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What is Underweight ?

Thinness or underweight is a condition in a person whose weight is below the normal required weight. This can be determined based on a person's BMI or Body Mass Index which is calculated on the basis of his or her weight and height. One of the main thinness symptoms is a BMI below 20. Besides this the other thinness symptoms would include, poor stamina, stoppage of menstrual cycles in women, increased vulnerability to infections and extreme fatigue and weakness. 



Causes of Being Underweight:-

What is Thinness or Underweight ?


Inadequate food intake both in quantity and quality is a very common cause for being underweight. Besides that, there are a number of psychological and physiological reasons why a person could be underweight. 

* Psychological factors like in patients with mental illness or anorexia nervosa who refuse to eat adequately 

* Irregular habits of eating and poor selection of foods leading to inadequate nutrient and calorie intake « Increased physical activity without an increase in food intake * Malabsorption due to vomiting, diarrhoea leads to poor nutrient absorption. This can also be due to prolonged use of laxatives 

* Conditions like fever in which appetite is poor and energy needs are greatly increased may lead to weight loss due to inadequate nutrient intake 

* Hormonal imbalance like hypo or hyperthyroidism can cause one to be underweight. 

* Eating disorders due to obsession with thinness like anorexia nervosa (not eating enough due to eating less), bulimia (induced vomiting after eating) are other causes. 


Health hazards of being Underweight :-

* Being underweight results in growth retardation and failure to thrive in growing children 

* Resistance to infection is lowered and general health is poor in underweight individuals 

* Underweight persons often feel fatigued and cannot work efficiently 

* Being underweight increases chances of complications during pregnancy leading to preterm delivery and smaller babies 

* It Increases risk during surgeries 

* Underweight people are susceptible to certain infections like tuberculosis 


What problems can being underweight cause? 

If you’re underweight, you may be at risk for the following health issues: 


*Inhibited growth and development 

This is especially true in children and teens, whose bodies need plenty of nutrients to grow and stay healthy. 


*Fragile bones 

A deficiency in vitamin D and calcium along with low body weight can lead to weak bones and osteoporosis. 


*Weakened immune system 

When you do not take in enough nutrients, your body cannot store energy and may also have difficulty fighting illness. It may also be difficult for your immune system to bounce back after being sick. 


*Anemia 

This condition can be caused by iron deficiency, folate deficiency and vitamin B12 deficiency, resulting in dizziness, fatigue and headaches. 


*Fertility issues 

In women, low body weight can lead to irregular periods, lack of periods and infertility. 


*Hair loss 

Low body weight can cause hair to thin and fall out easily. It can also cause dry, thin skin and teeth health issues.



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