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Weight loss

Weight loss

Weight loss, in the context of medicine, health or physical fitness, is a reduction of the total body mass, due to a mean loss of fluid, body fat or adipose tissue and/or lean mass, namely bone mineral deposits, muscle, tendon and other connective tissue. It can occur unintentionally due to an underlying disease or can arise from a conscious effort to improve an actual or perceived overweight or obese state.Infections such as HIV may alter metabolism, leading to weight loss.Hormonal disruptions, such as an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), may also exhibit as weight loss.One cutoff value of where unintentional weight loss is of significant concern is where there's a weight loss of more than 5% in the past month, or at least 10% during the last 6 months.Causes of unintentional weight lossStarvation, a state of extreme hunger resulting from lack of essential nutrients over a prolonged period. Cancer, a very common and sometimes fatal cause of unexplained (idiopathic) weight loss. About one-third of unintentional weight loss cases are secondary to malignancy. Cancers to suspect in patients with unexplained weight loss include gastrointestinal, prostate, hepatobillary (hepatocellular carcinoma, pancreatic cancer), ovarian, hematologic or lung malignancies. AIDS can cause weight loss and should be suspected in high-risk individuals presenting with weight loss.Intentional weight lossIntentional weight loss refers to the loss of total body mass in an effort to improve fitness and health, and/or to change appearance. Therapeutic weight loss, in individuals who are overweight or obese, can decrease the likelihood of developing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure,[8] osteoarthritis,  and certain types of cancer. While being overweight had been thought to be linked to stroke there is no strong evidence to support that link. It is not uncommon for some people who are currently at their ideal body weight to seek additional weight loss in order to improve athletic performance, and/or meet required weight classification for participation in a sport. However, others may be driven by achieving a more attractive body image. Notably, being underweight is associated with health risks such as difficulty fighting off infection, osteoporosis, decreased muscle strength, trouble regulating body temperature and even increased risk of death.According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 Executive Summary, which was released on January 31, 2011, those that achieve and manage a healthy weight do so most successfully by being continuously vigilant in taking in only the amount of calories that meet their needs and with physical activity.

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