Home > Unintentional Weight Loss

Unintentional Weight Loss in New Jersey

The Digestive Health & Nutrition Center has two convenient locations in Lawrenceville and Princeton, New Jersey where you can receive the exceptional care you deserve. Angela Merlo, MD is an experienced Gastroenterologist with particular expertise in diagnosing and treating the causes of unintentional weight loss in adults and children.

What is Unintentional Weight Loss?

Weight loss occurs whenever energy expenditure exceeds energy intake. Voluntary weight loss by dieting and exercise is desirable in people who are overweight. Unintentional weight loss is weight loss that occurs without special dieting or increases in physical activity. Unintentional weight loss usually indicates a serious medical condition. Experts define significant weight loss as loss of more than 5% of body weight over six months.

What Causes Unintentional Weight Loss?

Any chronic illness can cause weight loss. Certain medications and stress can also produce unintentional weight loss.  There are many mechanisms that lead to weight loss in digestive disorders such as:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Altered gut motility
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Cancers
  • Diarrhea
  • Infections
  • Loss of appetite
  • Malabsorption
  • Swallowing difficulties

How is Unintentional Weight Loss Treated?

The cause of the weight loss must first be determined. Dr. Merlo’s approach is individualized to every patient. Her investigation is guided by a thorough history and physical examination and review of blood test results. CT scans and other specialized radiographs may be necessary. Dr. Merlo may recommend colonoscopy or endoscopy to enable her to reach an accurate diagnosis. Once the cause is determined, Dr. Merlo will formulate a comprehensive treatment plan for the underlying disorder and provide a plan for proper nutrition so health can be restored.

If you have unintentional weight loss, contact the Digestive Health & Nutrition Center in Lawrenceville or Princeton, New Jersey for an appointment. Dr. Merlo will expedite your care.