Unintentional Weight Loss
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Reviewed By:

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.

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc (Family Medicine)

Dr.Patel serves as Center Medical Director and a Primary Care Physician at Oak Street Health in Arizona. She graduated from the Zhejiang University School of Medicine prior to working in clinical research focused on preventive medicine at the University of Illinois and the University of Nevada. Dr. Patel earned her MSc in Global Health from Georgetown University, during which she worked with the WHO in Sierra Leone and Save the Children in Washington, D.C. She went on to complete her Family Medicine residency in Chicago at Norwegian American Hospital before completing a fellowship in Leadership in Value-based Care in conjunction with the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, where she earned her MBA. Dr. Patel’s interests include health tech and teaching medical students and she currently serves as Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Arizona School of Medicine.

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Content updated on Apr 4, 2024

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  • Lost more than 5% of my weight within a month without a reason

  • I lost more than 5% of my weight in a month without knowing

  • Lost 5% of body weight in a month without a reason

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About the Symptom

Unintentional weight loss is when one loses weight without changing the diet or exercise routine.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Unintentional weight loss

Possible Causes

Generally, Unintentional weight loss can be related to:

  • Pleural Mesothelioma

    Pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer that occurs in the thin tissue layer around the lungs. It's more common in people over 50 years old. The most likely cause is long-term exposure to a mineral called "asbestos".

  • Pancreatic Cancer

    Pancreatic cancers most commonly arise in the cells that line the ducts of the pancreas. Risk factors include heavy alcohol use resulting in chronic pancreatitis, diabetes, obesity, and smoking, and a family history of pancreatic cancer as well as some inherited syndromes. There are usually no symptoms when the tumor is small but later symptoms include yellowing of the skin (jaundice), mid-back pain, abdominal pain or discomfort, weight loss and fatigue.

  • Anemia

    Anemia is a disorder where the body's tissues don't receive enough oxygen due to a lack of healthy red blood cells. There are several types of anemia with various causes, the most common being iron-deficiency anemia, which results from insufficient iron. Iron is needed to produce hemoglobin, a substance in red blood cells that helps carry oxygen.

  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Bone Tumor
  • Colon Cancer
  • Functional Dyspepsia
  • Graves' Disease
  • Breast Cancer

Related serious diseases

Sometimes, Unintentional weight loss may be related to these serious diseases:

  • Dehydration

    Dehydration happens when you lose more fluid than you consume, leaving your body without enough water. Common causes include inadequate intake, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Dehydration can also cause serious complications like seizures, urinary and kidney problems.

Doctor's Diagnostic Questions

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom:

  • Have you lost more than 2 kgs in a month without trying?

  • 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?

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Find Similar Symptoms

Similar symptoms or complaints

Reviewed By:

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.

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc (Family Medicine)

Dr.Patel serves as Center Medical Director and a Primary Care Physician at Oak Street Health in Arizona. She graduated from the Zhejiang University School of Medicine prior to working in clinical research focused on preventive medicine at the University of Illinois and the University of Nevada. Dr. Patel earned her MSc in Global Health from Georgetown University, during which she worked with the WHO in Sierra Leone and Save the Children in Washington, D.C. She went on to complete her Family Medicine residency in Chicago at Norwegian American Hospital before completing a fellowship in Leadership in Value-based Care in conjunction with the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, where she earned her MBA. Dr. Patel’s interests include health tech and teaching medical students and she currently serves as Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Arizona School of Medicine.

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