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What causes loss of appetite, headache and excessive sweating in an elderly person?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2011
Answered : 184 Questions
I am an 87 year old female. Not generally a fragile one. For the past few weeks have had continued loss of appetite, loss of energy, slight headaches and excessive sweating during the night. Also constantly feeling chilled like I have a fever.
Wed, 30 May 2018 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Can be early signs of systemic infections

Detailed Answer:
Hi! Welcome to Healthcaremagic. Thanks for sharing your concerns with us. We will try to help you in the best way possible. First of all, it's sad to know what you had been going through lately.

Based on the history you have shared, these all can be signs of early systemic infection either due to bacterial or viral causes but baseline workups like complete blood counts along with inflammatory markers like CRP and ESR should be done.

Temperature charting should be done but for symptomatic relief, OTC analgesics like acetaminophen or Ibuprofen can be taken. But if fever spiked occur and persist a detailed examination by your primary care physician and other workups like chest X-ray and blood cultures may also be needed.

These are non-specific symptoms which can be attributed to any systemic illness even some kind of chronic condition like chronic enteric infection, so should be worked up and can't be ignored.

Wishing you a speedy recovery. Hope this has answered your query.
If you have any more questions please feel free to ask.

Brief Answer:
Systemic illness affects the bodily organs and systems, please see the detailed answer below

Detailed Answer:

Systemic illness means any infection or inflammation or any other abnormality involving multiple body systems.

Like eg. take the throat infection which seems like involving only a part of the body some systemic infections it can also be caused due to enteric or typhoid fever etc which can affect the whole body and trigger generalized unrest though predominant symptoms are in the gut system.

Similarly, some autoimmune or hematological diseases may lead to such symptoms that you shared but baseline workup (as explained earlier) and examination is a must to guide further.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes loss of appetite, headache and excessive sweating in an elderly person? 17 minutes later
what is a systemic illness
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