As you go about your daily life and routine, you may not pay a great deal of attention to your overall health and your weight. However, if something starts to go awry, like unexpected weight loss, you may begin to worry that something is wrong with your health. If you are currently experiencing unexpected weight loss, there are several steps that you and your physician can take to determine what is behind this sudden health change. Get to know some of the ways that you can go about finding out the cause of your unexpected weight loss so that you can take back control of your health and weight by treating the underlying cause.
A blood draw is usually the first step that your doctor will have you take when you begin to experience unexplained weight loss of any significant amount. The blood can be tested for a variety of potential causes including viral infections such as hepatitis or HIV/AIDS. Your doctor can also check your blood glucose levels to determine if diabetes is the cause of your sudden weight changes.
Blood tests can also sometimes be used to detect certain types of cancer like leukemia and others that could cause weight loss. There are also hormonal conditions and imbalances that could cause weight loss as well as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism (both of which can cause unexpected weight loss or gain). A series of blood tests can help to point to a potential cause and give your physician a plan for further tests and treatments.
A CT Scan
A CT scan, also known as a computerized tomography scan, is a test that helps physicians to get a better look of what is going on inside of your body. In the case of unexpected and otherwise unexplained weight loss, a doctor may order a CT scan of various areas of the body.
An abdominal CT scan will give the doctors a good look at the organs inside of your abdomen to determine if there are any abnormalities, blockages, or tumors that are causing your weight loss. Tumors on organs such as the liver and stomach can account for unintentional weight loss. Intestinal damage or obstructions could also cause such symptoms and could be detected using a CT scan. Similarly a chest CT or head CT can be used to detect other types of cancer that may cause weight loss like lung and thyroid cancer.
Now that you know a few of the ways that you can find out what is causing your unexplained weight loss, you can get the care and tests you need to begin treatment as soon as possible.