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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes great weight loss while suffering from anxiety and depression?

Answered by
Dr. Ilir Sharka


Practicing since :2001

Answered : 5463 Questions

Posted on Sat, 24 Feb 2018 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: Okay. This is complicated and I haven't been to the doctor yet, but here goes. Stuff has been going on now for about a year in increments. My husband passed away through an unexpected tragedy in March of 2016 and in about three weeks time I lost approximately 12 lbs. I thought it was just part of the grief diet, so to speak and didn't think much about it, even though I was eating--just maybe not as regularly as before the tragedy, but now that I look back on it that was a great deal of weight to lose in that short amount of time. I've also never gained that weight back even though I do eat well. I am very concerned because I have had approximately 4 episodes of something in the past year. During these episodes, which come on me without any warning, I feel my heart racing and one time it beat so hard I wondered if somebody could see it thumping through my chest. Then I'll feel a bit lightheaded, and then approximately 15 minutes later I'll get a tingly and stiff kind of feeling (can't figure out how to express this part) all around my face and ears. Then I get very teary and just want to cry. I'm not having anything stressful happen during these times either. Two of the times I was outside doing some light chores, nothing at all strenuous or with getting up or down quickly either. Once I was just standing at my place of work and chatting with a coworker about nothing in particular--weather, plans for the weekend, etc and the last time was last evening at approximately 8:30 while waiting for my 19 year old son to try on a pair of jeans in a store dressing room. I have noticed that they're increasing in their duration each time though. The episode last evening began, as I said before, at 8:30 and he then drove us home and I didn't feel well enough to even try to sleep until about 1:00 a.m. I got up this morning at 8:30 feeling just fine. I've had blood work, cbc, in the past 8 months and everything was normal with that. What do you think? Also, don't know if any of this is related but for the past 5 years, at least once a year, I will wake up with my eyes both nearly swollen shut from hives--no hives elsewhere though and hadn't been using any new makeup products or laundry detergent or soaps. I'm 54 years old and except for an occasional bout of mononucleosis or sinus infection or strept throat every few years, I'm pretty healthy. No medications on a daily basis, just a multivitamin and I try to limit my intake of processed foods and sugars--limit, but I don't deprive myself of an occasional weekly splurge. LOL

Just realized that I had forgotten a few other symptoms or whatever. I feel hot or overheated much more than others, even in what they say is a chilly atmosphere. Thought it was hot flashes, but I haven't had a period since I was 47 and am now 54, so that's probably no longer applicable. Occasionally, like maybe once every two weeks, I'll experience a bout of insomnia and just lie in bed and look at the clock on and off for what seems like all night. But it's not a consistent happening and for the most part I sleep well. I think I've finally covered everything!--and maybe these things aren't even pertinent.
Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
I would explain as follows:

Detailed Answer:

Welcome and thank you for asking on HCM!

I passed carefully through your questions and would explain that it is important performing a comprehensive differential diagnosis of different possible causes that may mimic this clinical scenario: a cardiac arrhythmia, thyroid dysfunction, partial epilepsy seizures, or a panic disorder (anxiety).

Coming to this point, I would recommend performing some tests to investigate for the possible causes:

- a chest X ray study
- a resting ECG and cardiac ultrasound
- an ambulatory 24-48 hours ECG monitoring to examine your heart rhythm trends for a prolonged time and investigate for possible cardiac arrythmia
- complete blood count for anemia
- thyroid hormone levels for thyroid dysfunction
- blood electrolytes.

If all the above tests result normal, an EEG would be needed to investigate for possible partial epilepsy seizures.

At the end, if all the above tests result normal, you should consider anxiety as the main cause of your complaints. In such case, I would recommend consulting with a specialist of this field.

Hope you will find this answer helpful!

Kind regards,

Dr. Iliri
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Ilir Sharka 4 hours later
I'm really thinking that it may be that I have hyperthyroidism since I have an aunt and uncle who have it. I wish that I could explain the odd sensation or feeling of tingliness and stiffness that I feel around my head and ears minutes after the heart racing/pounding. I am appreciative of your input. I'm making an appointment to be seen by my GP this week and will definitely print the information you've given and take it along with me. Thank you!
Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 10 hours later
Brief Answer:
I would explain as follows:

Detailed Answer:
Hello again!

I am glad to have been helpful to you!

Performing your thyroid hormone levels analysis, would be the right step to check if you have any thyroid problems. A thyroid dysfunction could mimic such clinical scenario.

If you have any other questions, please let me know about everything!

Hope to have clarified some of your uncertainties!

Wishing good health,

Dr. Iliri
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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