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Low appetite, eating disorder, weight lose. Suggest.

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Practicing since : 2000
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My daughter is 17 years old, 5'3" tall and weighs about 107 lbs. In December she weighed 121. She is losing a lot of weight quickly. She is eating very little. She says she has no appetite and feels full after only a bit of food. I have spent a lot of time talking to her and do not think it's an eating disorder - her doctor agrees after a conultation. We have had a complete blood work-up done that came back normal. We are scheduled to see a GI doctor Friday. My question is this... what might a GI doctor find that would cause this? My understanding is that the next step is psychiatric, but I am pretty convinced that it's not psych related - although am not completely dismissing it. I've done the research and it just doesn't fit her. Back to my question... what might the GI doctor find to cause this loss of appetite/full feeling so quickly?
Posted Wed, 11 Apr 2012 in Weight Loss
Answered by Dr. Poorna Chandra K.S 7 hours later

Thanks for the query.

Loss of >5% of weight over 6m constitutes a significnat weight loss more so if it has been involuntary. Such rapid weight loss occurs usually in illness which impair appetite and also cause breakdown of the energy reserves and protein. Common GI causes are - Inflammatory bowel diseases, chronic pancreatitis, GI causes of sepsis, Vascular diseases and vasculitis of the GI tract and GI malignancies. However at this age anorexia nervosa is also a common cause of a rapid weight loss. So I think a good history and examination along with some investigations will aid at arriving at the diagnosis

Hope I answered your query.

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Follow-up: Low appetite, eating disorder, weight lose. Suggest. 4 hours later
We have an appointment with a GI doctor Friday. I have spoken with my daughter significantly over the past couple of weeks (subtley and outrightly), asking her about feelings, behaviors, esteem, etc. Her family doctor also spent some time with her and we agree it is not depression and likely not anorexia - although if we eliminate all physical conditions, we can not rule it out! With the appointment Friday, the doctor she is seeing knows what I have put into this email and will see her bloodwork. What should we expect at the doctor's office? And, you listed several possibilities - thank you! Are these all causes that can be identified by the GI tests that may be run on her?
Answered by Dr. Poorna Chandra K.S 16 hours later
Hi and thanks again,

It would take a staged set to investigations to confirm / rule out the listed diseases; but the routine examination and investigations may be sufficient to allow an experienced consultant to decide which way to go further.

Hope that answers your query.

Wish your daughter good and healthy recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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