Recent Weight Loss
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Reviewed By:

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc (Primary Care Physician)

Dr Patel graduated from the Zhejiang University School of Medicine. She worked in clinical research at the University of Illinois in Chicago and University of Nevada in Las Vegas focused on culturally adapted health interventions for preventive medicine in the community setting. Received her Master's of Science in Global Health (concentration in Health Policy) from Georgetown University, during which she worked with the WHO in Sierra Leone and Save the Children in Washington, D.C. Unnati went on to complete her family medicine residency in Chicago, Illinois at Norwegian American Hospital. | | She is currently working as a primary care physician in the city of Chicago and completing her Master's of Business Administration at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and Fellowship in Leadership in Value-Based Care.

Yoshinori Abe, MD

Yoshinori Abe, MD (Internal medicine)

Dr. Abe graduated from The University of Tokyo School of Medicine in 2015. He completed his residency at the Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Longevity Medical Center. He co-founded Ubie, Inc. in May 2017, where he currently serves as CEO & product owner at Ubie. Since December 2019, he has been a member of the Special Committee for Activation of Research in Emergency AI of the Japanese Association for Acute Medicine. | | Dr. Abe has been elected in the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia Healthcare & Science category.

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Content updated on Jan 4, 2023

About the symptom

It refers to a recent noticeable drop in body weight that occurs.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Recent weight loss

Possible causes

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Also known as ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, or motor neuron disease, this progressive, degenerative condition affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. It results in loss of muscle control, eventually leading to difficulty eating, breathing, and speaking. The exact cause remains unknown and may be due to genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.

  • Anorexia nervosa / bulimia nervosa

    A condition with a heightened fear of gaining weight and focus on controlling body image. Patients try to lose weight excessively through fasting, inducing vomiting, or excessive exercise. Binge eating may also be involved.

  • Hepatic cancer

    Also known as liver cancer. The most common type is hepatocellular carcinoma. Causes include chronic viral infections, like Hepatitis B and C, excessive alcohol consumption, or fatty liver disease that have caused chronic inflammation and/or cirrhosis.

  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Hyperemesis gravidarum
  • Polymyositis / dermatomyositis
  • Hyperthyroidism

Related serious diseases

  • Adrenal insufficiency (e.g. Addison disease)

    The adrenal gland is an organ that releases hormones to control blood pressure and metabolism. In this condition, there are low hormone levels, and the causes include damage to the adrenal glands themselves or parts of the brain that control the adrenal gland. It can present with darkened areas of skin, extreme loss of body water, also known as dehydration, fatigue, weight loss that doesn't happen on purpose, nausea, vomiting or belly pain, lightheadedness or fainting, salt cravings, muscle or joint pains.

Questions your doctor may ask about this symptom

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom

  • Did you lose weight recently?

  • Do you have a reduced appetite and eat less food?

  • Is your neck swollen?

  • Are you feeling nauseous or have you been vomiting?

  • Do you have a fever?

Other Related Symptoms

Similar symptoms or complaints

Reviewed By:

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc (Primary Care Physician)

Dr Patel graduated from the Zhejiang University School of Medicine. She worked in clinical research at the University of Illinois in Chicago and University of Nevada in Las Vegas focused on culturally adapted health interventions for preventive medicine in the community setting. Received her Master's of Science in Global Health (concentration in Health Policy) from Georgetown University, during which she worked with the WHO in Sierra Leone and Save the Children in Washington, D.C. Unnati went on to complete her family medicine residency in Chicago, Illinois at Norwegian American Hospital. | | She is currently working as a primary care physician in the city of Chicago and completing her Master's of Business Administration at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and Fellowship in Leadership in Value-Based Care.

Yoshinori Abe, MD

Yoshinori Abe, MD (Internal medicine)

Dr. Abe graduated from The University of Tokyo School of Medicine in 2015. He completed his residency at the Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Longevity Medical Center. He co-founded Ubie, Inc. in May 2017, where he currently serves as CEO & product owner at Ubie. Since December 2019, he has been a member of the Special Committee for Activation of Research in Emergency AI of the Japanese Association for Acute Medicine. | | Dr. Abe has been elected in the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia Healthcare & Science category.

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