According to Mehul Choksi, consultant gastroenterologist with S L Raheja hospital, weight loss can be the manifestation of certain diseases causing malabsorption of nutrients. It could thus be indicative of celiac disease or chronic pancreatitis. A loss of protein and calories can also be because of damage to the intestinal lining, such as occurs in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
“In all these diseases the nutrients we consume are not absorbed or processed by our intestine properly, and this leads to loss of weight in a short span of time,” he says.
Dr Choksi adds that it is imperative to investigate the cause of weight loss in detail, so that specific treatments may be initiated without delay. “Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are treated with immunosuppressive medications. Sufferers of celiac disease would be required to eliminate wheat and wheat products from their diet,” he says.
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