When should I be worried about unintentional weight loss?
I’m a 22 years old female and 162 cm tall. I’ve been losing some weight this year and my friends have been noticing it too. I was 52.5kg in mid Jan and I’m 50.8kg in April. However this weight loss is completely unintentional - I have not been dieting nor have I been exercising more or less. Maybe it’s the last semester in university nerves, but should I get anything checked?
Thank you for your question.
We generally define clinically important weight loss as over 5% of body weight over 6 to 12 months. It is possible that the stress from your last semester at university may have contributed, but if you have been eating and exercising as per normal and still losing weight, I would suggest getting evaluated.
Conditions such as hyperthyroidism (associated with weight loss, increased bowel movement, tremors, irregular periods and palpitations), diabetes (associated with increased thirst and passing more urine) and some infections such as tuberculosis are major causes of unintentional weight loss.
I would recommend speaking to your doctor who can take a full history of any associated symptoms and request for relevant laboratory tests to investigate the cause of your weight loss.