Saturday, June 21, 2014

Diseases That Cause Rapid Weight Loss

When weight loss is rapid and unexplained, it most often indicates that a medical condition is present. Rapid weight loss is defined as weight loss that occurs rapidly without an easily identifiable cause such as excessive exercise or extreme dieting. There are several causes of rapid weight loss and all need to be promptly addressed by a doctor. Some causes are relatively common and some are rare so in some cases the cause may not be easily diagnosed. However, it is important to determine the cause before it causes too many health complications. Some of the most common causes of rapid weight loss include Crohn's disease, type 2 diabetes, hyperthyroidism, cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.

Crohn's Disease

    Crohn's disease is a chronic condition that affects the gastrointestinal or digestive tract. It often causes rapid weight loss that can often be excessive in addition to abdominal pain, gastrointestinal tract swelling and frequent diarrhea. This disease can be very serious in some patients greatly affecting their quality of life. Crohn's disease cannot be cured, but it can be managed for most patients.

Type 2 Diabetes

    Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which a person's body does not properly use or balance blood sugar levels. This disease can cause rapid weight loss in addition to poor wound healing, numbness and tingling in the extremities, pain (mostly affecting the feet and legs), vision problems (including blindness when not treated well), fatigue and sexual dysfunction. Type 2 diabetes can often be well-managed for most patients, but it cannot be cured.


    Hyperthyroidism can cause rapid weight loss. This disease is characterized by the thyroid gland being overactive due to excessively secreting thyroid hormones. When the thyroid is overactive, it causes a person's metabolism to increase and this is what causes the weight loss. In addition to causing rapid weight loss, this disease may also cause fatigue, trouble sleeping, nervousness and irritability.


    Cancer is a disease that commonly causes rapid weight loss. Cancer occurs when when cells experience abnormal overgrowth. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. Most cancers can be treated when diagnosed in time. However, the prognosis ultimately depends on the patient, type of cancer and timeliness of diagnosis.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

    Inflammatory bowel disease is a disease in which the bowel experiences chronic inflammation. This disease can be managed, but not cured and can cause rapid weight loss. In addition to rapid weight loss, inflammatory bowel disease can also cause nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain and cramping.


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