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Sudden Weight Loss in Men

Sudden weight loss in men is an alarming symptom and should be taken seriously. Given below are some of its different causes and what they may indicate.
Dr. Sumaiya Khan
Many people out there wish to lose that extra flab that they unwillingly carry on their body. In fact, most of us would give an arm and a leg to lose weight overnight and go from flab to fab. But the fact of the matter is, that if your body is suddenly shedding the pounds without you even trying, it can't be good news. Sudden weight loss in men is a symptom that needs to be taken seriously, as it is a pointer of a serious underlying disease or disorder. Given below are the various causes for this condition.
There are many explanations related to why smoking leads to weight loss. Although it is more commonly seen that more women take up smoking with the intention of it aiding them in losing weight, most men do not realize that smoking leads to losing weight. In fact, smoking is one of the leading causes. Chronic smoking tends to damage the taste buds over time. This is because the components of cigarettes tend to coat the tongue and taste buds present on the palate. This leads to food tasting progressively more and more bland. Thus, a person ceases to enjoy his meals and so, does not eat because he enjoys food but eats only when he is hungry and till he is full. Due to this, as he is not overeating, he does not gain any weight.
Furthermore, it is said that nicotine is an appetite suppressant. Thus, the more a person smokes, the less likely he is to feel hungry and so, less likely is he to eat. One of the effects of smoking is that it increases the heart rate which leads to an increase in the metabolic rate of the body. Thus, this leads to more calories being burned and more energy expended.
Another common cause is cancer. One of the most common cancer symptoms is sudden and unexplained weight loss. In fact, one of the ways that cancer is diagnosed in patients is when they approach the doctor complaining of sudden weight loss. Although this may be because the person is not feeling well and so, there may be loss of appetite. But there are cases where despite a healthy appetite a person may be rapidly losing weight. This is especially seen in cases of cancer of the gastrointestinal system, because when a person eats, then the food may not be getting properly absorbed in the gut.
The amount of weight loss experienced by a person is highly dependent on the type of cancer. Around 60% of patients who suffer from lung cancer and around 80% of people who have stomach cancer lose a significant amount of weight before they are diagnosed with cancer. Also, people who have advanced stages of cancer usually suffer from cachexia. This is a condition where there is weight loss and muscle wasting. This makes the person feel very weak and it is also seen in other conditions like AIDS and severe kidney diseases.
Other Causes
There are many other causes for this condition. These include men who are on chemotherapy. One of the main side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy is that a person loses his appetite. This may also be because familiar foods tend to taste different or people tend to develop a metallic taste in mouth. Patients suffering from stomach ulcer, depression, chronic alcoholism, diabetes, and eating disorders may also show symptoms of sudden weight loss.
The treatment for this condition will depend on the exact causative factor behind it. However, this is a symptom which should set off your alarm bells. It is said that you should immediately seek help and speak to your doctor if you are not dieting and are yet losing more than 5% of your normal weight in a month, or 10% or more of it in a time frame of 6 months or less. So, do take this symptom seriously and visit the doctor to get your condition diagnosed and treated at the earliest.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.