Though there are a number causes of weight loss but the following are the main ones which a physician tends to look for particularly in the history and physical examination. In clinical setting and medical exams alike, these cardinal signs should not be missed by a physician.Significant weight loss is a loss of 4.5 kg or > 5% body weight over 6 – 12 months according to the NCBI. Any person presenting with weight-loss should be investigated and worked up for the following causes.
Loss of appetite
Bloating and difficulties in wind passage Stool which difficult to flush
Manifestation of vitamin deficiency
- History of sexual contact , travel abroad and blood products transfusion should be inquired.
- Signs and symptoms of Diabetes (Polyuria, polydipsia, polyphagia) and Thyrotoxicosis (unexplained diarrhea, profuse sweating, tachycardia, tremors, hypertension) should also be look for.
Any swelling such as lymph node enlargement or lumps or pyrexia of unknown origin can be the presenting symptom
- GASTROINTESTINAL CAUSES
- CROHN’S DISEASE
- PARASITIC INFESTATION
- PEPTIC ULCER DISEASE
- Psychiatric illness particularly Depression associated with a loss of near / dear one or financial loss can also lead to a weight loss.