Unexplained weight loss has many causes, medical and nonmedical. Often, a combination of things results in a general decline in your health and a related weight loss. Sometimes a specific cause isn't found.

Usually, an unrecognized cancer will have other symptoms or abnormalities of laboratory tests, in addition to unexplained weight loss.

Potential causes of unexplained weight loss include:

  1. Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency)
  2. Celiac disease
  3. Changes in diet or appetite
  4. Changes in sense of smell
  5. Changes in sense of taste
  6. COPD
  7. Crohn's disease
  8. Dementia
  9. Dental problems
  10. Depression (major depressive disorder)
  11. Hypercalcemia
  12. (overactive thyroid)
  13. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
  14. Medications
  15. Peptic ulcer
  16. Substance abuse (alcohol, cocaine, other)
  17. Tuberculosis
  18. Ulcerative colitis

Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Aug. 26, 2017