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Unexplained EXTREME weight loss
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Unexplained EXTREME weight loss

My husband has lost about 40lbs in last 2 months.  I would say a total of 50lbs in last 4months.  Went to family dr and he just focused on the fact that he smoked.  Since my husband has suffered from heatburn he at least scheduled a EGD.  Asked for a colonoscopy then and the dr said "its for people over 50."  They did blood work but when I asked what his psa was i was told they didnt do that test.  He had the EGD done and they found nothing that would explain the weight loss. Gastro dr did order a peliv/abdominal CT scan and they found nothing with that either.  He is having a colonoscopy next week.  Anyone have these symptoms? Nausea-kept food down so far, just stops eating after a few bites. Constipation/loose stools, fatigue.  

If the Gastro dr doesn't find anything durring the colonoscopy then I wont know where to turn next for the cause of all this.  He is the one ordering the test at this point and will not take him back to the family dr. My husband does not look healthy.  He is only 42.   He is 5'7" so his weight loss is about 25% of his body weight in a matter of months without trying.  He is to weigh daily and write it down but I'm also trying to keep a food diary and write down when he's nauseous hopeing that helps.  He consumes plenty of calories on good days to not be loosing.  On bad days he consumes alot also but mainly from drinks when he cant eat.  

My mom had cancer 20 yrs ago.  This is my biggest fear since his weight/eating problems seem to be identical.  It is not stress causing this.  Any suggestions, PLEASE!!!!

peipaws

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16 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Besides the extreme weight loss does your husband have other symptoms? I think I read fatigue? Is he experiencing fatigue, night sweats that are dreanching and any fevers?
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Avatar_m_tn
I would get a second opinion immediately. That is a lot of weight to lose that fast. Your doctor sounds less than supportive. I have never heard of smoking causing a person to lose 40lbs. in 60 days! That is absurd. Have you had his liver checked out? The situation is not getting better, from what you say he is getting worse! Be firm, push for the care he needs (nicely) demand answers. Do not leave the office without some help for him. Obviously smoking is not helping him at all but I really doubt that has anything to do with his weight loss, loss of appetite, diarreha, etc. Sometimes you have to be a squeaky wheel to get the help you need.Good luck.
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Avatar_f_tn

Did doc test for thyroid and/or diabetes - does he urine a lot and real thirsty. Constipation/loose stools, fatigue sound like thyroid.
I have thyroid (Graves' Disease). I lost a lot of weight and continued to do so until treatment. I thought I had cancer or diabetes so I ate according which didn't help with the weight situation.  If I didn't eat when my body gave me signs too I would get nausea, real hot (cold sweats) and rapid heart beat and very sick to where food would not help.  Tried to force myself  to eat but I lost my appetite by then.  I ended in bed the rest of the day sleeping it off. It was real bad so I started listening to by body and ate even if I just had ate 15 min ago.
Those are the three things that come to my mind, Thyroid, diabetes and cancer, however I am sure there are other health conditions with your husbands symptoms.

Good luck to the both of you - I hope you find the cause soon.  No fun being sick!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am not a Doctor or in the Medical field.
My statements and comments are meant as
information only, not as a diagnose or treatment,
for that is between you and your doctor.
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Avatar_m_tn
I would get a second opinion immediately. That is a lot of weight to lose that fast. Your doctor sounds less than supportive. I have never heard of smoking causing a person to lose 40lbs. in 60 days! That is absurd. Have you had his liver checked out? The situation is not getting better, from what you say he is getting worse! Be firm, push for the care he needs (nicely) demand answers. Do not leave the office without some help for him. Obviously smoking is not helping him at all but I really doubt that has anything to do with his weight loss, loss of appetite, diarreha, etc. Sometimes you have to be a squeaky wheel to get the help you need.Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry about your symptoms and hope you get answers soon.  My husband had suffered acid reflux in the past and was put on nexium.  He hadn't taken or needed it for sometime.  When the dr performed the EGD he did biopsy for Barrett's but that was on a area that was healed/scar tissue from when it was bad.  I explained to the family dr that his stomach wasn't the problem but think he just scheduled the EGD to shut me up since he wouldn't schedule the colonoscopy.  My husband weight loss is over the last few months.  He doesn't feel nausous or sick all the time.  Just when he eats.  Its not everytime he eats either, but frequently.  No burning, just nauseated.  All food eaten has stayed down.  At his weight now, he should be consuming enough calories to at least maintain but he's not.   He's loosing a lb every day or 2 and just keeps LOOSING.  It madening not getting aswers.  I cant inagine going thru it as long as you have.  My husband's not the type to complain or "disagree" with the dr's.  Thats why I have gone to every appt and wouldnt let it be wrote off as just stress.  This is not stress.  My husband looks 10yrs older than he is and malnurished, which i'm sure he is.

peipaws
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Peipaws

I have also lost a great amount of weight over the last year and a half.  From about 205 lbs to now just over 150lbs (about 25%).  With this I have been feeling terrible the whole time, with various symptoms including nausea, burning in throat and chest, and many more  symptoms (some gastrointestinal and some not).  

