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When Weight Loss Is Not a Good Sign

As we speak, millions of American women are worried about weight gain as they munch away on Halloween candy.  Thousands of pre-holiday diets will begin tomorrow as New Year's Eve is only 8 weeks away.  But when weight loss is unplanned and unexpected, it can actually be a warning sign that something serious is wrong.   Dr. Michelle Roberts, an endocrinologist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine mentions just some of the causes:

"Many conditions can cause unexpected weight loss in women.  Probably one of the most common is hyperthyroidism, but we also see conditions such as adrenal insufficiency, HIV, or even cancer."

Physical illness is not the only serious cause of unexpected weight loss.  Mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders or depression--both very common in women--can also cause women to lose weight unexpectedly.  Of course, when seeing unexplained weight loss in younger women especially, we must always consider anorexia or bulemia, eating disorders that are far too commonly missed. 

If you or a loved one have experienced a significant unexplained weight loss, consult your doctor.

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Created: 10/31/2000  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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