Discussions By Condition: General well-being

Fat loss in entire body

Posted In: General well-being 35 Replies
  • Posted By: Donatello
  • April 19, 2007
  • 06:49 PM

I started noticing about 4 months ago that I my body was undergoing changes. I have sunken eyes (looks like fat loss under eyelid) and slightly sunken cheeks. My arms, chest, butt and legs are thinner as well. Overall, I look thinner but have not been exercising. My clothes do not fit ... even when I have bought smaller clothes because of my changes. I have probably lost about 15-20 pounds during this stretch. During this time I have been having difficulty going to sleep and also have been getting about 3-5 hours sleep a night while on different sleeping medication. Currently I am using Ambien CR 12.5 and still only receiving about 5 hours of sleep. When I sleep, it doesn't feel that I am resting or recovering. My stool has not been watery diarrhea but not quite solid either. I have not been sexually active for over a year and have tested negative for hiv. My wife passed away from cancer over a year ago and my doctor and family feel that these changes are because of grief and depression. I do not have night sweats or any kind of swelling. I do not agree and feel that there is a physical cause for my problems. Is this something that can be explained by a physical condition?

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35 Replies:

  • I am very sorry to hear of your loss. Grief and depression are mental symptoms, but can present with actual physical symptoms, such as weight loss. As an Oriental Medical practitioner, I look at the whole person: body, mind, and spirit. Have you thought about trying acupuncture to help with your symptoms? It is very helpful for insomnia, stress, and getting the body back in balance. Everyone is different, and processes grief and loss in a different way. I do not think that antidressants are especially helpful in your case. However, is there someone you can talk to and who can help you process your grief? Do you have an appetite and are you eating regular meals? Do you have any gas and bloating after eating? Do you have any shortness of breath or anxiety/panic sensations? Are you taking any medications? Do you get headaches or migraines? Do you have cold hands/feet? Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks for your reply. I do have an appetite but have experienced a lot of gas. It seems like that even with eating more I do not seem to be gaining back any of the weight. I don't know if it is fat loss or lean body loss. Is there a way to tell? Not really any shortness of breath or anxiety. No medication short of using Ambien CR. My hands and feet are cold from time to time but nothing that seems problematic. I am seeing a counselor in regards to the loss of my wife and trying to use that to help the mental aspect. I just have a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that all these physical symptoms are tied to the mental side.
    Donatello 7 Replies Flag this Response
  • Donatello! I'm experiencing the EXACT SAME THING and none of my doctors are even remotely interested. Their replies are things like "you're imagining it" or "your body is just changing because you're in your 20's". Paradoxically, I haven't lost any weight so there is no actual "proof" of my claims other than my clothing not fitting.If you read my topic here, it has everything (though it's quite long):http://forums.wrongdiagnosis.com/showthread.php?t=12221In addition to the "wasting" I have hard, bony lumps slowly enlarging on the back of my skull and on my jaw. Blood tests show nothing, CT scans and x-rays show nothing. I've even been to Memorial Sloan Kettering about this but got nowhere. I fail to believe the bony masses are unrelated since the "wasting" started just as they began to enlarge.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Sorry, I posted that message too quickly- didn't get to finish.I can get about 8 hours of sleep each night, but don't feel refreshed at all. I don't get night sweats either, and have no trouble breathing or anxiety (other than when in the doctor's office). I am also unsure of if the thinning is lean body mass or fat mass- as I don't have any weakness whatsoever, it doesn't seem to be muscular wasting yet I'm almost positive my muscle volume has in fact, decreased. My stool is often loose (but still mostly solid) as well. Also, just like you say- even when I eat more none of my "visible" weight returns. I've tried to ask many doctors who can actually tell me what's being lost and yet they don't have answers. The best I can get out of them is a Bioelectrical Impediance Analysis (which calculates BMI). Modern scales and many exercise machines have this built in. If you do a search on the internet for "BMI Calculator" you can also find automatic calculations via inputting your weight and height. In terms of what you can do right now, I'd say get a total blood profile to eliminate the possibility of any clear abnormalities or problems causing your thinning. Get an EKG as well and ask for diabetes and thyroid testing. See where you are after that. I don't believe these symptoms are tied to the loss of your wife, either. Depression can cause weight loss however based on all the research I've done, it's usually far more controlled. If the body doesn't get enough calories it enters "starvation mode" and begins to conserve energy. Disease-related wasting, on the other hand, involves an unknown process that is believed to speed up the metabolism such that even adequate intake of food is insufficient. (There are various theories to explain what exactly causes the wasting but none are proven).
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have appointments with my doctor and counselor this week so I will get a chance to ask for those tests and also to keep working with my mental side as well. I will post whatever results they find and I am hoping that this will help to figure things out. Thanks for your thoughts and sharing your experiences. I'm sorry to hear about all of your struggles but it helps me to know that I'm not alone ...
