Why Am I Losing Weight?

Losing weight is great… but not when it’s unintentional.

I am 45 years old, a former smoker, and have recently been diagnosed with COPD. Maintaining an ideal and healthy weight was never a concern of mine. I’ve always been content with the way I look. But one day, not too long ago, I noticed my jeans were a little loose. Perhaps, I thought, I’ve been eating less. I had been so busy in the past few weeks that maybe I had skipped a couple of meals here and there.

I let the idea go.

A few weeks later, I noticed that my shirts were starting to look a size too big on me. That’s when I decided to step on the scale. In those few weeks, I had lost about 10 pounds, without changing my diet or lifestyle.

I decided to ask my doctor about the possible cause of my sudden weight loss and she explained how there might be several factors causing my change in weight.

  1. My lungs could be swollen and pushing against my stomach. The uncomfortable sensation could be discouraging me from eating.
  2. My body is burning up to 10 times more calories than the body of someone with healthy lungs. Since my lungs are damaged, its muscles have to use more energy to deliver oxygen to the rest of my body.
  3. The COPD diagnosis has also affected my emotional and mental state. It is not uncommon for people to get depressed or anxious after being diagnosed with COPD or any chronic illness for that matter.

Consulting my doctor gave me a better idea of the factors affecting my weight and I can now take the appropriate steps to better control and monitor my health.

COPD changes your life in many different ways and might affect your physical, mental and emotional health. If you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms associated with COPD and would like to learn more about the condition, a research study may be an option.