Unexplained weight loss


Q: I have unexplained weight loss. I had a terrible stomach virus in September 2014 that put me in the hospital for 6 days. I had severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Since that time I have gone from 253 pounds to 210 pounds. I don't mind loosing weight but I am not trying. Since then I have had some mild diarrhea but in the last three weeks I have constipation which I have never had a problem with. I also have developed severe hip pain.

Symptoms:  Unexplained weight loss from 253 to 210, hip pain, constipation, dry skin, dry mouth. After I eat I usually get bloated in my lower abdomen.

A:   Thank you for your question. The weight loss that you have experienced could be due to the illness you experienced in September along with your continued diarrhea. If you are continuing to experience diarrhea, you can become dehydrated and have electrolyte imbalances which can lead to confusion, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. We recommend that you follow up with your doctor to be reevaluated for these symptoms. It is possible that you are suffering from a chronic inflammatory bowel conditions or your infection is still present. Both of these need to be promptly treated to alleviate your symptoms. Furthermore, it would be wise to have a colonoscopy performed to rule out gastrointestinal cancer as a cause of your over 40 pound weight loss. Please be guided accordingly.

Thank you for consulting AskTheDoctor.com

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