Unintentional weight loss may lead to poor health as your body may not only be suffering from an underlying medical condition but it may also be deprived of nutrients that it needs to function well. Excessive weight loss may lead to starvation. Starvation initially affects body fat. If uncorrected, starvation gradually causes loss of muscle tissue or a condition called “wasting”. Muscle tissue is important because it is where most metabolic functions occur, such as immune tissue, organ tissue, tissues that produce energy and support movement and other bodily functions.
Proper treatment of unintentional weight loss requires a clear identification of its underlying cause.
While treatment options may vary depending on the cause of the weight loss, a healthy diet is common to all causes in order to stop weight loss, regain lost weight and muscle tissue. As a first line of treatment for unintentional weight loss, your diet may include foods that have adequate calories, protein and micronutrients.
If consuming a large meal is too much for you to handle in one sitting, try consuming 6 smaller meals during the day. Incorporate healthy foods that contain enough calories and are rich in protein such as:
A dietitian or nutritionist can suggest creative ways of adding enough calories and protein in your diet and devise a meal plan to meet your individual needs.
Causes of weight loss like fasting and excessive exercise may be corrected by making dietary improvements such as consuming a balanced diet and lifestyle changes such as getting moderate exercise.
Weight loss due to dental problems may require treatment by a dentist. Weight loss that is caused by disease may require proper investigation, examination, testing and treatment by a health professional. You may be asked to undergo several tests for nutritional assessment and blood tests to determine your chemistry profile. An evaluation of your test results will become the basis of your treatment plan. On the other hand, psychotherapy or psychological counselling may be combined with nutritional counselling for those who are losing weight as a result of a psychiatric or anxiety disorder.