The weight loss started when I was prescribed Paxil (because of course they could not explain my symptoms other than the stress idea).  I also, had fundoplication surgery as they thought that many of my symptoms were caused by acid reflux (they were not).  So I lost more weight after that, but still continued to lose abnormal amounts of weight even following this.

As with your husband, all tests have showed up normal including a colonoscopy, endoscopy, ultrasound, blood tests.  As of now, I have no idea what the problem or problems are.  I just know I have a lot of symptoms centered around my throat and esophagus.  I do not smoke, so not sure what the deal is.
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Avatar_n_tn
When we went to the family dr I had him do a blood test to check for diabetes. It was fine at 101 and had eaten a few bites of a candy bar before appt.  He did "blood work" also that the next day when I called to get the results myself said came back OK.  I asked what his PSA came back at and was told that test was NOT done.  When I asked why not I was told it was .4 in Sept.  Didn't know about CEA numbers until I started researching myself on the internet so didn't ask about it at the time.  If PSA wasn't done I'm sure the CSA wasn't done either.  I had him go in for a physical in Sept because at the time he was having urination changes.  No pain, just could not control the speed of the flow.  First thought was prostate but dr said normal changes in a male not concerning.  No weight issues then and NO prostate check was done.  He did have a vasectomy over 20 yrs ago so ANY concern in that area he does not hessitate to see the dr since he heard it causes increased risk for prostate cancer.  

I agree the smoking is not the cause.  The gastro dr who did his EGD test Wed's IS THE ONE IN CHARGE NOW.  When he didn't find anything to explain the weight loss he scheduled the colonoscopy, that the family dr said was for people over 50, and sent him for a pelvic/abdominal CT scan right away for answers.  CT scan showed nothing which I expected since I read somewhere that "IF" it is colon cancer it does not show up on CT scans but sometimes if it's already met's to the liver it may show that but not always either.  

I'm trying to get all the infor I can.  Fingers crossed that it is not colon cancer.  If it is not I need to know where to turn next for answers.  He cant go much longer like this.  As of last night he's lost a additional 2lbs just since Wed.  

He does have fatigue.  No night sweats.

peipaws
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Avatar_n_tn
Maybe you should ask for a referral to someone who specializes in diabetes.  My brother lost weight at that rate and it was because he got Type I diabetes as a 38 year old adult.  Just a thought.  Keep pushing for answers.
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Avatar_n_tn
Ask for a CEA blood test.  It will show cancer in the body when other blood tests will not.
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Avatar_n_tn
CEA tests are for diagnosing colon cancer
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Thank you for your response.  I believe they have done every blood test there is to do.  He had the colonoscopy and it was fine.  So were the EGD, abdominal/pelvic ct scan and chest ct scan.  I will call the dr to verify that the CEA test was done.  I cant imagine it not being done since Cancer was suspected ....stomach, colon, liver or lung.... but was not found.  The weight loss/nausea is a symptom of all cancers though.  

I did make a appt last week with a internal medicine dr.  He was very concerned.  He took more blood.....which came back fine... and ordered a "swallow" test.  He's to take stool sample in also for whatever reason.  

At this point my husband is tired of all the test and being told "everything came back fine."  He even wants me to cancel the swallow test for tomorrow.  He's very frustrated at this point.  

peipaws
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I have also had an unexplained weight loss in the past 4 months.  18 pounds.  I am not dieting and have not increased expercise.  I have just begun the process of finding out what my problem might be.  I am 47 years old, female.   My weight has not varied more that 5 pounds in the past several years.  I weighed 137 in feb '06 and now weigh 119 july '06. I have been to my family doctor and he is sending me to a gastro. doctor.  I have waited nearly 6 weeks to be seen by this doctor.  I will follow your story with interest and hope you get some answers soon.  Glad I found this forum.
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My father is doing the same thing.  He is 6'3" and now down to 127lbs.  He keeps losing. He has had every test known to man and everything comes back normal...He has had all the thyroid, pancreas, liver, cancer markers, upper and lower GI's including EGD and colonoscopy.  The only things that keep coming up are kidney stone which they are now saying is causing the nausea.  He has had trouble with Kidney stones for years and years and they have never caused him to loose weight.  We just keep watching him waste away whiles docs say it is in his head and prescribe anti depressants.  We don't know what else to do.  Any ideas?
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I had the same problem several years ago.  After 6 months of tests and 55lb weight loss they finally tryed a gastrointestinal 'parasite' drug and I was cured!  I was not able to eat much as it caused my stomach great pain, diarhea (diarrhea), nausea and major weight loss.  I thought for sure I had some kind of cancer and they just wasn't finding it.  They did blood work, more than one colonoscopy, CT scan and that one down the throat...wow, back then they didn't give versaid and it was not comfortable.

Be checked for every parasite!
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I had the same problem as your husband for 4 months and I knew something was wrong cause I can never loose weight.  I lost 40 lbs and was extremely ill.  It was a tapeworm from pork and some other paresite.  Diagnostecs lab is the lab my doctor used to find it and I was treated with alinia.  
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A related discussion, husband- unexplained weight loss 80 lbs so far... was started.
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A related discussion, Please help!! was started.
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