Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

malnutrition, starvation, depression

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 5 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • August 11, 2007
  • 10:27 PM

I am 27 years old. 5'10" and 125 lbs.

Until just last year I was unable to gain or lose more than 5 pounds since I finished growing and reached that weight around 1995-96 (11-12 years ago).
I have had difficulty eating food my entire life. I find if I'm hungry I'm usually starving and the smell of cooking food or looking at food while it cooks makes me nauseous. If I don't eat immediately before I go to sleep I will wake the next day hungry, and suffer hunger pains that prevent me from eating usually until I force-feed myself little bits of food at a time for several hours after waking. After suffering through half the day with near constant, nauseating hunger pains I am finally able to eat normally (I don't feel like throwing the food up again or gaging while trying to swallow) and have an appetite that doesn't bring nausea. However I find that because I spent half the day starving I feel full after only eating a small portion of my meal.

I am not always like this however. I tend to suffer this condition primarily during times of change or stress, and usually when I am not working.

Over the past three years I have learned that changing from technological careers (office jobs) to outdoor, hard physical labor careers has helped my appetite somewhat. I switched to physical labor after a particularly difficult time working twelve hour night shifts for a year. By the end of the year I was suffering from the flu and was so physically weakened and depressed that I passed out on the train to work. I exited the train at the first stop and stumbled dizzy into the terminal where I threw up in a garbage can. I called in sick from the nearest pay phone and I wasn't allowed to work since I drive a company vehicle till I was cleared by a doctor. I saw a doctor the next day. He got me to lift up my shirt, looked at my stomach and shook his head. (I know I'm thin, people have always commented on it, it doesn't help) He said I had low blood pressure, I wasn't eating enough, and just had to eat more. He cleared me to return to work. Honestly right after I threw up was the best I had felt all that week.

While working long physically demanding schedules I am forced to eat the moment I feel the slightest twinge of hunger in order to keep my strength up. This helps with my weight problem seeing as this year I was able to reach an amazing 160 lbs by Christmas (I had worked for a long four month stretch, 14 hours a day and 7 days a week, with only one week off in that time) I felt the best I ever have and I had a great appetite and suffered none of the nauseating hunger I have today. I was eating a banana the moment I woke up to keep the hunger at bay (for some reason I find bananas are the only food my body will allow me to eat immediately after I wake up), then for lunch I'd eat 2 three cheese pizza pops (high calories), a protein bar (35grams) then supper was usually a can of Campbell's Chunky soup mixed with a can of Stagg Chili (both with beef since most other meats make me nauseous), finally after work I would eat a cheese bagel heavily coated in Philadelphia Cream Cheese (the original high fat kind). This diet was a constant. The only variation would be the odd pizza and for awhile I was drinking two breakfast replacement drinks (one after lunch and one after dinner).

At Christmas I had 2 weeks off and the down time ruined me. I was stuck in my parents house with no transportation and they usually don't keep much food around. When I returned to work my appetite had diminished greatly and, while I continued eating to keep up strength, I was only eating about half as much as I had before Christmas break. I lost only a little weight though over the next three months and held around 150lbs on average until Summer break.

I had a really financially stressful spring, I was not doing physical labor, and I ended up returning to 125lbs after two months off work. I seem unable to balance healthy eating and healthy lifestyle. If I stay working hard a physical jobs I have appetite and learned this year that I can gain weight. The only problem is I am not social, I hate doing things outside at home cause I feel like I'm being watched by neighbors, I don't participate in anything outside the house because I suffer great anxiety in social situations, only work seems capable of getting me out of the house and letting me feel confident enough to interact with others. Unfortunately though since I can only function anxiety free and keep a healthy appetite at work I end up suffering from depression because I never see the people I love. I'm a mess.

I guess I'm not really sure why I'm posting here or how it may help, but it's been a long battle and, while I've spoken to others about some of the different conditions separately, I've never told anyone all the conditions at once. I don't want to suffer forever, and suicide isn't an option for me... so I'll just press on I suppose till I figure a way to balance my body and mind.

