Understanding What is Underweight

Exploring the risks and causes of underweight

If your body is naturally slim, tall and thin with low body fat, then you are considered as an ectomorph. Ectomorphs are the envies of endomorphs who are the direct opposite -- they put on weight easily, have wide waist and higher body fat content.

However, that doesn't mean that every ectomorph is happy with his or her body shape. The hard gainers, as what they have been called, have weight gaining problem which is not well-recognized in our society.

Unknown to many, severe underweight also carries an array of health risks, ranging from anemia caused by the lack of iron, loss of bone mass that can lead to osteoporosis, loss of periods in women, nutrient deficiency, heart irregularities, and even depression and panic attack. Not forgetting the significant impact poor self-image has on one's quality of life.

In this post, let us look at the possible causes of underweight.

  1. Existing medical condition.
    Loss of weight can be an onset of a medical condition. It could also be the result of a prolonged illness that you are not aware of. If you belong to the latter category, you may also suffer from poor digestive system and suffer from symptoms such as poor appetite, consistent defecation of loose stool, frequent diarrhea or stomach upset. You should ask for medical advice if you have these symptoms. If you register a sudden unexplained weight loss, you should also seek medical attention quickly.

  2. Genetic reasons.
    Your weight is also determined by the genes you inherit form your parents as well as your body type. Perhaps, you simply cannot consume enough food to keep up with your bodily processes. No matter what's the genetic reason, the fact is, if your body type is ectomorphic, it is highly unlikely for you to become Arnold number 2, no matter how much weight you carry or food you gorge on.

    But, that doesn't mean that you cannot pack on the muscles. Ectomorphs can still gain decent muscles, contrary to what most people think, if they follow the right exercise plan and eat properly. And the good news is ectomorphs has nature on its side -- as they do not gain fat as easily as endomorphs and comparatively, they can also shed fat much more quickly due to their higher metabolism rate. So, being an ectomorph is not so bad after all. You are a natural, lean and mean fat burning machine!

  3. Psychological problem.
    If you are suffering from depression, stress or other psychological issues like anorexia, your appetite will be curbed and as a result, you will feel lethargic and listless. As your weight plummet due to inadequate food intake, you will become even more tired as your body has insufficient fuel to sustain your daily activities. This whole thing soon becomes a self-perpetuating vicious cycle. If you think you belong to this group, do yourself a favor by seeing a doctor today. If you don't get yourself out of this cycle that will only lead to self-destruction, nobody will.

  4. Age.
    Generally, as we age, our body's ability to absorb nutrients from the food we eat decreases gradually. In addition, the amount of food we eat also decreases with age due to poorer appetite and a decrease in the amount of activities in daily life. In the long-term, this can also lead to weight loss.

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