Health Risks of Being Underweight

The Negative Health Effects of Being Underweight
In today's health conscious world, most people are more worried about being overweight. Excessive weight gain and morbid obesity can lead to heart disease, stroke and a host of other medical issues. On the other side of the issue, extremely low body weight can also have negative effects on a person's health, especially women.

Reasons for Low Body Weight
There are several reasons why a person's weight fluctuates. When it begins to fluctuate more than a few pounds at a time, a person should begin to wonder why. While changes in diet and activity levels will be responsible for mild changes, dramatic changes will need to be discussed with your doctor. There are several reasons a person may experience a severe drop in weight or is unable to gain weight.
  • Recent illness
  • Changes in metabolism
  • Excessive drug use
  • Extreme levels of stress
  • Depression and other forms of mental illness
  • Poor diet
If a person suffers extreme weight loss due to an illness or injury and are having trouble gaining, they should consult a physician to determine there is nothing else wrong other than the body experiencing a healing crisis.

Negative Effects of Low Body Weight
Every person has a specific, optimum body weight. Some are meant to carry more weight than others, but normally the weight falls within a desired range. When the body weight begins to drop below normal levels, a person may begin to experience some negative side effects. Negative side effects can range from mild to severe depending on how extreme the weight loss is.Underweight individuals are also more likely to be vitamin and mineral deficient. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia and overall muscle weakness. A person who is severely deficient can weaken their immune system causing illness and diseases to present themselves more frequently. The lack of vitamin and mineral utilization can stem from poor absorption brought on by an illness or because of certain medications. Including more nutrient rich foods in the diet can help reduce the risk of deficiency and allow the body to regain its strength and weight in a natural fashion.


Risk of Infertility
Women who are severely underweight may have trouble conceiving and carrying a child to term. When a woman begins to drop weight unexpectedly or because of conditions like anorexia and bulimia, their bodies begin to alter on a physiological level. Hormone production begins to slow down and the metabolism decreases to accommodate the lack of nutrients. This can cause their periods to slow down or stop altogether. A continued decrease in the level of hormones the body needs to function properly can cause certain actions to stop on a permanent basis.Women who are extremely underweight may not have the physical strength to carry the baby to term. The body cannot absorb or store enough nutrients to support both the mother and child safely. Most often the woman will miscarry the fetus before it becomes too much of a drain on her body.

Possible Ways to Add Extra Pounds
Fertility expert Dr. Sami David says 90 percent of underweight women can expect to conceive once they reach their ideal weight. Depending on the person's situation, adding weight can be as easy as changing their diet to include more protein. For others, it may be more difficult especially if they have a chronic illness which requires them to take medications that deplete certain vitamins and minerals. Consulting a physician will help a person determine what avenues are available to them and the best way to proceed if they are trying to regain weight.

1 Response to "Health Risks of Being Underweight"

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