Appetite Changes and Weight Loss

Over time, your appetite and weight can fluctuate for a wide variety of reasons. Many women are thrilled if they discover their appetite decreases and they begin losing weight without effort. Unfortunately, these symptoms can be a sign that there is an underlying gynecologic or other health concern.

Appetite and weight changes can result for several expected reasons such as stress, lifestyle changes, or an acute illness. If you and your doctor know what is causing the changes, you can work to address them and keep you as healthy as possible. On the other hand, unexpected appetite and weight issues can be a signal that there is an undiagnosed medical condition which needs to be identified and treated.

While a lack of appetite is the more common sign of a problem, some medications and health conditions could cause an increase in appetite or cravings for particular foods. Changes in appetite can be the result of both acute and chronic illness. Unexpected weight loss can indicate a chronic medical condition, though some weight loss can occur with acute illness.

Appetite and weight changes can occur as a result of a wide variety of both physical and mental health issues. These can include anxiety, depression, infection, parasites, thyroid disorders, gastrointestinal issues, diabetes, lupus, cancer, and more. Medications used to treat various health conditions can also affect appetite and weight.

While many gynecologic issues do not directly affect your appetite and weight, they can do so indirectly. For instance, an enlarged uterus or large fibroid putting pressure on the stomach could cause you to feel full and thus decrease your appetite. Appetite and weight can be affected by endometriosis involving the bowel and causing digestive issues. Some gynecologic diagnoses that can affect appetite and weight include the following:

If your appetite has changed and you are experiencing unexpected weight loss, it is important that you schedule an appointment with your doctor. There are a wide range of health concerns which could be causing your symptoms, and continued appetite and weight issues can lead to new health concerns. You may need to undergo a variety of tests to pinpoint the cause, so keeping a detailed symptom diary can help you and your doctor work toward the correct diagnosis and treatment plan for you.

This content was written by staff of by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: Appetite Changes and Weight Loss

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