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Unexplained weight loss

I had 2 level surgical fusion and an artificial disc replacement done in November, 2011. My neck is **** great.  I had lost quite a bit of weight prior to the surgery just because my pain level was so high that I never felt like eating.  We all just assumed after the surgery was done and I was feeling better my appitite could come back and I would put some of the weight back on.  At the beginning of this whole thing I weighed 162lbs and I am 5'2.  Like I said, it's been over a year and my neck is feeling good, but now I am down to 92 lbs.  I have had a ct scan of my entire torso, every blood test you can think of including the HIV test even though I've been happily married for 27 years, I've had a colonoscopy and an endoscopy and a transvaginal ultra sound.  Everything has come up negative other than a mass in my uterus that I will have checked out on Dec. 20th by an Ob/Gyn.  My family dr. said she didn't think the mass was anything.  The GI dr that did the endoscopy thought the mass was "concerning" and recommended that I get in to see the ob/gyn ASAP.  If that comes out to be negative to you have any other ideas of what could be causing this?  I am not able to eat a lot at one meal so I eat a lot of small meals throughout the day.  My blood tests did show that I am allergic to gluten so I am avoiding that.  It also showed that my iron and ferratin levels are incredibly low which my family dr said that means I am not absorbing the nutrients that are going into my body.  I do live with a lot of family stress.  Not direcly in my house, but with my in-laws.  I don't know if stress could be causing this?  I just don't want to starve to death.  I look awful!  Thanks for any ideas that anyone has.  The more I can suggest to my doctors the more they can do to try to fix me.  Have a good weekend!
2 Responses
351246 tn?1379682132
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi!
Unintentional and unexplained weight loss is definitely not good. I’ll first list the causes which you can also take a look at and then narrow down the possibilities.
One possibility is that you have an eating disorder. In which case taking help from a doctor specialized in treating eating disorders will help. There are many other causes like worms in stool, depression, anorexia nervosa, AIDS, cancers especially colon cancers, drug abuse, infections and loss of appetite. Loss of appetite can again be due to certain medications, drug abuse, depression, AIDS, acute and chronic infections, eating disorders, cancers and hypothyroidism. Either you do not eat well or there is increased metabolism as in hyperthyroid states, HIV, cancer etc. Poor absorption as in irritable bowel syndromes and malabsorption syndromes too is possible. Malabsorption syndromes are seen in intestinal tuberculosis, HIV, tropical sprue, parasites in stool and Whipple’s Disease. Diabetes too can be the cause.
Of these HIV is ruled out in your case. If cancer is ruled out as well (uterine, cervix and ovary along with colon) then diabetes and hyperthyroidism should be thought of. Also, since you have gut issues and deficiencies, malabsorption syndrome should be investigated for. Do discuss this with your doctor and get yourself examined. Take care!
Avatar universal
Hello Dr. Mathur,
I just wanted to provide an update.  It turns out that I have a severe candida problem.  Since I have been treated for that I have gained almost 10 lbs in just 3 weeks.  I just wanted to let you know so you and other doctors can add that to your list of things to check for.  My PCP told me I had "disordered eating", her way of saying an eating disorder.  She obviously doesn't know me well because I have never been the skinny girl, and I LOVE food and eating.  I don't LIKE the way I look being so thin.  It's not attractive and I want to gain weight.  Luckily someone had the brains to test me for candida and start me on a program to deal with it.  I was treated for the same problem almost 15 years ago when a neurologist diagnosed me with MS and told me that I would be in a wheelchair within a couple of years.  Thank goodness I found someone to do further testing, diagnose the candida problem, and treat it.  My "MS" symptoms were completely GONE within 2 weeks and have NEVER returned.  So when you find yourself in a situation that you can't figure out what is wrong and you've done all the tests and everything comes back negative, please don't tell a patient it must all be in their head just because you can't find the problem.  All it takes for the candida test is a finger stick and looking at the sample under a dark microscope.  Treatment is cheap and effective.  I hope you have a good day!!
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