Being skinny is highly desired among both men and women in the American culture. It’s hard to imagine that places like the South Pacific island of Tonga praise women who are overweight for their voluptuous size. While the focus is on the body, it should be on a person’s health and not all about their exterior.

You can be 200 pounds and be the picture of health, while being frail 97 pounds may come with more health problems. It all comes down to your body, genetic history, and the foods you consume. People believe that obese individuals are healthy, but many of these overweight folks have vitamin and mineral deficiencies that aren’t investigated.

Shockingly, many obese people in this country are malnourished as they lack proper nutrition, and the same can be said for the skinny folks.

Fourteen Red Flags of Being Skinny and Unhealthy

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The old saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover certainly rings true. Just because someone looks perfect in their skin doesn’t mean that there aren’t issues lurking under the surface. Here are some red flags that being skinny is not healthy.

1. Excessive Hair Loss

Being skinny requires most people to eat less. Now, keep in mind that this is not always the case as some people naturally have a fast metabolism that allows them to eat whatever they want. However, skinny people usually don’t get anywhere near the 2,500 calories a day that they need, so they are not getting the vital nutrients the body needs either.

The most significant indication of a vitamin deficiency is hair loss. There are many reasons why your hair might fall out, but one of the major concerns is losing nutrients. According to the National Library of Medicine, vitamins such as B, C, D, E, iron, zinc, and selenium are just a few of the deficiencies that can cause hair loss.

2. Hyperthyroidism

One major problem that might be causing a person to be too skinny is their thyroid. When you think of thyroid disorders, you probably consider those who have issues with weight loss. However, a hyperthyroid can cause just as many problems.

These people tend to be painfully thin as their thyroid has sent their metabolism into overdrive. The thyroid can cause problems for your entire body.

3. Struggle to Stay Warm

Why is it that a skinny person is always cold? You may see them in a restaurant in the summer with a jacket on because the AC is chilling them to the bone. Many things can cause a person to be cold all the time, including the thyroid.

However, the thyroid isn’t the only culprit, as an iron deficiency can cause anemia. Those who don’t have sufficient iron in their blood and don’t have enough healthy red blood cells often have a problem staying warm. According to the National Library of Medicine, anemics aren’t getting enough oxygen to their body, and it can cause these sensations.

4. Fertility Issues

Women who are overweight often have fertility issues, but you can also have trouble conceiving if you’re too thin. Being skinny doesn’t mean that you will be able to get pregnant with ease. Your hormone levels can quickly become out of whack, and it can throw your whole reproductive system off balance.

5. Diabetes

It’s probably surprising to see diabetes on the list of issues with being too skinny. Most people think that this is a problem with being overweight, but it has to do with the food you eat. First, diabetes can have genetic links, so if you have a family history, then you can develop it regardless of your size.

Second, a skinny person thinks that it gives them a ticket to eat whatever they want whenever they want. The truth is that eating fast food all the time isn’t healthy, regardless of what the scale says. You can develop diabetes from poor eating habits, even if obesity isn’t the culprit.

6. Heart Disease

The skinny person doesn’t carry the proverbial spare tire around their waist, but they have extra fat around the heart and liver. The problem is that this fat can be just as dangerous, but most skinny people assume they’re healthy.

It’s not uncommon for someone who is underweight to have heart issues. Extra fat around the heart is dangerous regardless of your size.

7. Poor Immunity

If you want to boost your immune system, you should eat leafy greens and other vegetables and fruits. However, many people that are too skinny are the way they are because they starve themselves or they have an overactive metabolism. The problem is that many aren’t taking in the nutrients the immune system requires.

When you’re too thin, you can starve your immune system so that it doesn’t work correctly. The sad thing is that when your immunity is low, you will catch everything coming and going. Additionally, a low immune system can make you more susceptible to cancers too.

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8. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that affects many older Americans. The bones become quite brittle and will break too easily. This condition often is a problem that occurs with a low diet and a lack of vitamin D.

Additionally, a lack of estrogen also plays a significant role in the development of this condition. If your breaking bones more often than others around you, then it’s an issue that warrants further investigation.

9. Menstrual Problems

Cycle irregularities are commonplace when your weight is not at an acceptable level. You can experience infertility as a problem with these issues, but it’s also a cause for concern when your body is not functioning as it’s designed.

Your body was made to shed the lining of your uterus once a month. When the reproductive system isn’t working, it can make your moods all over the place as there are many hormones involved.

10. Eating Disorders

One of the first things people think when they see someone too skinny is that they have an eating disorder. It’s not unheard of for someone today to develop anorexia or bulimia. They strive to be thin from cultural influences because people are unhappy with their bodies, no matter the size.

11. Muscle Weakness

A lack of nutrition affects the whole body, including the muscles. Your muscles need protein to be healthy and vigorous, and when you’re barely eating enough to keep your body going, it’s going to cause you to be weak. Your body needs around 1,500 – 2,000 calories each day to keep the processes going. Anything less than this is going to cause deficiencies and significant issues.

12. You Can’t Find Clothes to Fit

Going shopping for clothes isn’t fun if you’re too skinny. If you don’t fit into society’s clothing norms, you may have difficulty finding something that works for you. Jeans can be a real issue as they may fit in length, but they won’t fit around the waist. Did you know that many thin people often shop in the children or teens sections for specific items?

13. Exhaustion

When you’re too thin, you can become exhausted quickly. When you eat, your body stores some of the nutrients from your food as energy. Since you’re probably not eating enough, your energy reserves are low. Doing something as simple as walking through the mall can be nearly impossible for you.

Forget exercising and building muscle mass as you don’t have the energy to do what it takes during the day.

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Final Thoughts on Being Skinny but Not Healthy

The medical community considers anyone with a BMI under 18.5 to be too thin. The target range for a BMI should be around 19-24. If you’re below 15 percent of your ideal weight, you need to gain some weight slowly.

America has worshiped the thin physique while casting shame on anyone who doesn’t fit into the perfect size range. According to Bellatory, a small frame is anyone that is a size 00 through a 4. A woman who is a medium frame will be anywhere from a size 6-10, and a large frame is a 12 and up.

The bottom line is that you can be a size two and be healthy or a size 22. It all comes down to what you eat and the nutrients that your body receives. You must learn to be comfortable in the skin you’re in, and if you need to adjust your weight in either direction, it’s best to do it slow and healthy.