Each person has an idea of what their weight should be based on their age, sex and height.Â But there are those people that do not have an ideal weight.Â A person that weighs ten percent less than their medically ideal weight is considered moderately underweight.Â
A person that weighs twenty percent less than their medically ideal weight are considered underweight.
There are many reasons why a person may be underweight.Â They may be below their medical weight range because of genetics, because they do not eat a proper diet or as a result of a physical or psychological health condition.
Aside from looking unhealthy, underweight people are susceptible to various health problems.
When a person is underweight, the reason why they are underweight must be identified and treated before helping them gain weight.
This article discusses the causes and symptoms related to being underweight.
What causes a person to be underweight?
A person may be underweight because of heredity.Â If they come from a family known to be significantly underweight, the person will tend to be underweight themselves.
A person can also be underweight because of their lifestyle, their environment or other medical conditions.Â People that live in poverty usually do not have an adequate amount of money to buy proper nutritional foods to gain weight.
They may go through periods of famine; they may need to miss meals; or their meals may not include the proper amount of calories.Â People who add stimulants to their diet such as drugs, caffeine or drugs tend to be underweight.
Some people exercise excessively to lose weight.Â Pro-athletes may over-train and therefore lose substantial amounts of weight.
There are also many diseases that are linked to being underweight.Â Two diseases that are specific to underweight people are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
When a person is anorexic, they starve themselves.Â People that are bulimic go on eating binges and then force themselves to purge the food from their system either by vomiting or defecating.
There are several physical diseases that can also cause a person to lose substantial amounts of weight such as cancer, type 1 diabetes, hyperthyroidism, bowel and metabolic disorders, and HIV/AIDS.
What are symptoms of being underweight?
When a person is underweight their immune system becomes weak and unable to fight off even the slightest infection.Â The lack of weight will make a person feel tired.Â Women that are underweight may miss their periods or not menstruate at all.