Posted by: Nic | 2009-05-22

Weight and illness


I would just like to know if it is possible that illness can be the cause of weight gain or should you actually loose weight. How much weight gain can be expected if at all.


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Our expert says:
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Dear Nic
The interaction between weight gain or loss and illnesses, is very complex. If you have any illness that causes a process called cachexia which results in breakdown of body tissues (e.g. high temperatures associated with severe infections, malaria, etc, or wasting diseases such as cancer), you will lose weight. Illnesses that cause vomiting or diarrhoea which result in loss of water will make you weigh less, but if they are of short duration you will regain the weight when you drink liquids again. Other illnesses may slow down your metabolism and cause weight gain (e.g. hypothyroidism). Any illness that suppresses your appetite will also cause weight loss, and many medications will either increase or decrease weight. If you have a simple cold, this should not affect your weight.
So it is rather difficult to predict how illness will affect your weight.
Best regards

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