Weight loss and fever can be a sign of something serious. Fever is a sign of infection and if left untreated can lead to seizures and possibly even death. A fast diagnosis is required to find and treat the cause of the fever. In addition, any sudden and unexpected weight loss should be investigated by your doctor.
Fever is the body’s response to illness. According to Medical News Today, fever is not an illness; it is a sign of one. A fever means your body is combating a viral or bacterial infection. A persistent fever of over 102 degrees Fahrenheit that lasts for more than three days should be checked by your doctor. In addition, if you have a fever greater than 104, or if you're severely ill, see your doctor immediately, especially if the fever is accompanied by unexpected weight loss.
Unexpected weight loss can be a cause for concern. According to MedlinePlus.com, if you have lost 10 percent of your body weight during the last six months, see your doctor. An unexplained drop in weight may be caused by any of several conditions, such as an overactive thyroid, mental problems, liver conditions, cancer or other noncancerous diseases, or problems interfering with nutrient absorption.
Tuberculosis, or TB, a bacterial infection of the lungs, causes fever and weight loss. TB causes loss of appetite, which leads to severe weight loss. TB mostly affects the lungs, but it can also affect other body systems such as the kidneys and spinal cord. Other symptoms include a bad cough lasting longer than two weeks, chest pains, bloody sputum, weakness and fatigue, night sweats and chills.
The human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, may be responsible for weight loss and fever. HIV is contracted through tainted blood and is a precursor to AIDS. Left untreated, HIV progresses to AIDS approximately 10 years after infection. According to the WomensHealth.gov, other symptoms of HIV include diarrhea, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, cough, shortness of breath and night sweats. If you participate in risky behaviors such as unprotected sex or intravenous drug use, you should get tested.
Weight loss and fever need to be investigated by your doctor. Many causes are possible, so it doesn’t necessarily mean it is something serious. However, quick identification and diagnosis are essential in proper management if it is something serious.