Loss of Weight and Muscle Mass Symptom, Causes & Questions

Understand your loss of weight and muscle mass symptoms, including 9 causes & common questions.

  1. 9 Possible Causes
  2. Real-Life Stories
  3. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  4. Statistics
  5. Related Articles

9 Possible Loss Of Weight And Muscle Mass Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced loss of weight and muscle mass. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.


Depression is a mental disorder in which a person feels constantly sad, hopeless, discouraged, and loses interest in activities and life on more days than not. These symptoms interfere with daily life, work, and friendships.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, depressed mood, headache, anxiety, irritability

Symptoms that always occur with depression: depressed mood

Urgency: Primary care doctor

New onset crohn's disease

Crohn's disease is an inflammation of the bowel. It is caused by a faulty immune system response which makes the body attack the lining of the intestines.

The disease usually appears before age thirty and can affect anyone. Those with a family history may be most susceptible. Smoking is a known risk factor.

Aggravating factors include stress, poor diet, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin.

Early symptoms usually develop gradually, but can appear suddenly. These include fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, mouth sores, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and blood in stool.

Untreated Crohn's disease can cause ulcers throughout the digestive tract as well as bowel obstruction, malnutrition, and deteriorating general health.

Diagnosis is made through blood test and stool sample test. Colonoscopy, CT scan, MRI, endoscopy, and/or enteroscopy may also be used.

Crohn's disease cannot be cured, but can be managed through reducing the inflammation. Antibiotics, corticosteroids, and immune system suppressors may be tried. Excellent nutrition, vitamin supplements, smoking cessation, and reduction in stress can be helpful.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, constipation, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps)

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Appetite changes due to cancer

Many people who suffer from cancer experience changes in their appetite and their weight. This can be a side-effect of treatment (like chemotherapy or radiation), but it can also be because of the cancer itself. Having cancer, can change the body's metabolism - the process in which your body digests and breaks down sources of energy. As a result, your appetite can decrease and/or you can lose weight.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms:

Symptoms that always occur with appetite changes due to cancer: decreased appetite or significant weight loss

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Crohn's disease flare

Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammation of the digestive system. It is one of a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn's can affect any area from the mouth to the anus, and may cause diarrhea and weight loss.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, nausea, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps)

Urgency: In-person visit

Loss Of Weight And Muscle Mass Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your loss of weight and muscle mass


Anorexia nervosa is a type of eating disorder. Anorexia usually affects adolescents or adults. While weight loss is the primary feature of anorexia, this condition can affect many organ systems throughout the body.

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Overactive thyroid

The thyroid is a small, bow-tie shaped gland in your neck. Its main job is to produce thyroid hormone (known as T3 or T4), which serves a wide array of functions throughout the body.

When too much thyroid hormone is released, the body’s metabolism gets ramped up, causing symptoms ...

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Tuberculosis, or TB, is a lung infection caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In some cases, it can affect other organs such as the brain or kidneys.

The disease spreads when an infected person exhales, speaks, or coughs and someone else inhales the bacteria. Tuberculosis is not transmitted any other way. Some patients carry TB without ever showing symptoms, though the disease may become active if something happens to weaken the immune system.

Most susceptible are those with weakened immune systems; infected with HIV; living or working in homeless shelters, correctional facilities, or nursing homes; and children under age 5.

Symptoms include severe cough that may bring up sputum and/or blood; chest pain; weakness; weight loss; fever; chills, and night sweats.

Diagnosis is made through skin tests, blood tests, sputum tests, and chest x-ray.

Treatment involves a course of specialized antibiotics under close medical supervision, along with rest and supportive care.

There is a vaccine for tuberculosis, but it is not entirely effective and not routinely given in the United States.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, rib pain, dry cough

Urgency: In-person visit

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (als)

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is also called ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease named after the Hall of Fame baseball player whose career ended when he developed ALS. It is a degenerative disease that destroys nerve cells, which eventually ...

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HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) refers to a virus that kills or damages the body's immune system cells and spreads through unprotected sex with an infected person, sharing drug needles or through contact with the blood of an infected person. AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) occurs when the body's immune system has become very weak and has a difficult time fighting off other infections.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, headache, cough, fever, distal numbness

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Real-life Stories

Once your story is reviewed and approved by our editors, it will live on Buoy as a helpful resource for anyone who may be dealing with something similar. If you want to learn more, try Buoy Assistant.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Loss Of Weight And Muscle Mass

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Have you ever been diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), like Crohn's or Ulcerative colitis?
  • Have you experienced any nausea?
  • Has any part of your body become paler than normal?
  • Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Loss Of Weight And Muscle Mass Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your loss of weight and muscle mass

Loss Of Weight And Muscle Mass Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced loss of weight and muscle mass have also experienced:

  • 9% Unintentional Weight Loss
  • 7% Fatigue
  • 4% Loss Of Appetite

People who have experienced loss of weight and muscle mass were most often matched with:

  • 33% Depression
  • 33% New Onset Crohn'S Disease
  • 33% Appetite Changes Due To Cancer

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

Loss Of Weight And Muscle Mass Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your loss of weight and muscle mass

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