Unexpected, unintentional or unplanned weight loss
Stepping on the scales and finding you've lost weight can be a good thing if you've been dieting or taking other steps to lose weight.
However, if you've lost weight, and hadn't planned to do so, it can be a sign of a medical problem.
Our body weight goes up and down a little, naturally from day-to-day. However, unexplained loss of around 5% of original body weight over 6 months to a year should be investigated by a doctor.
Unplanned or unintentional weight loss may be from a decrease in body fluid, muscle mass or body fat.
Causes of unplanned weight loss include:
Symptoms that may accompany unplanned weight loss include a loss of appetite, fatigue and changes in bowel habits.
Weight loss due to a long-term illness is known as cachexia and medical advice should be sought.