    Donatello 7 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi Donatello. Did you have the appointment with your doctors yet? What tests are they running?
    Mr. Concerned 10 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have an upper and lower GI scheduled for May 3, 2007. The doctor will look and see if there is anything wrong throughout my digestive tract. If there is nothing wrong then I guess it has to be metal problems (anxiety, stress, depression, etc...) I'm hoping that they won't find any problems but just today I noticed some bleeding when I was wiping myself after a bowel movement. I haven't noticed any more but now I'm not so sure what they may find now after the procedure.
    Donatello 7 Replies Flag this Response
  • Donatello, Since you are wanting to get more tests done, I suggest they do a full stool test to check for parasites, giarrdia, e coli, blood, candida, c. diff, and others. The full test is over a 3 day period I believe, and is very extensive. This should be done in addition to your GI tests I think. I still think acupuncture would be helpful for you. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
  • :) Just stopped by, when i saw this post, i had to check it out. Acuann has the right approach, with the exception of acupuncture, because i have absolutly no idea what it is. Me thinks a test such as this, may be good for me, because i have G.I. problems. Thank's Acuann*file:///C:/Program%20Files/Smileycons/Packs/Emotions/puppy.gif
    hogndog 426 Replies Flag this Response
  • -Donatello I've had this same problem as well as other symptoms. Check out the thread " It's like ***l on earth" in the undiagnosed column. I've been corresponding a little with Mr. Concerned. The doctors think this is depression on my side too. I too am seeing a psychiatrist, however I think there are too many physical symptoms that are present to suggest depression. My doctor doesn't want to do anymore test, he wants to work together with my counselor. It's beyond frustrating, it's torture to me. It seems as though my doctor thinks I'm a nut or something, that I'm making these symptoms up for attention. I'm 25 years old and I've been sick since August of 2006. I hope you feel better soon, and if you don't mind please keep me informed. It makes me feel better that I can relate to others that are difficult times as well. -God Bless "When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn." - Harriet Beecher Stowe
    Ron51ca 28 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi Ron! By the looks of your post it would seem that your problem is still undiagnosed... Depression can cause thinning, primairly because in most cases, the individual isn't eating their normal caloric requirement. At times the person won't realize it and think the food intake is the same, at times they won't eat because they don't feel hungry anymore. Anxiety can cause thinning because of digestion problems: when someone is anxious the body diverts the flow of blood to the major organs (i.e. the heart and the brain) and thus the digestive process is disturbed. Furthermore, anxiety creates stress which also works against digestion. Donatello, as mentioned before, in your case I have a hard time believing that your condition is a result of depression though it may be that you are depressed from the loss of your wife. Unless you are also having frequent upset stomachs, loose stool and a decreased appetite, it would seem something else is going on. All the more so because you mention that eating MORE than you normally do still doesn't replace the lost weight. (Note, by the way, that 1 pound is 3500 calories). Ron, I'm more familiar with your situation since we discussed it thoroughly in my topic. Has a psychologist officially diagnosed you with depression? You really shouldn't go to a psychiatrist as they focus primairly on medication whereas a psychologist is more about cognative therapy. Unless a trained expert in the field of mental health (i.e. not your GP) does a thorough evaluation and concludes you do have depression, don't let the doctors talk you into it. The medical community is narrowminded- if it doesn't show on their tests, then they either won't acknowledge a problem exists or else simply "give up" and say that they can't diagnose it.
    Mr. Concerned 10 Replies Flag this Response
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  • Dear Mr. Concerned, I was officially diagnosed with OCD and depression five years ago. I was on medication at that time however, I went off them because of the side effects. My doctor believes my illness is caused by depression and he is working with my psych on it. I'm not on medication yet, but I plan on starting within a week or so. I still DO NOT think this is related to depression. I don't know if my doctor is playing the conservative game and assuming it's depression because I don't have insurance. He is aware of all the tests I've had, especially the fact that all of them have come up negative. He says he would like to wait and see if I improve with meds, before I'm put through the pain of more tests. I have expressed my concerns in every single way I could think of. He is still not worried that it is anything serious. Friday I came down with what appeared to be food poisoning. I was up all night in the bathroom, everything I'd eaten had gone right through me. And early Saturday morning I awoke with a migrane head ache behind my right eye, I took excedrin and a few minutes later vomited. While I went to the bathroom there was blood on the toilet paper. I had a colonoscopy and hemeroids were found and had a Fecal occult test done which came back negative.
    Ron51ca 28 Replies Flag this Response
  • :) This is all I can Find on (OCD)http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=ocd+more:condition_symptoms&cx=disease_for_patients&sa=N&oi=cooptsr&resnum=0&ct=col1&cd=2
    hogndog 426 Replies Flag this Response
