Autoimmune Diseases That Mess With Your Weight

weight gain or weight loss can be triggered because of autoimmune diseases

Contributed by- Dr. Pooja Chaudhary

Do you suffer from sudden weight changes? Unexplained weight loss is not always bearer of good news; those stubborn extra kilos or sudden weight loss can be an indicator of autoimmune diseases.

Autoimmune is a condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own healthy cells. Although really common autoimmune diseases are very tricky to diagnose. The most common symptoms of autoimmune diseases like achy joints, fatigue, tummy troubles, weight changes are very common problems and are often confused with other diseases in most of the cases.

Autoimmune diseases can wreck havoc in a person’s life. It is absolutely necessary to recognize the disease to start a proper and timely treatment. Unexplained or sudden changes in weight should not be ignored as it may be mean something serious. It is always better to know about the diseases and their symptoms to protect yourself and your loved ones from these cruel disorders.

Here is a list of autoimmune diseases that can cause unexplained weight changes:

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes occur when the immune system attacks the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Insulin plays a key role in the functioning and the way body uses and stores glucose for energy. Type 1 diabetes is one of the most common autoimmune disorders and a majority of the people suffering from this disorder complain of unexplained weight loss. The other common symptoms associated with type 1 diabetes are:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Nervousness
  • Blurred vision

If you experience weight loss with any of these symptoms, visit your doctor.


Rheumatoid Arthritis

Weight is not really a rheumatoid arthritis symptom yet a majority of people suffering from this disease complain of increased weight. The treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is include steroids which are recommend to reduce the inflammation, these steroids lead to weight gain and water retention. A person suffering from arthritis moves less and is prone to sedentary lifestyle, less physical activity always causes weight gain

Exercising is always a smart idea, include walking or small and easy workouts in your daily routine, it will help you fight rheumatoid arthritis better.


Celiac Disease

An autoimmune disorder in which the patient becomes sensitive to gluten (found in wheat, barley, rye, oats). Celiac disease is a rare disorder in which gluten consumption causes the immune system to attack the cells of the small intestine which further leads to decreased nutrient absorption. Inability to absorb food leads to weight loss. The other common symptoms experienced are

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Joint pain
  • Headache
  • Anaemia

If you experience any of the above symptoms with sudden weight loss it is wiser to get a screening test done for gluten sensitivity.


Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid disorders can be differentiated into two types; hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are really common problem affecting a huge population.

Incase of thyroid disorders the immune system interprets the thyroid glands and it’s hormones as threats and produces antibodies that attack the thyroid cells. Thyroid gland helps in controlling the metabolism thus plays a direct role in the weight changes.

Hyperthyroidism or grave’s disease is disorder where the thyroid glands become overactive and affects different body functions. One of the major side effect of graves’s disease is sudden weight loss. Whereas incase of hypothyroidism or hashimoto’s disease the thyroid glands are underactive which leads to weight gain, fatigue, constipation, hair loss, and depression.

Go for a thyroid test if you suffer from sudden and unexplained weight changes.


Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis are both bowel disorders caused by an abnormal immune response. Both these disorders are inflammatory bowel diseases and are often they often confused with each other but there is a major difference between the two diseases; crohns disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract whereas ulcerative colitis only affects the colon. Both these diseases can be identified with the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Abdominal pain
  • Inability or desire to eat which leads to weight loss

Visit a doctor or seek proper professional help in case of any bowel problems.


Addison Disease

Addision disease is a type of autoimmune disorder that affects the adrenal gland. The adrenal glands regulates the stress hormones and also regulates the blood pressure levels. Incase of adrenal disease the adrenal glands are unable to produce enough hormone which leads to decreased appetite, nausea and a sudden weight loss.

Sudden weight loss and nausea are symptoms not to be ignored!

Medical conditions that can stop you from losing weight?

Do you eat healthy, follow a proper weight loss plan and exercise regularly still unable to lose those extra kilos? Well you are not alone, a lot of people are face this problem. In a lot of cases underlying medical condition or medication can be the reason behind the unexplained weight gain. Some of the common medical conditions that can stop you from losing weight are:

  • Chronic stress
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Depression
  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Syndrome X also called as Insulin resistance or hyperinsulinemia
  • Crushing syndrome

It is important to get the medical condition diagnosed before addressing the weight issues. Start paying heed to the symptoms as they are your body’s way of telling that everything is not okay.


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