Any diagnosis/suggestions would be welcome. My anxiety and stubbornness makes it hard for me to go to a doctor, besides I don't think he'd suggest much that I haven't already had time to figure out... and since it is broader than just physical, I'd probably just get passed along to a head doctor.

Reply Flag this Discussion

5 Replies:

  • ok things may be getting worse.Three days consecutively now I have had great difficulty eating in the mornings.I find I wake up so hungry that food repulses me.I have had to force feed myself fruit to try and ease the appetite enough to eat something more solid.Today I took a multivitamin as well as a breakfast drink in the morning to try and keep from becoming malnourished and maybe help ease my appetite but I think that made it worse. I have been picking at food since 11:00 pm and haven't stopped now that it is 7:00pm and I've had mild hunger pains lasting all day I think something is wrong and not getting better.I should also mention that I have used the bathroom #2, between a half- dozen to a dozen times each morning in the last three days. The feces is nearly pure liquid. In the evenings it gets more solid, but I never use the washroom this much, ever... well except the time I got strep throat a decade ago, but that was because of the pills the doctor gave me.I'm feeling exhausted, hot and weak while laying down, cold and weak if outside (its a nice sunny day). I'm stressed cause I can't get back to work like this. Something is wrong... will just continuing to get my eating back to normal eventually solve this problem? Is it symptomatic of something more serious?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 13, 2007
    • 01:08 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I tried posting this reply but it didn't go through so I'm going to do it again... O, I'm the one that started this thread originally, but I was just confused and in pain and had no real reoccurring symptoms at the time of the first post.I have more specifics to post now.Three days I've been 'sick' though I don't really understand what's happening to me.The exact details-I was up late at a party... i drank coffee, the first with a little shot of Baileys, then just normal coffee after that. I rarely drink alcohol. I was a pretty late night, went to sleep at around 4am.I was feeling stressed out about having to leave on five-six hour flight the next day.The next day when I woke up around 11:00am I was starving. I ate a banana and we all went to a restaurant. By the time my food came I was feeling kind of nauseous. I ate maybe 6 French fries and felt sick so I didn't eat anymore. I went to the bathroom and did number #2... it was liquid.The rest of the day I felt too nauseous and stressed out to eat and had a coffee before my flight. I didn't eat the first plane, but had a coffee. I had another by the second plane I was beginning to feel normal hunger rather than nausea. I ate a chicken noodle soup. I arrived about 12am at my destination. I had nothing to eat and was drained so I just went to sleep.The next day I awoke feeling intense hunger. I got a coffee and a bagel but had trouble stomaching the entire bagel. I was feeling nauseous most of the day, and did #2 several times that morning/afternoon... the feces was always liquid. I forced myself to stomach a small amount of chili. Later that evening my stomach had settled somewhat, I had a bowl of cereal with soy milk. The following day the same feeling in the morning very intense hunger to the point where thought of eating sickened me and again I tried a coffee and bagel. I didn't feel well enough to eat most of the bagel. I used the washroom, again liquid #2 a couple times and finally went out to buy a banana (it was the only food I was craving). I also got a fruit cup with grapes, melons, and some fruit that was probably orange... I didn't feel like eating the orange part for some reason, but the other melon and grapes I ate no problem... the banana was under-ripe so I couldn't eat it, but I ate a mango instead. I felt a little better after this assortment of fruit, but it wasn't until the evening that I started feeling myself again. I ate two bowls of cereal (the kind with oats mixed with nuts and raisins) with soy milk.This is the fourth day. I awoke again today with excruciating hunger pains. I was hungry but repulsed by thoughts of eating anything but a banana. I went out and bought a banana and ate it but found I had to do so a little bit at a time. I used the bathroom again at least a half dozen times by 2pm (this is becoming a trend I really don't enjoy) again the feces is liquid. Today I drank several glasses of water as I'm worried I may be becoming dehydrated with using the washroom so frequently and liquidly. I ate another mango around noon, and got a vegetable cup today with carrots, celery, broccoli, and cauliflower. I also ate a few cherry tomatoes. I got a carton of half and half cream and drank that after eating a multivitamin (I got them since