Just as obesity has become a rampant sickness that can strike anyone at any age, so does rapid weight loss. Because of the pressures of being thin mainly imposed (indirectly) by media, many Americans are coming up with different means to lose weight. Some are determined to find a short cut to losing weight, believing products and methods that claim to help people lose weight fast and painless. However, research has shown that rapid weight loss is unhealthy and even ineffective.
Weight loss: the basics
Weight loss, in medical terms, is the reduction of one’s total body weight. Losing weight, coupled with a balanced diet, is the effective cure to obesity. There are two kinds of weight loss: the unintentional and intentional weight loss.
Intentional weight loss
Intentional weight loss is a conscious effort to lose weight. A healthy means of intentional weight loss involves a balanced diet and regular exercise. Determining a healthy weight means computing for your body mass index (BMI), or the proportion of your height and weight.
Once you have cut down on your weight, maintenance is important. Several weight loss centers and clinics can help direct you in the path of healthy weight loss.
Unintentional weight loss
Meanwhile, unintentional weight loss is an unconscious means of losing weight. This occurs mostly as a result of sickness or physical complications. One of the symptoms of unintentional weight loss is the rapid dropping of one’s weight without any known effort to lose weight. Once you have incurred symptoms of rapid weight loss, you have to see a doctor immediately.
Has losing weight become easy for you?
Have you noticed lately that you are losing weight even if you are not under any diet or exercise program? Before you start celebrating, you have to be careful. Symptoms of rapid weight loss can lead to possible complications in your body. This is unhealthy.
If you are suffering from any of the following symptoms of rapid weight loss, you have to talk to your doctor:
1. You’re not trying to lose weight.
2. You’re trying to lose weight and suddenly lose more than ten pounds.
What it means
These symptoms of rapid weight loss, according to Richard L. Atkinson, M.D., associate chief of staff for research and development at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Hampton, Virginia, can be symptoms of body complications that are worth checking.
Some of the diseases that complement with the symptoms of rapid weight loss are thyroid problems, diabetes, tuberculosis, and even cancer.
Mental disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are also possible answers to symptoms of rapid, unintentional, weight loss.
One of the common culprits that lead to rapid and unintentional weight loss is hyperthyroidism. This condition results when too much thyroid hormone is in the bloodstream. Symptoms associated with this condition include anxiety, heart palpitations), sweating, rapid and unintentional weight loss, and diarrhea among others.
Hyperthyroidism has a cure. It can be treated in different ways depending on why the thyroid is overactive and the age of the patient. Some of the means to treat an overactive thyroid include medications that decrease the production of thyroid hormone or by surgical removal of part of the thyroid gland.
Apart from hyperthyroidism, other complications that result in unintended and rapid weight loss include tuberculosis, diabetes, and cancer.
Each of these conditions has a cure.
1. Treating TB – The best way to treat TB is through regular and constant medication that can last up to months.
2. Disciplining diabetes – Diabetes requires a strict diet, exercise, and medication to maintain your blood sugar levels.
3. Detecting cancer – Early detection of cancer is essential. Treatment may include surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.
Anorexia is the most common mental disorder that results in rapid weight loss. Anorexia strikes mostly girls and teens. It is a sickness that has alarmed society because of the death of a Brazilian supermodel.
In medical terms, anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes an eating disorder characterized by low body weight and body image distortion with an obsessive fear of gaining weight.
Treating anorexia is important. It has to be detected immediately. Once you see someone with symptoms of rapid weight loss without any known effort, you have to talk to her. She might be needing your help.
Detection better than cure
Once you have notice that you are suffering from symptoms of rapid weight loss, you need to see your doctor immediately. Do not celebrate because you are achieving the ideal weight and body image as seen in the media. A healthy lifestyle is important.