A Few words about Health Risks of Being Underweight

Media glorifies the size zero models and thin-looking actresses. However, they overlook the Health Risks Of Being Underweight. Being underweight means your body mass index is less than 18.5. It indicates impaired immunity, nutrient deficiencies, and hormonal problems are serious health risks connected to underweight. Health Risks of Being underweight represents increased health concerns. This is because their body is not getting nutrients to build healthy skin, bones, and hair. 

If you are underweight, there is a need to work on a weight-gain plan with a healthcare professional to address the underlying medical condition. Being underweight may relate to medical illness or genetic background, preventing gaining weight. There are health risks associated with being underweight, and there is a need to consult a doctor.

How do you know if you’re underweight and Health Risks of Being Underweight?

Knowing if you are underweight is possible on checking your (BMI) body mass index. Your doctor makes an underweight diagnosis and also does BMI. The BMI calculator is a tool that works on entering weight and height. Using the screening tool, BMI helps in understanding the status of your health. BMI showing below 18.5 represents you are underweight. BMI showing between 18.5 and 24.9 indicates you are below-normal.

health risks of being underweight

1. Malnutrition

There are lots of health risks of being underweight. Being underweight means, you lack calories. Your body is at risk for nutrients deficiencies. Lack of vitamin D and calcium leads to osteoporosis and fragile bones, which can result in a fracture. Iron, folate, and B12 vitamin deficiencies cause anemia resulting in dizziness and low energy.

Underweight people lack Vitamin C, and this causes connective tissue problems such as teeth loss and gum disease. Healing simple burns and wounds also take time, and this is due to a lack of nutrition to handle wear and tear. Vitamin A deficiency leads to discolored hair and dry skin, vision problems, and brittle fingernails.

The significant drop in weight is due to nutrient deficiency, and it is a substantial risk. Lack of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants increases the risk of serious diseases such as the bones become brittle or fragile. Being underweight indicates a severe development problem and weight loss suggests several other disorders such as hyperthyroidism and depression, tumors, cancer, or immunity diseases.

Read More: Best Way To Put on Weight for Underweight

2. Decreased immune function

Decreased Immunities are other health risks of being underweight. Being underweight is related to increased infections. Being underweight is due to malnourishment, and this results in low immune function. Underweight causes complications that it occurs in women giving premature birth or with decreased immune function; children stay sick.

3. Increased risk of surgical complications

Increased risk of surgical complications is another serious health risks of being underweight. Underweight people develop infections faster in the places of knee replacement surgery.

This is because underweight people are not able to heal wounds as an average BMI person. The underweight group has low hemoglobin, and it affects healing wounds quickly.

Increased surgical complications are found even in hip replacement surgery in underweight people. The complication follows lung transplants and coronary bypass surgery. The researchers confirm that postoperative death incidents happening within a year are interrelated to low BMI.

4. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis occurs due to low bone mineral density. The premenopausal women have an 18.5 BMI or even lower, causing low BMD. Even higher BMI people may have low BMD, and this is due to underweight, increasing the osteoporosis risk to higher levels.

Osteoporosis - health risks of being underweight

5. Infertility

Women are at increased risk with low BMIs. This causes menstrual cycle dysfunctions and the absence of menses. Missed or irregular menstrual cycles indicate you are not ovulating, and this causes infertility.

In case the adolescents are fed poorly, it leads to underweight and at a later age, it leads to infertility. The uterus during adolescence fails to develop, and the reproductive hormones get affected.

Underweight males during adolescence have a low sperm production. Such skinny males need to consume high carbohydrates and protein. 

However, females can talk to a doctor if they are underweight and wish to conceive. Underweight and pregnancy pose a risk to the baby, as well. Thus, it is recommended during pregnancy to maintain a healthy weight.

Read Also: 4 Dangers of Being Underweight Female

6. Developmental delays

In underweight children, developmental delays are apparent. The brain fails to develop rapidly under children of 3 years. The brain requires nutrients for proper development. Malabsorption and malnutrition are the missing nutrients having an impact on brain development. This leads to developmental delays.

The pediatrician of your child will use measurements to check the growth of a child. They try to see the average growth of children of the same age. If the percentage of your child’s growth is less or decreases, it is a sign that your child is not able to gain weight, as expected. 

A pediatrician of your child during regular visits considers the developmental milestones. However, not all children can hit milestones at a time. Doctors wait to see if a child can run the required weight after a particular time. Some children under a year, start taking their steps out, while others start walking only after their first year or just a few weeks before their first year.  