I'm concerned maybe I'm missing some serious vitamins or minerals). I also drank one of those Carnation Breakfast drinks since solids seem really unappealing to me while I suffer the constant and intense hunger. The breakfast drink sat pretty heavy in my stomach. Even after eating all that I still had hunger pains that would not subside till around 6-7 in the evening (this seems to have been the same trend over the last four days). I ate half a bowl of chili to try and get some meat and fiber... i couldn't stomach any more than half the can though. Right now it's 10:00pm, I feel better, but I'm afraid to go to sleep.... will it all just begin again tomorrow... will this suffering end... what's wrong with my body? While I'm feeling healthy tonight I think I'm going to try stuffing myself before bed, perhaps if I'm full while asleep I won't wake up with crippling hunger tomorrow... otherwise I think I'll be calling a doctor. Any suggestions, diagnosis, and/or preventative measures would be greatly appreciated... I never want to feel this way again.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 13, 2007
    • 05:06 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • My suggestion would be to eat vitamins, and something heavily loaded with protein (like tuna). You're probably suffering from Protein-Energy (marasmus) Malnutrition. The most important store to keep is your protein reserve (muscles aswell as things that keep your blood from falling out of your veins). Bagels and coffee aren't the most nutritious of food, ESPECIALLY when you're not able to eat that much.You might have some inflammatory bowel disease or something. It would explain the watery stools. You'll probably need some immunomodulators to control it (if it is Crohns disease). Maybe coeliac either. It's strange because you're so tall... Regardless, you need investigations of your blood and bowel. If you are getting hungry and are just getting pains in your stomach and gut, then it's a gut problem. I'm afraid you'll need to go to a gastroenterologist to get to the bottom of it. It's all well and good posting on the forum, but it's not going to help you-- especially if you're living in the discomfort that you're describing. You seem like an intelligent person. Go and GET IT SORTED! Try painkillers in the meantime. PS that doctor who certified you for work (and ignored your problem) is a ******s
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 6, 2009
    • 04:14 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hey,I would definitely recommend getting your thyroid checked, you sound pretty hyper to me (hyperthyroid), which is an over active thyroid- causes anxiety, ultra fast metabolism, diarroeah among other things. I would also get your adrenals checked, your adrenals sound pretty stressed. Although you're experiencing mental symptoms (anxiety, depression etc) this isn't all in your head, it will probably be the result of a horomonal imbalance or nutritional deficiency. I'd also recommend a megnesium supplement- mag is an essential mineral that so many of us are deficient in!! By the way, I'm no dr, taken my advice with a pinch of salt if you like, but I feel drs can be pretty unknowledgable about how our bodies work... ironic I know. Our bodies have an amazing ability to self heal once given the right nutrients, minerals etc. Try and see a good holistic, or integrative dr if you can.Best of luck!!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 12, 2009
    • 09:23 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I'm not a doctor, but I would highly suggest going to see one, a different one than the one that cleared you for work. If you are not satisfied with your current physician it is well within your rights to seek out a different one. Not all doctors are exactly the same. There are some bad doctors who are just too jaded and there are those that listen and are good at their jobs. Don't count out medicine because some doctors are bad at their jobs. Don't be afraid to get a second or third opinion (or however many you need). In any case, I was thinking because of your lack of appetite, diarrhea, and weight loss, you might want to ask your physician about a possible parasite. But definitely go see a gastroenterologist. All though you may need a referral from your primary care physician first. Just remember all the holistic and homeopathic therapies may make you feel better, but when things really go wrong, you go see a doctor.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.

Signs of a Psoriasis Flare

Know the five types of psoriasis and how to spot flares.

How Diabetes Medications Affect Your Appetite

Newer diabetes treatments can suppress appetite and aid weight loss.

What to Do For Dry Mouth

Try these tips to get your salivary glands back into action.

The Painkiller – Constipation Connection

Constipation is a common side effect of opioid and narcotic pain medicines.

9 Signs of Sensitive Skin

Is it sensitive skin or something else?