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Lost weight. Tests showed problem with esophagus. Treated for parkinson. Still losing weight. Having some swallowing problem. Cure?

DOCTOR OF THE MONTH - Dec 2012
Dec 2012
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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
Answered : 1704 Questions
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DOCTOR .oVER THE PAST YEAR i HAVE LOST APPROXIMATELY 35 LBS. mY FAMILY DOCTOR FIRST SENT ME TO A SPECIALIST REGARDING MY SWALLOWING.i HAD SEVERAL TESTS DONE WHICH REVEALED PROBLEMS WITH MY ESOPHAGUS oVER TH PAST FEW MONTHS HE SENT ME TO ANOTHER SPECIALIST WHO IS TREATING MEFOR PARKINSON S..hE HAS ME ON MEDICATION TO SEE IF THERE IS ANY Improvement i DON'T THINK THERE IS CAUSE I AM STILL LOSING WEIGHT..hE HAS CHANGED A MEDICATION i TAKE FOR HYPERTENSION 3 TIMES OVER THE PAST MONTH. i HAVE ASKED MY FAMILY DOCTOR TO SET ME UP WITH A NEUROLOGIST AS i DONT THINK PARKINSON IS MY PROBLEM.i AM 74 YEARS OLD AND MY HEIGHT ID 5 FOOT 9 INCHES.i HAVE HAD SEVERAL TEST RE CANCER AND EVERYONE HAS COME BACK NEGATIVE.i STILL BELIEVE IT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH MY SWALLOWING PROBLEM THE LAST WEEK i HAVE BEEN FEELING SICK TO THE STOMACH AND VERY WEEK. dO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS.
Posted Fri, 23 Aug 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
 
 
Answered by Dr. Nsah Bernard 3 hours later
Hello XXXXXXX

Thanks for posting your query,

There are many causes of unexplained weightloss in an elderly person like yourself. Sudden, noticeable weight loss is often the result of a stressful life event, but can also be a sign of an illness such as depression or an overactive thyroid gland. So you will need to get your thyroid checked out by conducting a thyroid function test (evaluating TSH, T3, T4 etc). Cancer/carcinoid syndrome is another potential cause of weightloss and you already mentioned that it has been ruled out but having problems with your oesophagus could still be related to cancer which probably has not yet been determined through biopsy.
Psychosocial problems can also curve down your weight drastically. Weight often returns to normal when you start to feel happier, after you've had time to grieve or get used to the change. Counselling and support may be needed to help reach this stage. Significant weight loss can also be the result of an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. If you think you have an eating disorder, talk to someone you trust.
I suggest you see first an internist who can do a complete assessment to determine the actual or most probable cause of your weightloss, then he may refer you to another specialist to help manage the weight loss.

Hope this helps and wish you the best.
Dr. Nsah
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