Underweight is a term describing a human whose body weight is considered too low to be healthy. The definition usually refers to people with a body mass index (BMI) of fewer than 18.5 or a weight 15% to 20% below that normal for their age and height group. A person may be underweight due to genetics, metabolism, and lack of food or illness.
Being underweight is associated with certain medical conditions, including hyperthyroidism, cancer, or tuberculosis. People with gastrointestinal or liver problems may be unable to absorb nutrients adequately. People with anorexia nervosa become underweight due to self-starvation often accompanied by excessive exercise or dieting. Underweight might be symptom of an underlying disease and unexplained weight loss may require professional medical diagnosis.
Underweight person after been diagnosed the reason for being below the normal weight may be required either of the following treatments:
Underweight individuals may be advised to gain weight by increasing calorie intake. This can be done by eating calorie-dense foods, such as dried fruits, cheese, and nuts. Body weight may also be increased through the consumption of liquid nutritional supplements such as Ensure and Boost. Other nutritional supplements may be recommended for individuals with insufficient vitamin or mineral intake.
Exercise (Weight Gain Exercise):
Another way for underweight people to gain weight is by exercising. Muscle hypertrophy increases body mass. Weight lifting exercises are effective in helping to improve muscle tone as well as helping with weight gain. Weight lifting has also been shown to improve bone mineral density, for which underweight people have an increased risk of deficiency.
Exercise itself is catabolic, which results in a brief reduction in mass. The gain in weight that can result of it comes from the anabolic overcompensation when the body recovers and overcompensates via muscle hypertrophy. This can happen by an increase in the muscle proteins, or through enhanced storage of glycogen in muscles. Exercise can help stimulate a person's appetite if they are not inclined to eat.
Appetite stimulants medicines:
Certain drugs may increase appetite either as their primary effect or as a side effect. Antidepressants, such as mirtazapine or amitriptyline, and antipsychotics, particularly chlorpromazine and haloperidol as well as tetrahydrocannabinol (found in cannabis), all present an increase in appetite as a side effect. In states where it is approved, medicinal marijuana may be prescribed for severe appetite loss, such as that caused by cancer, AIDS, or severe levels of persistent anxiety. Other drugs which may increase appetite include certain benzodiazepines (such as diazepam), sedating antihistamines (such as diphenhydramine, promethazine or cyproheptadine), or Vitamin B supplements.
It is recommended to consult your local health authorities before starting with any weight gain medicine, exercise or diet plan.
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