The weight is a biological variable that is well regulated by the body, so that a variation of plus or minus would the presence of some underlying disease.
The human body has an energy regulation that consists of the balance between energy gain and expenditure that is made up of the basal metabolic rate, which is the largest portion of energy expenditure (75%) and is the amount of energy required to fulfill vital functions such as breathing, thinking, walking, among many others.
Men have a higher basal metabolic rate than women due to their greater muscle mass and height, but also people who have excess activity of the thyroid gland have a higher rate of basal energy expenditure.
There is a 10% energy expenditure due to food consumption in processes such as absorption, metabolism and storage of nutrients, but there is also a thermal effect of exercise that includes voluntary physical activity such as running or doing sports and involuntary activity to maintain balance posture and in situations of spontaneous tremor.
On the other hand, the energy input into the body comes from carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the ingested food and the mechanism of satiety and hunger is finely regulated by the neuroendocrine system that is alert to generate the stimulus of hunger and satiety where appropriate.
Weight loss is the decrease of 10% or more of the individual's body weight in a period of 1 year without the intervention of physical activity or voluntary modifications in food intake. On the other hand, in the face of unexplained weight loss greater than 10% of body weight, its origin should be investigated because it may be caused by the presence of some underlying disease.
Causes of Unexplained and Unintentional Weight Loss
It has three origins:
1. Due to decreased caloric intake: It is observed in cases of financial difficulties to access safe and adequate food, problems in the selection and preparation of food, alterations in the teeth and swallowing (esophageal cancer) and anorexia nervosa (eating disorder that characterized by abnormally low body weight, intense fear of gaining weight, and distorted perception of weight).
2. Due to increased caloric losses: intestinal diseases that cause nutrient losses (malabsorption syndromes), kidney diseases that cause protein loss through the urine (nephrotic syndrome) and in metabolic diseases such as type 1 diabetes mellitus where there is no insulin production and therefore there is no glucose uptake by any cell.
3. Due to increased caloric expenditure: For diseases such as hyperthyroidism that accelerate the basal metabolism or in activities that require physical exercise without compensation in the intake. Other diseases present in this classification are: neoplasms and chronic infections such as HIV-AIDS and pulmonary tuberculosis
It is important to address a new term: cachexia is a serious body composition disorder where there is weight loss of up to 60% of what is expected for the height and age in which the doctor must be more diligent in the search for pathologies for your treatment as soon as possible.
Among the main symptoms of cachexia are: weakness and “wanting to do nothing”, loss of body mass, loss of skin elasticity, presence of wrinkles, hair loss, change in hair color, constipation and diarrhea, vomiting and early satiety when eating food, decreased body temperature and blood pressure, disappearance of fat from the cheeks, giving the appearance of an elderly person.
Symptoms according to the cause of weight loss
1. Neoplasms: anemia and weakness.
2. Anorexia nervosa: phobia of gaining weight, refusal to eat and lack of menstruation secondary to the above.
3. Kidney failure: earthy skin color, rotten apple breath (uremic), secondary nausea, vomiting, gastritis and anemia.
4. Chronic infections (AIDS): fever and lymphadenopathy (swollen glands).
5. Type 1 diabetes: preserved appetite, polyuria (urinating much more frequently), polyphagia (exaggerated appetite and increased food intake), polydipsia (uncontrollable thirst), and pruritus (itching).
6. Malabsorption syndrome: oily diarrhea.
It is important that in the face of unexplained and rapid weight loss, the doctor is consulted to indicate pertinent laboratory tests and identify signs and symptoms in time that can guide the diagnosis of the underlying disease that the patient is suffering from.
It is also important not to underestimate any weight loss as timely diagnosis to treat the cause of the problem is of utmost clinical importance.
Diabetes is usually treated with insulin pills or even injections when required as well as other medications, but if blood glucose levels can be controlled naturally, medication can be avoided. Diet and lifestyle modifications are the best way to control blood sugar and can lead to a healthy and productive life. Glucose1 Pills Reviews
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