The dangers of being underweight include vulnerability to infections, nutritional deficiencies and problems associated with the menstrual cycle, as confirmed by Boots WebMD. Underweight individuals may lack adequate iron, calcium and vitamins in their diets.
Underweight individuals may have a compromised immune system, increasing their likelihood of catching the flu, colds and other infections, as stated by Boots WebMD. They may also lack adequate calcium, potentially affecting the bones and increasing the possibility of developing osteoporosis. Being underweight may also lead to anemia due to iron deficiency, which can cause symptoms such as lethargy and tiredness. Some underweight women may stop having menstrual cycles, potentially leading to fertility problems.
To gain weight, underweight individuals should consume a high-calorie diet rich in nutrients while following a doctor's instructions, and they should avoid junk foods high in saturated fats and sugars in order to increase lean mass rather than just fat, according to Boots WebMD. They should focus on starchy carbohydrates such as pasta while also consuming lean protein, three servings of dairy and five servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Individuals who believe that they are underweight should make an appointment with a doctor for testing, diagnosis and treatment options. Causes of being underweight can range from thyroid problems and digestive issues to eating disorders.