Being underweight is as much of a problem as being overweight as it has its own sets of complications that the patient could experience. Although the problems encountered by people who are underweight are different from those who are overweight, the bottom line is that such conditions are unhealthy and could be dangerous.
Often, a person who is underweight will also have problems in some parts of the body. For instance, women who are severely underweight can experience amenorrhea or the absence of menstruation as well as other problems of the reproductive system, including infertility. Being underweight also causes a higher risk of osteoporosis so that the patient may also be at higher risk of having fractures, especially because there is less muscle and fat to cushion a fall.
There are a huge number of reasons why a person can be overweight. While dieting and eating less are among the more obvious reasons why a person is under the specified normal weight for their age, gender, and height, there are often underlying reasons why a person may diet or eat less to the extent of becoming underweight.
- One of the reasons why a person may be dieting to become thinner or skinnier even when he or she is not overweight is the perception of being overweight. Eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia nervosa stem from this kind of a belief and make people want to try to lose weight and fat that are actually not there. These ailments are often experienced by women although some men have been reported to be afflicted by this condition.
- Another cause for being underweight is genetics. There are people who are genetically predisposed to being thin and skinny. This means that their being underweight is not a fault or due to an ailment but is due to heredity.
- Some people are underweight due to certain illnesses that force them to lose weight because they lose their appetite due to such an illness or nutrients are not being absorbed by their body because of such a problem. Certain illnesses that can be included in such a list are diabetes, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and a lot more.
- Some medications and medical procedures are also causing people to lose weight because of side effects such as loss of appetite and changes in the body’s systems and metabolism. Such is the case in cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy.