Weight loss may be a sign of cancer- Experts

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Nutrition experts have warned that people who experience unexplained weight loss may be suffering from malnutrition, cancer, or cardiovascular diseases, among others.

READ ALSO:Study reveals weight gain may increase prostate cancer risk 

They noted that an unexplained weight loss that is not well managed might worsen such underlying illness and may finally result in death.

The dieticians, in an exclusive interview with newsmen, said those who lose weight suddenly and for no apparent reason should be worried and consult medical experts to ascertain the cause.

One of them, a Senior Dietitian at Berkshire Health, United Kingdom, Deborah Ayodeji Ayodeji said unexplained weight loss can lead to death due to complications that could arise from diseases like cancer and kidney failure.

She noted that weight loss is most common during the early and middle stages of kidney disease.

 Weight loss can often be linked to cancer, kidney failure especially among many more diseases because it is one of the most marked symptoms of these diseases.

“Research has shown that unexplained weight loss is frequently the first noticeable symptom of many cancers, for example, oesophagus, pancreas, stomach, and lung.

“This weight loss can happen as a result of poor dietary intake either caused by nausea, lack of appetite, or difficulty chewing or swallowing. Unexplained weight loss in cancer can also be caused by increased metabolism, loss of skeletal muscle, and fatigue, which can lead to poor dietary intake,” she said.

On how best to prevent and manage unexplained weight loss, the UK-based consultant dietitian said, Prevention methods for unexplained weight loss include making sure to be on a balanced diet.

“Eat regular meals and healthy snacks during the day that are sufficient to meet your needs. They must consist of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats eaten in the right proportion.

“If you are finding it difficult to eat right, consult a registered dietitian who can give you professional advice or devise a meal plan for you.

“If you notice a change in your appetite or you are struggling to eat, consult your doctor who can conduct the necessary examinations and screen for any underlying disease.

“Always go for regular medical health checks at least once or twice in a year. If you notice that you are losing weight or experiencing other symptoms of illnesses, consult your doctor” she added.

Meanwhile, a new study found that unintentional weight loss is a chronic illness symptom that often goes undetected in primary care offices. Also, unintentional weight loss is a common problem that frequently coincides with chronic illnesses like cancer, and often goes undetected in primary care offices.

Researchers from University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University have analyzed the electronic health records of 1.5 million adults collected between January 2020 and December 2021.


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