Avatar universal

I have lost 20lbs in 4 months and have not been given a reason for this

I am a 71 year-old female with bipolar disorder and many other chronic conditions. In June 2018 I was admitted to hospital with Lithium poisoning (Bipolar Med - My dosage had just been increased and I had five times the normal level in my blood, and nearly died). When I was discharged I found out that I had kidney disease stage 3 from the Lithium poisoning. Then from June 'till October I lost my appetite and also lost 20lbs. I was 144lb, and went down to 124lbs. Because of this unintentional weight loss, my doctor ordered tests thinking that I possibly had cancer. I saw a gastroenterologist and had a colonoscopy, endoscopy and abdominal cat scan. My gynecologist did a thorough examination and did more blood tests. She even tested me for HIV because she thought it might be systemic. Thank God, that came back negative - couldn't see any reason why it shouldn't. I also had a mammogram with good results, and a brain MRI, and lower extremity MRI because I previously had a high intensity area in the marrow that could have been suspicious.

Well, if that wasn't thorough, I don't know what is! I am now totally tested out and my insurance company is going broke. Unfortunately, I no longer recognize my body because I have folds of skin where fat and muscle tissue once was. I don't feel ill at all, still have no appetite, but my weight is hovering around the 126lbs. to 124lbs daily and I even LOST 3lbs. over Christmas.

So that's it, really. No more tests and no explanation as to what is going on either. Any ideas?.
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Avatar universal
You said you still don't have an appetite, so that is one obvious cause of weight loss. What did doc say about that?
Helpful - 0
The last time I saw my doctor, three weeks ago, I was eating well so to be fair to him, he doesn't know that this problem has recurred. i think I should see how long this loss of appetite lasts then get in touch with him again. I know one thing. I live alone, and have lost interest in cooking for myself so not socializing at mealtimes might have a lot to do with it. Thanks for replying.
363281 tn?1590104173
Hello~Not eating a healthy  diet can certainly lead to the weight loss, as can depression.

Is your blood sugar stable, sometimes pre-diabetes and diabetes can cause unintentional weight loss as well. How is your thyroid, an over-active thyroid can cause this issue as well.

I am glad that all your test results were good, but that can be very frustrating when trying to find a diagnosis. Do you have any hobbies? I ask this because if you do, maybe joining a group of others with the same interest may help you feel better, thus, increasing your appetite.

I hope you feel better soon and are able to get some clear-cut answers.

Helpful - 0
Hi  Sassie, I just wrote a long reply to your nice letter and I see it has now vanished. Sorry.
Avatar universal
Here's an update. I still have no appetite but have decided to just eat what I like and plenty of it. I am also eating when I feel hungry which makes about 5 small meals a day. I can tolerate cereal and eggs. Also, I have just become addicted to cottage cheese with pineapple chunks - delicious.

You are quite right about diabetes and thyroid causing weight loss. I don't have diabetes but do have hypothyroid (the one you should put on weight with). I have been taking thyroid supplements for about 40 years.

I have a lot of hobbies like sewing, DIY, art and crafts and have a good social life. Depression can be a problem with bipolar, you are quite right, but seeing as I have ultra rapid episodes, my depression never lasts for long.

Now for the very good news (may be of interest to others too). When I went to my docs last week having lost another 2lbs. he said it might be my medication. I take a lot of medication, and he looked up Chlorthalidone which is my diuretic for chronic kidney disease. Heh, presto, this medication caused loss of appetite and on average of 15lb weight loss!!!

Don't all rush out and take it!

Helpful - 0
Thanks for the info and update. It does appear that you are on the right track, enjoy your food, and yes, I, too, LOVE cottage cheese with pineapple, I love cottage cheese alone, it is my favorite snack. Yum.

You have some wonderful hobbies, I do crafts as well, but sadly,not as much over here in New Zealand as everything is so expensive, but back home in the states, I made lots of neat things, I am glad you have a good social life, that helps a great deal as well.

LOL, no, I won't try the Chlorthalidone, I don't take prescription drugs unless forced, but hey, I am glad you found out what is a very possible cause of your weight loss and lack of appetite.

Let me know how you are doing as time goes on.
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