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unexplained weight loss

I am worried about my husband. He is 56 years old and has weighed the same since we met 30 years ago. He has suddenly started losing weight.  He has now lost 15 pounds interest last 6 weeks. That may not sound like much but he only weighed 170 to start with. He works out regularly and has very little body fat. He went to the walk in clinic and had a blood test which showed low blood platelets but no other problems. He is also experiencing general weakness and fatigue. Around the time he started losing weight he was bitten by a dog quite badly. Could it be related?  What could be wrong?
5 Responses
Avatar universal
have the liver checked. complete work up.fatigue, weakness, and tired can definatly be signs of a liver not functioning at100 percent. i had an uncle who was a drinker and it eventually messed up his liver.im not saying that is whats going on because you didnt reveal if he was a drinker or took over the years doctor prescribed meds or what, but either way wouldnt hurt to have tests done.better safe than sorry right?good luck too ya both
2143641 tn?1396681743
Low platelets are typically a result of some types of infections.

It is possible that it's something he got from the dog bite, just to give you an idea I could find rapidly a similar case

"A man bitten by a pet dog had fulminant thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura within 72 hours. Rhabdomyolysis was severe and acute anuric renal failure was present. The suspected causative agent was Pastuerella multocida or clostridia with possible endotoxemia, though early treatment precluded a definitive diagnosis. The patient responded dramatically to a combined therapeutic approach of antibiotics, steroids, splenectomy, and supportive hemodialysis."

Thrombocytopenia is the medical condition/term for low platelets count.

The only thing strange is that only his platelets count is out of range but it's a good sign a way because it doesn't point to a chronic illness. did they check his ESR, liver function and renal function?

You could consult your local prophylaxis center at the University hospital or the animal control office to see if they know what type of bacteria or virus could have caused that. Provided that the dog bite was not only a coincidence.

could you give more details?

1 has your husband been eating regularly, like usual?

2 who's dog was it, can you trace it? is it still alive?
did the dog look healthy?
why did he bite your husband,  was the dog scared, did it look like a normal behavior?

3 did you notice if your husband's mental status has been affected too, difficulty to concentrate? irritability, confusion, lack of short term memory? neck/back pain? rigidity/coordination symptoms?

Avatar universal
My husband is not a drinker and he does not take any meds at all.  He doesn't even like to take an aspirin for a headache.  He has been eating regularly, exactly the same as he always has.  Now he is eating extra, trying to gain the weight back on, but he's still losing.  The dog was our neighbours dog and they assured us at the time that he had all of his shots.  The dog is fine, at the time he was agitated at an incident with another dog and my husband just went to pat his head as he has done may times before.  I would say he is having issues with his memory, but I can't say for sure if this wasn't happening before.  Previous to all of this, he had a pain in his left side, towards his back for about 8 months, but since it eventually went away I'm not sure if it's related.
2143641 tn?1396681743
Well the dog was indeed scared of your husband that's why it bit him, I asked that because Phobia is a symptom of infections and leads to unexplained aggression. Although the dog might have been just stressed by the previous fight.

Weight loss is often a bad sign but there aren't other indirect signs of a chronic life threatening illness in your husband, although that doesn't rule it out completely.

Low platelets seem to lead to an infection. They should have checked his spleen too.

His previous pain in the lower left side could also be related if there's something wrong with the colon which is causing bad absorption! if the pain was from the kidney, stones for example I can't see how it could be related.

Both are in fact listed on Wiki as possible causes of weight loss

-Gastrointestinal disorders
- Infection. Some infectious diseases can cause weight loss. These include fungal illness, endocarditis, many parasitic diseases and some other sub-acute or occult infections may cause weight loss.

He should keep searching the causes of weight loss it's very important that he stays calm but not waste time with people telling you it's nothing.

One test that I could think of is Stool test with fat stool test and search for hidden blood in feces. Fat stool test can reveal bad absorption of food.

check complements system and serum proteins too.

Another thing that he could try is to do a round of broad-spectrum antibiotics , blindly maybe, which is not the best procedure, you should consult a specialist in infectious disease. maybe there's a way to diagnose the infection with blood tests or lumbar puncture I don't know... if the symptoms involve the central nervous system directly.

Any ways you can't do this on your own obviously you need to find a good Doctor who takes the situation to heart.

Avatar universal
Thank you, I will make sure he follows up on all the things that have been suggested.
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