Health Consequences And Reasons Of Being Underweight
I understand the pain of being underweight as I too was one a few years back! When the whole world is behind weight loss, there are a few souls who are yearning to gain some weight. Are you aware of the fact that being underweight is just as bad for health as being overweight or obese? Isn’t that shocking? Plus all the jokes about your thin frame! Things at times get difficult to handle for underweight individuals.
Being underweight- what it really means?
A person is called underweight if his or her body mass index or BMI is lower than 18.5. Anything below 18.5 is less than the body mass needed for good health. However, the BMI scale has a lot of issues too. It looks only at weight and height and doesn’t take muscle mass into consideration. Have a look at the pic below!
Certain people are naturally skinny but still are healthy. So, being underweight according to the BMI scale doesn’t necessarily mean that you suffer from a health problem. It is 2 to 3 times more common for girls or women to be underweight.
Health consequences of being underweight
As mentioned already, being underweight is just as bad as being obese. Though obesity is a major problem affecting a huge proportion of the population worldwide, you can’t ignore the underweight population.
In one study, being underweight was linked with 100% greater risk of early death in women and 140% in men. On the other hand, obesity was linked to 50% greater risk of early death. This clearly indicates that being underweight is worse for your health than being obese.
In another study, a risk of early death was more in underweight men and not in women. This shows that for men, being underweight is really bad. Being underweight impairs immunity, raises the risk of infections and leads to diseases like osteoporosis, increases risk of fractures and leads to fertility problems.
The underweight are at a greater risk of sarcopenia, which is a muscle problem and are also likely to suffer from dementia.
Health conditions that make an individual underweight
Nobody becomes underweight out of their will. It is due to various medical conditions too that people suffer from unintended and unhealthy weight loss.
Eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa (a problem of the mind) can result in unhealthy weight loss.
If you have a thyroid that is overactive (hyperthyroidism), it can boost metabolism and result in unhealthy loss of weight.
It is the most severe version of gluten intolerance. People lose a lot of weight due to it. Many people with celiac disease do not know that they are suffering form it.
People having diabetes that is not controlled (Mostly type 1) can suffer from severe weight loss.
Cancerous tumors tend to burn a large number of calories and this can lead to a lo of weight loss.
Certain infections can result in a person being severely underweight. This includes tuberculosis and AIDS.
So, if you happen to be underweight, without any further delay just pay a visit to the doctor and rule out the chance of a serious medical issue. This is most important if you have recently lost a lot of kilos suddenly without even trying to do so.
If you are underweight, seek the help of a doctor!
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