Losing weight without trying could be disturbing, especially if you’ve lost too many pounds at once. While fluctuating between a few pounds daily is completely normal, experiencing a bout of sudden weight loss can be a bit concerning.
Unexpected weight loss in women in their late 40s and 50s is more concerning than in teens or those in their 20s or 30s. We don’t intend to scare you, but rapid weight loss could indicate a breadth of health issues.
But don’t panic yet, because many a times, imbalances or fluctuations in hormones can fuel weight loss. That said, here are four health issues that could explain why you’re losing weight at an alarming rate:
The onset of diabetes results in sudden weight loss, especially early on. Severe weight loss in women is often associated with Type 1 diabetes. However, Cleveland Clinic states that it can also occur in Type 2 diabetes.
When excessive levels of glucose persist in the bloodstream rather than getting absorbed, malnutrition occurs. Ultimately, your body draws nutrition from your muscles and fat, which fuels sudden weight drop. Extreme thirst is another symptom of diabetes.
Ignoring diabetes symptoms is a big no-no because leaving the condition untreated can lead to health complications. Consult your general physician and get blood tests done. Your doctor may prescribe oral drugs to manage blood sugar levels for prediabetes. Insulin therapy may be required if you’ve developed Type 1 diabetes.
Did you know that losing a dramatic amount of weight without trying is linked to cancer? If you’ve lost ten or more pounds in a few months unexpectedly, you must have developed cancer.
Cancers that often affect females are lung, colorectal, breast, ovarian, uterine, and skin cancers. But if you’re in your late 40s or 50s, chances are that you may have developed ovarian cancer. Each year, around 62,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the United States.
Talcum powders get a special mention in this context because a growing pool of studies has linked them with ovarian cancer. Dozens of women have filed a baby powder lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson.
After being named in more than 1,00,000 lawsuits, the pharmaceutical giant has agreed to a settlement. As of 2023, the average Johnson & Johnson baby powder lawsuit settlement is $100,000.
TorHoerman Law reports that any women who have developed ovarian cancer after exposure to Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder or other talcum powder products qualify for compensation.
Cancer symptoms often result in unexpected weight loss. That’s why you must consult a medical professional if your body is shedding too much weight. In case you’re diagnosed with cancer, you’ll have to see an oncologist. They’ll help you understand your diagnosis as well as your treatment’s timeline.
While cancer treatments vary from individual to individual, you may have to undergo radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
Many women lose weight due to adrenal insufficiency. This usually occurs when adrenal glands do not produce enough aldosterone or cortisol.
What’s more surprising is that Addison’s disease or adrenal insufficiency typically occurs after you stop taking steroids. The adrenal glands regulate blood pressure when you sit or stand up, help you deal with stress, and keep you energetic to get through the day.
Things in your body get haphazard when adrenal glands do not function properly. Rapid weight loss is the foremost effect of improper functioning of adrenal glands.
Medications such as corticosteroids can help treat Addison’s disease or adrenal insufficiency. Mayo Clinic suggests hormone replacement therapy, so you can give it a go, too. Therefore, seeing a general physician may help.
Women are two to three times more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis than men. Around 75% of people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis are women. That’s quite surprising, isn’t it?
Though the exact causes are unknown, sex hormones, genes, environmental factors, and stress could lead to rheumatoid arthritis in women. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that attacks the linings of joints, causing severe swelling, bone depletion, and joint deformity.
Inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis also cause inflammation in your guts. This messes with nutrient absorption and may result in unexplained weight loss.
Biological response modifiers (biologicals) and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are used to treat and manage rheumatoid arthritis. You can also add pain management strategies to your treatment plan to alleviate pain.
When to See a Doctor?
Shedding a significant amount of weight without any obvious reason isn’t common. If nothing’s changed from your diet to your lifestyle, yet you’re losing weight, it’s time to see a doctor.
Unexplained weight loss doesn’t always mean you suffer from a medical condition. But at times, it could be a tell-tale sign of diseases attacking your body. In case of a medical condition, timely measures can be taken to prevent it from aggravating.
Bear in mind that prevention is always better than cure.