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Diarrhea from 6 months, severe weight loss, unable to find cause with various tests. Any tests that you recommend ?

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My husband (54) and I have both had diahrea for almost six months- all tests failed to find bacteria or parasite- however he has had severe weight loss accompanied by loss of muscle mass in arms, legs trunk. During this period he has been working physically hard and rather than building muscle and strength has lost it. I, as the control subject, have not. (even though my diahrea is much worse and i need to take daily medication to control it). I am concerned about him because his sister died from motor neuron disease. What tests should he have.
Posted Sun, 22 Apr 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 36 minutes later
Hello,

Thanks for posting your query.

What you and your husband seem to be having is 'chronic diarrhea' which is defined as loose stools (3 or more stools per day) that last for at least four weeks.

Since both of you are having it, it looks like infectious diarrhea which may develop when you travel, after eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water or unpasteurized milk.

Both of you need to get blood, stool, urine tests and stool culture which may find the infection causing diarrhea. If these tests come out normal then other tests including X-rays or procedures such as colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy may be needed.

Till that time, you may try the following
1. Take over the counter lactobacillus preparation and yoghurt with your meals.
2. Drink plenty of fluids, eat light, do not stay hungry but eat simple things like toast, porridge, cereals, crackers, banana, rice, etc.
3. Avoid dairy products, which can worsen diarrhea (due to a temporary state of lactose intolerance).
4. Drink more fluid (except milk or caffeinated beverages) to replace fluids lost by diarrhea.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Diarrhea from 6 months, severe weight loss, unable to find cause with various tests. Any tests that you recommend ? 14 hours later
We have all tests. Blood ,colonoscopy,biopsy bowel, stool test multiple times- no amaeba, bacteria, parasite found. That is not my concern. Question was about my husband losing muscle all over body. I have not. We eat good diet- plenty of protien.he thinks losing muscle happened before diahrea. I have not lost muscle.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 13 hours later
Hello,

Thanks for posting your query.

If the muscle loss has started before diarrhea, then it needs to be evaluated. Generalized muscle wasting (cachexia) can occur with some malignancy of the stomach or cancer, AIDS or anorexia nervosa (unlikely in your husband's case).

Another reason which should be ruled out is Diabetes Mellitus.

Your husband should get a CT abdomen and his blood sugar levels done to confirm the diagnosis. for which he should consult a Gastroenterologist.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.

Regards.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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