  • Ron51ca,You have choices in your healthcare. If allopathic docs are only offering you drugs for your illness, why not try a different approach and see what an acupuncturist or naturopath thinks? Often they may shed a different light, and will treat in a more holistic way. Mind/body/spirit are connected, you cannot separate them, as much as allopathic medicine tries to do. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi Ron,What was the diagnosis of OCD based on? (Meaning, what is your obsession and the subsequent compulsion). In the field of psychopatholgy, it's often the case that an individual suffering from one disorder will in fact, have multiple. Normally it's disorder X coupled with depression, with depression being a direct result of having disorder X. I've seen cases of people who are so nervous to interact with other people, they are basically shut-ins and thus depressed because the lack of social functionality. Depression is also common with OCD when it interferes with daily life.What did your doctor put you on? Was it an SSRI (like Paxil or Prozac)? What were the side effects? >effects. My doctor believes my illness is caused by depression and he is >working with my psych on it. I'm not on medication yet, but I plan on Yes, that's a common problem in the medical world. You have been given a proverbial scarlet letter because of your documented history of OCD and depression. This issue was discussed thoroughly in one of my psychology classes even: the idea of a patient's diagnosis following them around for life even if/when they overcome it. Doctors use the diagnosis in their interpretation of everything subsequent; if you have depression then suddenly symptoms of real concern might be written off as "just depression", etc. Sometimes it's necessairy, but most of the time it's unfair to the patient.About this being related to depression- again, unless you are lowering your daily caloric intake, that's not a good explanation. I could see depression factoring into a lack of interest in working out, for example, but unless there were clear biochemical imbalances (some of which a 24-hour urine test might show), I don't think depression is the culprit. The "Scarlett Letter" issue directly applies here. If your symptoms ARE caused by depression then great- treat the depression. But if they're not, then your doctors are making a huge mistake. >depression. I don't know if my doctor is playing the conservative game >and assuming it's depression because I don't have insurance. He is aware Yes, quite possibly. I think that if you had insurance, he might still have the same conclusion but be willing to run other testing to make sure it's not something else. >is anything serious. Friday I came down with what appeared to be food >poisoning. I was up all night in the bathroom, everything I'd eaten had >gone right through me. And early Saturday morning I awoke with a You probably did have food poisioning. But if you had a history of panic disorder, this might be blamed on "poor digestion caused by anxiety". See that's when the psychological diagnosis becomes dangerous. Is there any way you can get on a private insurance plan? They usually cost about $500 a month depending on your medical history and whatnot. That is a large chunk of money but, some of these tests (and let's not forget the doctor visits) can be SO much more.
    Mr. Concerned 10 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi Mr. Concerned, I have been on paxil and prozac in the past, one didn't work and the other made me vomit if I missed a dose. Every doctor I've seen has pulled the depression card on me. I have changed my diet during this illness in hopes it will help. In the past I use to eat out at restaurants, nearly every meal. I am now eating more of a raw/organic diet. I do realize that I would lose weight because I am eating a heck of alot better however, the symptoms are still present. I know that if I had insurance right now it would most likely be a different story. I am in between jobs right now and cannot afford a private insurance policy. I'm getting my current medical services through MSI (medical services for indigents) I desperately trying to find a job with good benefits. Of course, this sort of thing has to happen when I don't have insurance.
    Ron51ca 28 Replies Flag this Response
  • Ron,I understand that you are on a limited income, but have you considered finding a Oriental Medical practitioner to help you? I guarantee that they will listen to you and not write off your symptoms as "stress or depression". Do you live near a city? There may be a school you could go to for reduced rate treatments. There may be a practitioner who offers a sliding scale - I do. You have to ask around and maybe you can find someone who can help you. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
  • Acuann, I will consider this. Yes, I have very little money to spend. I have changed my diet completely. I have introduced organic/raw fruits,vegetables,and nuts into my diet. I have been staying away from sugar and flour as much as I can. It seems to have helped somewhat. I've noticed that I've been getting better sleep, I actually have an appetite and it appears that scratches and sores are healing a heck-of-alot faster. I know I'm not out of the woods yet, I'm just doing what I can while my doctor does nothing.
    Ron51ca 28 Replies Flag this Response
  • Mr Concerned, How are you feeling? Have you been to your doctor lately?
    Ron51ca 28 Replies Flag this Response
  • Ron, Sounds like you are on the right path, and glad to hear you are seeing some improvements with diet and lifestyle changes - that is great:) ! Dr. Andrew Weil has famously stated that he had about two hours of training on nutrition in medical school...it is a sad state of affairs, as so many chronic degenerative illnesses can be improved through nutritional supplementation. In addition to diet, try adding Omega 3-6-9 (Essential Fatty Acids) as well as a good quality B complex, and vitamin C (I like EmergenC). These are important nutrients and will help with depression and low immunity. Shouldn't cost too much, and may really help - www.vitacost.com has some of the lowest prices around, and has great customer service. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
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