Q. I have an average weight loss of 4 percent every year. Is it due to any infection?

Answered by
Dr. S D Sinha
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 27, 2021

Hi doctor,

I am a 36-year-old male. My height is 170 cm, and my weight is 57 kg. I have an average weight loss of 4 percent every year for the last six years. I am eating almost the same way. I am definitely in the stressed-out phase for the previous six years because of a job change and a few personal reasons. I do not know whether that is the reason. Six years back, I shifted to a new room and stayed with few men. After a year, I realized that one of the roommates had been going to the wrong places, which could be the reason for my health issues, and eventually, I moved out. During the stay, that man used to prepare food sometimes, and we used to share things. I do not know if I am overthinking. I noticed that I got allergic to pollen and dust, my weight started to reduce to about 4 percent on average every year. In my recent blood test, I came to know that I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I also read that infection can cause symptoms like weight loss and autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Please let me know if there could be some infection that I need to get checked. If so, please send me the list or details of the tests. In the list of dangerous viral infection tests that I did so far, I have HSV-1 detected. But I read that it is more common.



Welcome to

Thanks for your query.

You have nothing to worry about your health. You do not have to worry about getting any infection from your roommate unless you had sexual exposure with him. Your weight loss is not so significant. It could have been due to some nonspecific factors. But you can do a basic lab checkup to rule out the cause.

Tests to do:

1. Hematology and Biochemistry -

  • Blood Tests - CBC (Complete Blood Count),
  • ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate),
  • CRP (C-reactive protein), LDH (Lactate Dehydrogenase), HbA1c (Hemoglobin A1c),
  • FBS (fasting blood sugar),
  • PPBS (post prandial blood sugar),
  • liver function tests- Bilirubin,SGPT (serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase), SGOT (serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase), serum albumin, globulin, albumin/globulin (A/G)ratio,
  • Renal Function Tests- Serum Creatinine, BUN (blood urea nitrogen), Electrolytes
  • T3 (triiodothyronine), T4 (tetraiodothyronine), TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone),
  • HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), HCV (Hepatitis C), HBV (Hepatitis B), HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus) and STD (sexually transmitted disease) panel in case of sexual exposure, and COVID-19 antibody.

2. Urine routine.

3. Radiology - X-Ray chest.

4. Clinical - blood pressure and ECG (electrocardiogram).

Please revert after tests.

Additionally, please take a protein-based supplement milk drink.

Thank you doctor,

I did CBC, CMP, some specific parasite test, and autoimmune disorder test. Most of it came normal except TSH and ANA test. I know I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Can you please check the attached results? CBC and CMP results for the last four years looked similar. Will CBC and CMP results usually show some indication if there is an infection related to bacteria, viruses, or parasites? Does the parasite-related test cover most of the parasites or only a few? Do I have to do any additional parasite tests? I have also tested for Hepatitis A, B, C, HIV, Herpes 1 and 2, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. All came negative except HSV-1. I have read that it is common and that it will not cause weight loss. Please correct me if I am wrong.



Welcome back to

Thanks for your query. I saw the attached reports (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity). When were these tests done? I suggest you need thyroid hormone therapy for possible hypothyroidism along with other therapies for thyroiditis. It is best to consult a local endocrinologist for treatment, as you will have to be monitored regularly, and these medicines may not be possible to be prescribed online. Please check and revert.

Thank you doctor,

These tests were done last week. I am already taking Levothyroxine 25 mcg as per the doctor's prescription. I will consult an endocrinologist. Please let me know if you have inputs for other few questions, which I sent in the previous query.



Welcome back to

A few inputs-

1. HSV-1 - Has the treatment been initiated? Do you have any lesions in either the mouth or genitalia? Extremities or skin?

2. Weight loss- Thyroid disorders could cause loss of weight.

3. Levothyroxine dosage at 25 mcg may be less than optimal.

4. Alternative therapies - Additional alternative agents, for example, monoclonal antibodies may be explored.

5. Reports and Treatments - Kindly send all reports and prescriptions at once. Getting pieces of information in an incomplete manner can hamper me to give you comprehensive advise.

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