These 9 Diseases Can Cause Weight Loss!

It is very natural for your body weight to fluctuate during the year. A swing of few pounds up or down is considered normal and you need not have to worry about it. However, if you drop 5% of your body weight in less than 6 months and you do not actually know what the underlying cause might be, then it is the time you should reach your doctor and know about it. There are a lot of diseases that can make you lose weight. Read below to know more about them.

These 9 Diseases Can Cause Weight Loss!

These 9 Diseases Can Cause Weight Loss!

Mental Illness

As we know, not all illnesses are physical. There are even mental illnesses. And as per American Family physicians, depression is a major cause of weight loss among elderly people and when Alzheimer’s disease is accompanied by weight loss of 5% or more, it is generally a precursor to death. There are also some other mental illnesses or personality disorders like anorexia and bulimia, especially in young ones and Parkinson’s disease that can cause weight loss.

Kidney Disease

Kidney disease can also cause weight loss, as it often involves nausea or vomiting, making it difficult to keep food down. The resulting loss of protein through urine can also make it very hard to maintain weight.


Infections are generally caused by parasites or viruses. These infections can also make you lose weight without even your notice. Infections that potentially lead to weight loss include HIV or human immunodeficiency virus and Tuberculosis.

Hormonal Problems

The body’s hormones include a lot more than just testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. The thyroid and adrenal glands, both, produce hormones that can affect your body weight when something causes them to secrete more than what is required, or not enough.

Gastrointestinal Illness:

Any illness that affects your stomach, intestines and digestive tract can also make you lose weight by interfering with your body’s absorption of necessary nutrients. Chronic diarrhea or an inflammatory bowel disease, like Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, inevitably leads you to lose pounds, even if you are eating as much as always. Celiac disease causes the immune system to react to gluten, or a protein that is contained in bread and pasta, and causes malfunction of the small intestines if it is not identified and you make appropriate diet adjustments. Celiac disease is accompanied by other gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea. Problems with your pancreas, which produces enzymes that help in digestion can also cause a sudden weight loss. Elderly people are very much prone to weight loss from these gastrointestinal illnesses.


Several types of cancer, and also tumor or ulcer in your stomach and intestine can lead to inflammation or malabsorption problems that may cause weight loss.


Diabetes can also make you lose weight, especially early on, new-onset diabetes can lead to weight loss. Diabetes can cause your body to suck nourishment from your muscles, which is fueling the sudden drop in your body weight.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

One more disease that can make you lose weight is Rheumatoid arthritis. Conditions like this or some type of infection can knock out the appetite of the sufferer, make you physically inactive and this may cause weight loss. This condition can also cause inflammation in your gut, which could mess with nutrient absorption and thereby promote the body’s weight loss.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease:

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a group of lung diseases that actually block airflow and make you difficult to breathe. The airflow can be blocked by an inflammation of the lining of bronchial tubes that carry air to and from the lungs, which is known as chronic bronchitis. When the air sacs in the lungs are gradually destroyed, making it difficult to breathe, it is called as emphysema. Symptoms of this disease include chest tightness, shortness of breath, frequent infection of respiratory infections, tiredness and unexplained weight loss.


Now we know about some of the diseases that can make you lose weight. It is okay if the weight loss is mild, but if you are losing 5% of your regular body weight in 6 months, then you may be having a serious problem known as unintentional weight loss and you need to see a doctor and take the necessary treatments.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 5, 2018

Recent Posts

Related Posts