Simply lose weight – without doing anything for it? Anyone who has ever struggled with dieting can only dream of it. But beware: this dream can quickly become a nightmare: Unwanted weight loss is not uncommon but unexplained weight loss, or losing weight without trying can be cause for a concern and often dangerous causes behind it. The triggers are often gastrointestinal illnesses, which you have to get to the bottom of. Who loses more than five per cent of its weight without change of the nourishing behavior in 6 to 12 months, should contact absolutely the family doctor or a gastroenterologists.
OFTEN THE DIGESTION IS TO BLAME
In about one third of cases, weight loss is associated with diseases of the digestive tract, such as infection, intolerance, chronic inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome. The experts of the DGVS emphasize that clarification is important for the prevention or diagnosis of deficiency symptoms. Of course, many other diseases can also trigger weight loss – ranging from rather harmless problems with dentures to certain heart, lung, kidney and liver diseases to severe chronic infections (AIDS, tuberculosis), hormonal diseases (e.g. hyperthyroidism, insufficiency of the adrenal cortex) and, in the worst case, malignant tumours.
EXACT DIAGNOSIS OFTEN DIFFICULT
However, if weight loss is accompanied by abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation, the cause of the problem is usually in the digestive tract. “If the body does not sufficiently break down or resorb the food components, we speak of a malassimilation syndrome,” explains the spokesman of the DGVS working group Nutritional Medicine Prof. Dr. George Lamprecht. “Since the symptoms are often unspecific, the diagnosis is a challenge,” says Lamprecht. the important things there was it. but i was relauctant to continue to teaching
- For example, abdominal pain and diarrhoea can indicate, among other things, gluten intolerance “celiac disease”, chronic inflammatory bowel disease “Crohn’s disease” or inflammation of the colon, a “microscopic colitis”. But it need to medical examination.
- However, pancreatic diseases or the consequences of operations in the abdomen, which may well have occurred a long time ago, may also be considered.
- In addition to the more frequent clinical pictures, it is also necessary to think of rarer diseases, says Lamprecht. Even decades after radiation treatment, damage to the intestinal tissue can still lead to radiation enteritis.
MALNUTRITION THREATENS WITHOUT TREATMENT
It is helpful if patients can describe their complaints as precisely as possible, says Lamprecht: Do they experience pain before or after eating? Is the stool particularly watery? Do diarrhoea and constipation alternate? In addition, laboratory tests of blood, urine and stool, as well as imaging procedures, help the doctor to make the correct diagnosis. If necessary, he takes tissue from the stomach or intestine and examines it for pathological changes. “The first step is to recognise the problem, seek medical help and thus also prevent impending deficiency symptoms in good time,” says Lamprecht. Digestive diseases not only lead to weight loss: if the body does not absorb sufficient minerals, vitamins and trace elements, patients feel tired and inefficient. “The faster we can take countermeasures, the better,” says the DGVS expert.
CAUTION IS ALSO ADVISED FOR IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME
By the way: An irritable bowel syndrome is rarely the cause of unwanted weight loss. Irritable bowel patients should nevertheless do everything they can to stabilise their bowel function – e.g. with a diet appropriate for the irritable bowel and probiotic products through supportive intake. Those affected who nevertheless register a sudden unwanted weight loss should consult a specialist in any case in order to rule out a worsening of their condition or the development of new illnesses. take care about your health.