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Avatar universal

Unexplained Weight Loss.

Hello,

A little background: 39 yr old male. Considered by medical professional to be "anxious" as far back as 1993 when I always felt I couldn't catch my breath. Grew out of that...in 2008, found that my father needed triple bypass and became fixated on heart issues...convinced that I was due for a heart attack and obsessed over any chest pain, palpitation. Around this time, I also started having what I guess would be panic attacks. They would always follow the same pattern...I'd wake up in the middle of the night and my heart would just kick into overdrive and beat hard for 10-15 minutes. This played into my cardiac fears and I was given a stress test, blood work. Diagnosed with generalized anxiety and given Celexa. In retrospect, I guess celexa may have mellowed me out somewhat..I still had heart fear but generally stayed out of "the danger zone" Trouble is,  I convinced myself that maybe the Celexa was not doing anything either way and discontinued it roughly 5-6 months ago. Unfortunately, my health/anxiety woes appear to have not significantly inspired me to get healthy. In September, I was diagnosed with a fatty liver, enlarged spleen and metabolic syndrome.

And that's how things were 3 weeks ago, when I scheduled a drs visit for epigastric pain. During the work up, I was shocked to find I had lost nearly 20 lbs. I have not exercised and my diet is frankly embarrassing. Concerned, my doc had me do an Upper GI endoscopy with biopsy which only showed gastritis. Blood work (CMP, CBC WITH DIFF & LIPASE AMYLASE, TSH and Celiac) was deemed fine by both my Dr and the GI. Finally, an abominal CT scan w/contrast was also unremarkable. At this point, my doctor is pointing toward anxiety.

I am ABSOLUTELY committed to working through the mental issues that I should have addressed years ago. However, I truly do not feel this weight loss is (mainly) mentally based:
-I know my body. Most likely, I have had anxiety/depression issues for years yet weight has NEVER poured off me like this. Nor has my appetite EVER been affected by day to day stress in my life. Indeed, food is a huge solace in my life..to completely lose interest in food is most definitely new.
-Googling: Guilty as charged but a good tool if a patient is truly their own best advocate. Unexplained Weight Loss/Appetite Loss/Depression are all symptoms of various cancers, thyroid issues.

So...I'm scared and sad and a bit at a loss. The weight continues to drop (indicated more by clothes fit than scale) and it seems to my eyes to be more muscle than fat. I continue to have nearly no interest in food and at this point, 2 drs are going to blame a nearly 30 lb weight loss on anxiety. Again...I own the anxiety...at this point, I'd have to. But can it really be ALL that?

Thanks for any assistance
Take care,
Matt
2 Responses
1340994 tn?1374197577
I used to be anxious, but it turned out to be caused by constant discomfort from constipation and malnutrion from Celiac disease.  Too bad all my visits to the doctor didn't get me help for these problems.  I was just told it was anxiety until finally I developed a symptom that sent me to a surgeon and it turned out I had gallstones.  Due to the gallstones I lost my appetite and lost a lot of weight.  That caused the surgeon to do the ultrasound that found the gallstones.  Then after surgery I couldn't gain my weight back, and that's when the same surgeon told me I had Celiac disease.  

So now the causes of my anxiety and depression became clear.  
A lot of my symptoms were from malnutrition.  I was anemic, which causes terrible lethargy and depression.  The abdominal pressure from the constipation was making me hyperventilate.  Hyperventilation causes anxiety.  

So consider whether they really ruled out Celiac and whether you might have gallstones and what about your digestion.  How about your diet?  Try eating vegetables as the mainstay of your diet.  Eat nuts if you aren't allergic.  Avoid dairy and eat meat in small amounts.  Choose organic foods and avoid processed foods.  

They need to check your thyroid, parathyroid, pituitary, things like that.  
Avatar universal
Thanks very much for your reply. Unfortunately, the "anxiety" tag, valid or not, is most likely going to make any additional testing harder to get...matter of fact, the GI doc claimed he only agreed to the CT scan to "calm you down". I'm fairly certain that Celiac is not the issue, but I will absolutely check into the parathyroid and pituitary issued. I had assumed these were all covers on the TSH testing which came back normal.

;Matt
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