causes & Remedies

Unexplained Weight Loss  

The majority of people are well aware of the dangers of obesity, and many publications concentrate on how to reduce weight. On the other hand, unintentional weight loss might risk a person's health or signal an underlying medical problem.

People may gain or lose weight in reaction to seasonal changes or when confronted with significant or stressful life changes, such as relocating or beginning a new career.

However, if a person has considerable weight loss with no apparent cause, they should see a doctor.

Causes of Sudden Weight Loss

Unexpected weight loss may be caused by a variety of medical issues. They were paying attention to any extra symptoms that people encounter that might help their doctor discover the underlying reason.

Unexpected weight loss may be caused by the following issues and conditions:


Hyperthyroidism develops when the thyroid gland generates more hormones than the body needs. This disorder is commonly referred to as an overactive thyroid.

Because the thyroid produces hormones that control metabolism, an excess of these hormones leads the body to burn more energy than normal. Unintentional or unexplained weight loss might occur when you burn more energy and calories and also depends on your BMI.

Other manifestations

Hyperthyroidism may be seen in places like:

  • Shaking hands and tiredness tremor
  • muscular weakness 
  • inability to sleep 
  • quick heartbeat 
  • changes in temperament
  • irritation or anxiety
  • Goitre is a swelling in the neck 
  • diarrhoea
  • Depression
  • Weight loss 
  • depressed symptoms

Researchers looked at the reasons for unexplained weight loss in 2,677 people in a 2017 prospective study. Depression was recognised as the primary reason in 7% of the subjects.

The adrenal glands, which generate several hormones, may be affected by changes in the brain and pituitary gland. Cortisol is one of these hormones, and it helps control blood pressure, blood glucose, and metabolism. a reliable source

Other depressive symptoms include:

  • emotions of despair
  • hopelessness, or apathy that continues or recurs changes in appetite, such as eating more or less than usual 
  • unintended weight loss or increase

Addison's syndrome

The most prevalent cause of Addison's disease is a rare autoimmune condition that damages the adrenal glands and stops them from making adequate cortisol and aldosterone.

According to the National Institutes of Health, people with Addison's disease may have a reduction in appetite as well as unexplained weight loss (NIH).

Other Addison's disease symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • nausea
  • hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • dizziness
  • muscular spasms
  • hyperpigmentation, or excessively darkened patches of skin
  • low blood sugar and salt levels, 
  • high blood potassium levels, 
  • low red blood cell count, or anaemia
  • Too many eosinophils cause a high white blood cell count (leukocytosis).

Irritable bowel syndrome

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are two inflammatory gastrointestinal disorders with immune system dysfunction known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

From the mouth to the anus, Crohn's disease may cause inflammation in any area of the gastrointestinal system. On the other hand, ulcerative colitis exclusively affects the large intestine.

IBD may impair the body's capacity to effectively digest meals and absorb nutrients, resulting in malnutrition.

Other IBD symptoms include:

  • stomach discomfort and frequent diarrhoea
  • GI tract bleeding causes bloody faeces.
  • Fatigue
  • fever
  • Muscle wasting

Muscle atrophy, or muscle loss, happens when the muscles shrink or fade away. Unexpected weight loss is a symptom of this illness.

Muscle loss may be caused by the following factors:

  • owing to accidents 
  • malnutrition 
  • ageing 
  • a stroke inactivity

People may frequently avoid muscle loss by eating well and exercising regularly. After an accident or stroke, physical therapy may help reverse or prevent muscle loss.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory disease that results in joint inflammation.

Despite the fact that the Arthritis Foundation estimates that two-thirds of persons with RA are overweight or obese, people with RA may lose weight.

This weight loss might be due to the body's increased usage of energy as a result of the chronic inflammation caused by RA. Furthermore, since the inflammation in their joints prevents them from participating in regular physical exercise, patients with RA may have muscle loss.

Some RA drugs may induce adverse effects including diarrhoea and lack of appetite, which can lead to weight loss.


Unexpected weight loss may be an indication of cancer, however, the symptoms vary depending on the kind, stage, and location of the illness.

Any condition in which aberrant and mutated cells quickly increase and ultimately infiltrate healthy tissue is referred to as cancer.

Weight loss is a typical occurrence for malignancies of the lungs and the digestive system, such as:

  • cancer of the pancreas
  • carcinoma of the colon
  • hepatic cancer
  • gastric cancer
  • biliary duct cancer
  • cancer of the oesophagus

Other early cancer signs to be aware of include:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • pain
  • digestive problems
  • bowel or bladder function alterations
  • A chronic cough causes skin changes.

Other possibilities

Unexpected weight loss may also be caused by the following factors:

  • illness of the kidneys or liver
  • A stomach ulcer celiac disease alcohol or drug abuse

Unexpected weight decrease in women compared to males

Unexpected weight loss may affect anybody, regardless of gender. However, a person's gender might raise their likelihood of developing specific illnesses that produce this symptom.

Adult women aged 25–29 years or older than 35 years had a much greater risk of Crohn's disease than males. Men have a much greater risk of ulcerative colitis than women beyond 45 years of age.

Women are likewise significantly more prone than males to acquire hyperthyroidism.

Men, on the other hand, have a greater chance of acquiring stomach cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Pancreatic cancer is also more common in males than it is in women.

Take Away

Unexpected weight loss may be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from inflammatory illnesses to psychiatric issues or type 2 diabetes. People may aid their doctor in determining the specific reason by keeping track of any other symptoms they are experiencing.