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Unexplained Weight Loss
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Unexplained Weight Loss

Hello,

My mom just turned 50 this year. She was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes two years ago and was 168 pounds at 5"5'. Her doctor put her on Metformin, and she is supposed to be on it for life. Her doctor told her that she would lose weight on it, and the lowest she's been so far is 143 pounds when she weighed herself within the past couple of days. She was at the doctor in December because she had laryngitis and she was weighed at 150 and he was glad about the weight loss. However, I am worried because she lost 6 pounds in a month without even trying. She tells me that it's from the Metformin and because she just started working two jobs last month and she moves around a lot, rather than her staying at home all day like she used to. She has always eaten healthy so I can't say that her weight loss is from a change in eating habits. She is also on medication for overactive thyroid, asthma, and high cholesterol.

I just can't help but be really worried about this. I know her doctor told her that she would lose weight on Metformin, but wouldn't she have seen the weight loss right after she started it? And not continue to lose weight 2 years later? She had a colonoscopy two years ago and her doctor said she looked great and he wants to see her in 10 years for another colonoscopy, however, she had some type of bacteria in her stomach that causes ulcers so she went on meds for a week to get rid of it.

I did some research on unexplained weight loss on the web and I am really worried that it is cancer, particularly in the stomach. Please help me out! Thank you. She also has been getting hemorrhoids about once or twice a month, is that normal? or a symptom? I know I sound crazy right now but I just hate worrying.
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Avatar_f_tn
Diabetes, Metformin, and hyperthyroidism all can cause weight loss.  If your mother is now more actine than before, it is very possible that this is why she is losing weight. Her gastroenterologist is very wrong in telling your mom to come back in 10 years, she needs to return every 2 years.  Hemorrhoids are very benign and nothing to worry about unless they become too painful for her, and even then it's not a big deal.  If your mother had stomach cancer, she would know and not be able to work two jobs.  I think it's wonderful that you are so concerned about your mom, but I think she fine, so don't make yourself sick by worrying too much. Take care....
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351246_tn?1379685732
Hi
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
A combination of diabetes, metformin and hyperthyroidism coupled with increased activity can be the cause for the rapid weight loss. Glycosylated hemoglobin, insulin resistance and re-evaluation of the thyroid status should be done to know whether both diabetes and thyroid problems are under control. If these are found to be ok, then only other reasons should be looked at. It is difficult to comment beyond this at this stage. Take care!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for all of the replies. Is this something I should be worried about? She is due for a check-up on her diabetes/thyroid this month but I doubt she will go since she is uninsured at the moment. Could cancer be a possibility if this is the only symptom that she has? She isn't complaining about anything, and personally I haven't noticed the weight loss, she just says she lost the weight. I don't know, I can't help but worry, especially since she's probably not going to see a doctor. Thanks
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351246_tn?1379685732

Hi
Try and schedule an appointment this time even if she is not insured. It is important to assess the thyroid and diabetes status during menopause. This could just be this as you have not noticed a weight loss. The possibility of cancer with unexplained weight loss is always there. However if there is a weight loss and thyroid and diabetes status is fine and the weight loss due to metformin has been attained, then this should be looked into. Also if you have not noticed a further weight loss it may not be there. Keep a record and see. Hope this helps. Take care!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Doctor,
Thank you for all of your replies, I really appreciate it. I am confused on what the term "unexplained weight loss" is. With my mother's case, she has started losing the weight once she picked up the two jobs--she works in a restaurant and a deli and she tells me that she is so active at both places that she is often sweating from how much work she is doing there. She started working in November, where she weighed about 152 lbs and now in February after working a good 30+ hours a week, she is now 144 lbs. I hate to bother you with these questions but is it more likely that she is losing the weight because of her new active lifestyle? Before she picked up both jobs (she got them at the same time) she was really just sitting at home all day. She has absolutely no pain or anything, so is it more likely that her weight loss is from being more active?
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