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Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Forum
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Weight Loss--When to Worry


  I've previously posted here regarding a 2 month history of nausea, loss of appetitie, diarrhea, and an approximate 10 lb weight loss.  My doctor suspected and treated me for giardia even though tests later proved negative.  After treatment with Flagyl, I noticed a definite improvement of my condition.  But since I wasn't "cured" I had a flexible sigmoidoscopy this past Tuesday.  My doc found that my colon looked good and I will get pathology report on Monday of some random biopsies he took of my colon.  My question is--now that I am "almost" back to normal and my appetite has returned for the most part (not 100% though), I am having problems getting my weight back up.  I have tried eating more "junk" foods and higher fat products but I am only maintaining my weight at this point.  Prior to this incident I weighed about 148/149 lbs (I am 5'7", 34 y/o, female).  I am now down to 139 lbs.  Despite going out to restaurants, eating ice cream, chips, and sugared colas--my weight is not coming back on.  I have discussed this with my doctor but he really has no comment at all.  I have to say that I do have a history of thyroid cancer; however, I recently got a clean nuclear scan for this so there is no indication to think this is causing a problem.  As you can tell, I am concerned about weight loss associated with cancer.  All the literature I read about bowel problems gets very alarming when weight loss is present.  Can you elaborate on when weight loss is a problem and when it is not?  Thanks.
  Christine
Dear Christine,
Nice to hear from you again. In patients with weight loss secondary to cancer, weight loss is often steady and progressive.
The fact that you are able to maintain your weight is a good sign. I would not go out on a binge eating junk food to gain weight.
You may want to perform exercises that strengthen muscle. If you find that you cannot maintain your weight you may want to
alert your physician. If that should occur, he may want to perform further testing after reviewing  the results of the biopsies
taken during your recent flexible sigmoidoscopy.
This response is being provided for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or
consultation. Always check with your personal physician when you have a question pertaining to your health.
If you wish to be seen at our institution, please call 1-800-653-6568, our Referring Physician's Office and make an
appointment to see Dr. Muszkat, one of our experts in Gastroenterology.
HFHSM.D.-ym
*Keywords: weight loss




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