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Loss of appetite, coughing clear mucous, reduced weight, long sleep hours. Had blood test. What it could be?

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Emergency Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 300 Questions
Hi over the past few days I have been tired all day long and having to keep going to sleep. last week I slept for 2 whole days straight, I have a cough that's I've only just got today and after eating dinner I felt like vomiting but instead was coughing up clear mucous. Last week I lost my appetite completely for no reason and lost alot of weight and had to force myself to eat something. I'm eating again now but I've been awake maybe 5 hours only today and slept the rest. I've been to the doctors and had a blood test but that will take 3 days I really want to know what I can do to get better now. I usually have so much energy im like a kid. Please help
Posted Mon, 13 May 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Sheeba Stephen 1 hour later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

From the description of your symptoms, I would consider two possibilities. One is the "prodrome" of a underlying infectious disease like typhoid, hepatitis, etc. Often such infections can have a period of "prodromal symptoms" where the person may have non-specific symptoms like tiredness, fatigue, sleep and appetite disturbances, etc. before manifesting the usual symptoms of infection like fever, etc. The other less likely possibility which has to be considered is an atypical depression. Though inability to sleep, low mood, etc. are the typical symptoms of depression, there can be a form of 'atypical' depression, where the person can have excessive sleep, appetite changes, tiredness and lack of energy.

The blood test results would be able to give a better idea whether there is an underlying infection coming up. As you wait for the test results, I would advise you to drink plenty of water and fruit juices. If you are not able to eat adequate quantities, then you can try having smaller and more frequent meals. Avoid oily or fatty foods. Taking lots of yogurt and milk can help with improving the appetite. You can also try taking a pro-biotic supplement to help improve your digestive system. Try to go out expose yourself well to sunlight and be as active as possible during the day, so that your sleep-wake rhythms can get back to normal.

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Sheeba Stephen
Emergency Medicine Consultant
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