What Are The Most Common Causes Of Being Underweight?

Today with the emergence of obesity as an epidemic many of us undermine being underweight as a serious health issue. Thinness or underweight is also a disorder in which the body weight is below the normal range. While there is distinct weight variation from one person to another, body mass index (BMI) is the best measurement tool to determine the ideal weight of a person. The ideal BMI according to medical fraternity is between 18.5 and 25.

Thus a person is said to be underweight if his BMI is below 18.5. People who are underweight are more prone to frequent infection due to weak immune system.

They may also present with other symptoms that include low muscle mass, hair loss, irregularity of menses in women, fatigue and weakness. It also derails the absorption of nutrients increasing the risk of anemia, osteoporosis and nutritional disorders.

The risk of premature death in clinical underweight people is in fact higher than the obese individuals. If a person is genetically predisposed for being thin and underweight there is no cause of worry. But in many cases there is a plethora of reason for being underweight.

What Causes Someone To Be Underweight?

The causes of being underweight greatly vary among people living in different parts of the world.

Underweight and malnutrition almost go hand in hand. Most underweight individuals are malnourished, especially people living in underdeveloped countries. They may have little or no access to nutritious food. While in developed countries the cause may be different. Even if there accessibility to nutritious food in abundance, psychological and social reasons may be responsible for being underweight.

There are some people who are genetically predisposed to remain underweight. Their genetic orientation tends to increase their body’s metabolic rate and thus they remain thin even if they eat healthy food.

Aside from the above mentioned reasons, there are host of medical illness that may be the leading cause of underweight. Digestive disease ranks first in the list. These are mainly chronic gastrointestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. People suffering from these diseases tend to develop malabsorption syndrome as their intestine lack the ability to process and absorb nutrients from food that they eat. Many people suffer from weight loss regardless of the amount of food that they eat. People suffering from diseases such as hyperthyroidism, tuberculosis, cancer and HIV infection also tend to lose their weight rapidly.

Underweight is also associated with psychological conditions. People suffering from eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia are always underweight. People under severe mental stress or depression experience weight loss as most of them have reduced appetite.

People with high physical activity such as athlete or those performing frequent workouts may burn more calories. If these people do not take proper diet to suffice the calorie loss, they tend to become thin.

Certain prescription medicines can reduce appetite or may cause nausea. For example chemotherapy treatment is known to affect a person’s diet. It can also cause nausea. Both these factors can worsen weight loss that is already present from the underlying disease.

Home Remedies For Underweight Problem

Being underweight is as serious as obesity. It has to be treated efficiently. Patient needs a balanced approach to gain weight. Weight gain program is not an opportunity for indulging in any type of food, especially junk food as some people believe. But it is a program in which all the aspects of health such as the underlying medical disease, the amount of calories, and quality of nutritional food are taken into consideration. Besides diet patient has to modify his lifestyle.

The most simple way to increase weight is to top up calories intake in your diet. Include foods that are healthy and high in calories such as dairy products like milk, cheese, dried fruits, nuts and beans. Eat high protein diet that consists of meat, eggs, fish etc. Protein will help in building muscle mass. Good fats and carbohydrates are also vital for gaining weight. The calorie intake must be increased gradually as this will help to maintain steady weight gain over a long period of time.