Read More: 6 Underweight Problems You Should be Careful

Seeking help

Seeking Help

Suspecting underweight means there is a need for an appointment with a dietitian or a primary care doctor. Examining medical history helps in identifying the issues leading to weight loss or poor nutrition.  

There are many reasons for being underweight and the best person to contact is your health care provider. He is the only person to rule out other related conditions contributing to underweight, such as digestive issues, thyroid disease, medications, or cancer. Even depression or stress that are behavioral causes can result in underweight.

Commonly, many people are underweight, and this runs as family genetics. While some do not eat healthy while others are involved in a high activity level. Checking with your doctor helps in finding ways to gain weight. Your doctor can recommend putting weight by eating nutritious and healthy foods.

Increase calorie intake by concentrating on good protein, healthy fats, and grains. A dietitian may give you a proper guideline to having snacks and meals. This will ensure gaining weight to develop a healthy, strong body.

Read More: 6 Reasons For Unexplained Weight Gain

Before the doctor appointment, ask yourself:

  • Are for lately falling sick frequently? What are the other symptoms experienced?
  • Am I eating small snacks, or am I skipping any of the meals?
  • Am I highly stressed or, for any reason, depressed, that my appetite is lost?
  • Am I concentrating on losing weight?
  • Does eating ensure better control over feelings?

If you are fortunate and your doctor confirms no underlying medical issues, it is the time to concentrate on a goal weight. You can come up with plans to reach the weight through appropriate treatments and healthy eating.

With assistance from your doctor, you need to acquire a normal BMI. It should include healthy eating and lifestyle changes. Your doctor will certainly help in navigating solutions, whether it is psychological issues related to nutrient-rich foods, medication side effects, underlying health conditions, and other situations contributing to malnourishment or being underweight.

Read More: Eating a Lot But Not Gaining Weight

Next steps

There is a need for tweaks to your lifestyle and diet. Gaining healthy weight is a must, and this can help by avoiding adverse health effects. Changes help you with avoiding the health risks of being underweight.

  • Eat frequent or smaller meals. Add snacks as a routine and keep eating frequently.
  • Eating frequently should not be empty calories. Eat food rich and full of nutrients such as fruits, whole grains, dairy products, vegetables, seeds and nuts, and lean proteins.
  • In case you notice that having drinks, even water decreases your appetite, for the time being, it is best to drink water after eating your meal. Drink after 30 minutes.
  • Get more meals by adding things such as nuts, cheese, and seeds to all the main dishes as toppings.
  • Pay attention to that is going into your mouth as drinks or eating. A better choice is smoothies in comparison to coffee, diet soda, and other beverages. You may eat more of fruits, dairy products, and vegetables.
  • Exercise. It is a must to gain weight, and this is possible by adding muscles. Working out or exercising helps to stimulate your appetite.
  • Add to your meals to get more calories. Include things such as nuts, cheese, and seeds as main dishes topping.

Learn More About: Underweight Problems And Solutions

FAQs On health risks of being underweight

I am losing weight, can malnutrition be responsible?

Malnutrition is the main reason for losing of weight. If you are not having enough food this means you are not taking enough calories. And lack of calories will lead in weight loss. And this weight loss due to malnutrition is very bad for health.

Can increasing weight before surgery help Surgical Complications?

If you are underweight then it is very important to maintain your health. Gaining weigh before surgery will help you from relieving from many health complication. When you gain weigh you will actually gaining the required nutrients, it will help in regaining health and recovery after surgery.

What are the early signs of osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a serious bones problem caused due to deficiency of calcium. Before osteoporosis you will see loss of height due to low bone density, weakening of bones so they will get fracture easily, back pain and curved posture and also fatigued all the time.

I am unable to conceive, I am underweight so gaining weight can help me?

Being underweight will disturb you menstrual cycle which will further lead to infertility. But if you gain weight by taking proper nutrients and iron rich food it will help the uterus to produce mature eggs. Gaining weight in healthy way will surely help you in conceiving.

Keep In Mind

Maintaining a healthy weight is a must. It means you should understand the kilograms required based on the weight now. Adding weight should be in moderation. Knowing your weight now and the addition of significant weight is helpful. The weight should not exceed. Thus, there is a need to follow with a nutritionist to arrive at a balanced and right diet.

Normal or underweight people, it is not possible for one to determine the way to healthy weight gain. Underweight people, in some cases, end up acquiring more weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is expected, but this is a tough route. However, with underweight people, the risk is high. They cannot dump foods without assuring their food has all the nutritional values to gain weight.

Time and again, it is noted that there is weight gain, but the underweight people struggle to gain weight. They need to consult a doctor and follow a strict diet plan with lifestyle changes to see proper weight gain. I hope till now you have understood all the health risks of being underweight.

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