Unintentional Weight Loss in Adults

Welcome to our Decision Guide on Unintentional Weight Loss.

This guide is designed to provide insight as to why you are losing weight without purposefully trying to diet. The guide should be used as a complement to the care you receive from a health professional. It is not intended to replace direct interaction with your doctor.

Doctors become most concerned about unintentional weight loss if it reaches more than five percent of the usual body weight (about ten pounds), especially if your weight has not stabilized and continues to go down.

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It is quite common for weight to fluctuate a few pounds in either direction. People who tend to retain fluid and get swollen legs can quickly lose several pounds of water over one to two days. This is especially true if a person takes water pills (diuretics).

Weight loss related to water only is not the subject of this guide. Weight loss in this guide refers to a decrease in "dry" weight.

Most people who lose weight and are concerned about it often have a diminished appetite.

Has your appetite decreased?

Yes, my appetite has decreased.

No, my appetite is still good.

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