Problems Caused By
Being Underweight

Problems Caused By Being Underweight: Overview

Being underweight in a third world country usually means being poorly nourished and/or infected with parasites.  In developed countries, the underweight person is more likely to have a higher metabolism, fewer fat cells, "lean genes" or just not care about food.

Causes and Development

Stress causes some to overeat and gain weight and others to lose appetite and weight.  Weight loss can also be due to wasting diseases such as cancer and AIDS.  Hyperthyroidism, eating disorders and excessive physical activity must also be considered.

An Underweight Problem

Information On This Page

Signs, symptoms & indicators of Problems Caused By Being Underweight:

Symptoms - Metabolic

Conditions that suggest Problems Caused By Being Underweight:

Reproductive

Risk factors for Problems Caused By Being Underweight:

Autoimmune

Diet

Hormones

Immunity

Mental

Depression may increase risk of Problems Caused By Being UnderweightDepression
A major psychological cause of being underweight is depression.  Depressed individuals often have reduced appetite and rapid weight loss.

Metabolic

Parasites

Tumors, Malignant

Problems Caused By Being Underweight suggests the following may be present:

Autoimmune

Habits

Hormones

Parasites

Tumors, Malignant

Problems Caused By Being Underweight can lead to:

Reproductive

Recommendations for Problems Caused By Being Underweight:

Diet

Increased Calorie Consumption is highly recommended for Problems Caused By Being UnderweightIncreased Calorie Consumption
Eating is the first and most important factor that is needed for proper weight gain – put simply, you need to eat more calories than you burn.  Taking meals and snacks more frequently will help accomplish this.  Eat every 2.5 to 3 hours; focus on foods higher in protein along with fruit, vegetables and assorted types of nuts.  What you eat is the most important ingredient in a successful weight gain program.
Coconut often helps with Problems Caused By Being UnderweightCoconut
Coconut oil consumption may encourage weight gain if you are underweight, but it can also encourage weight loss in obesity, possibly due to an increase in metabolic rate.
Not recommended:

Habits

Weight Training is highly recommended for Problems Caused By Being UnderweightWeight Training
Working with weights three times per week may be the most productive way to gain weight.  Weight training provides the greatest amount of muscle growth for the energy expended without the risk of burning up all those extra calories you are consuming.  Aerobic type exercises will just burn off those extra calories without much weight gain.  Without any exercise, gained weight will tend to be fat – not muscle.

You should lift hard and then recover until the next workout.  Focus on the big exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bent-over rows, chin-ups, bench press and military press.  These are the exercises that will turn those extra calories into muscle.  You need the multiple-joint lifts that will shock your system and stimulate your body into growth.  Focus on getting strong by adding a small amount of weight each workout.  If you focus on strength, size will follow.  If uncertain what to do, get help from a professional trainer, friend or someone at the gym with experience.

Lab Tests/Rule-Outs

Test for Parasites may help with Problems Caused By Being UnderweightTest for Parasites
Unusual weight loss may be associated with the presence of parasites, especially after recent foreign travel.

KEY

Weak or unproven link: may suggest; may increase risk of
Weak or unproven link:
may suggest; may increase risk of
Strong or generally accepted link: is often a sign or symptom of; often increases risk of; often suggests; often leads to
Strong or generally accepted link:
is often a sign or symptom of; often increases risk of; often suggests; often leads to
Definite or direct link: increases risk of
Definite or direct link:
increases risk of
May be useful: may help with
May be useful:
may help with
Moderately useful: often helps with
Moderately useful:
often helps with
Very useful: is highly recommended for
Very useful:
is highly recommended for
Should be avoided: is NOT recommended for
Should be avoided:
is NOT recommended for