Fill Out Your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...

HELP! Stomach Issues and Weight Loss

Options

At the beginning of the year, I started a new "diet" (not really a diet, just wanted to start eating better and exercising regularly again). Well I got off to a great start....but my eating: I have ZERO appetite. I lost 20 pounds in about 6 weeks, and right now, I've been pretty stable, but my appetite is still not there. I just don't feel like eating, even though my stomach could be growling! I have no pain, no diarrhea, no constipation, nothing! I do have a little bit of nausea if I drink anything on an empty stomach (it will come right back out). I'm not sad about the weight loss yet, its everything i gained since my diagnosis...but I can't afford to lose any more!

I went to my ONC doctor, he just told me to make sure I am getting 2000 calories a day and referred me to a dietician and gastro dr. My insurance denied the request. So i made an appt with my PCP. She seemed a little more concerned and referred me to a dietician and a Gastro dr...my insurance denied it. It's probably not cancer related, but I can't help but go there.

Has anyone experienced something similar? Or does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do next?

«1

Comments

  • dutchiegirl
    dutchiegirl Member Posts: 76
    Options

    I live in Canada so our healthcare system is different. In April of 2018, I realized that I had lost 10 lbs in three months, without trying. I've always had a low-average BMI, so this was a little alarming. And to top it off, I had started menopause so it just didn't sit right with me. My doctor agreed and sent me for an abdominal U/S, among other tests. Nothing showed. 6 months later, I found a lump in my breast. I know for me, there is a correlation between weight loss and disease. In your case, you definitely need tests to rule out anything related to cancer. It could be something totally innocuous, but I would definitely insist on finding out what's going on. I truly wish you didn't have to fight with your insurance provider to get necessary tests. The very best of luck to you, and I hope you get this resolved!

  • wallycat
    wallycat Member Posts: 1,245
    Options

    In my 30s, I went MONTHS with horrible nausea and because of the nausea, eating was a chore (I usually live to eat!). I had just had a routine exam, so no alarm bells. Then I went to my gyn for my annual pap/gyn visit. They found a walnut sized mass on my right ovary. The tumor was a dermoid and mine was b-9 but the moment that thing was removed, my appetite came back and the nausea disappeared. Maybe your gyn would get insurance to cover something. Even a pelvic ultrasound....???

    Dietitians can help guide you on calories and food consumption, but they can't take away nausea and they can't stimulate your appetite! (My undergrad is in dietetics ;-) ).

    Best to you!

  • Each_day_2018
    Each_day_2018 Member Posts: 66
    Options

    Thanks for chiming in guys! And wallycat - I haven't had a pap since all this started in 2018...just distracted by all of my other appointments/work/kids/etc LOL. I should probably reschedule just to rule out anything gyn-related.

  • 2019whatayear
    2019whatayear Member Posts: 464
    Options

    20 lbs in 6 weeks is a lot if you aren't trying to lose weight. It's likely more than 10% of your total weight. They ask about unintended weight loss during every single doc visit. Did your Onocologist do blood work when you went to your appt? I mean what the heck. I know it's scary but I don't think you can let this go. You need answers. It could be hyperthyroidism, it could be diabetes, it could be celiac disease.

  • sondraf
    sondraf Member Posts: 1,580
    Options

    Has that been a consistent weight loss or was it front-loaded with an initial 5 lbs of water loss and then consistent 2lbs per week? Some diets like Whole30 or paleo you can really lose appetite quick because you get more satiated from a shift to increased fat/protein. Still, you've had your ovaries removed and while exercise and eating better can help drive weight loss at that level, it does seem rather quick. Best start with the gyn and go from there.

  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,682
    Options

    I would insist on endoscopy. I lost 17 pounds quickly and could eat three bites and be full, along with nausea. Had an endoscopy. He took biopsies. Came back Stage IV to my stomach. Please note mine was invasive lobular, and it has more of a tendency to go to the GI tract. I’m not trying to scare you, but take it from me. Listen to your body.

  • Each_day_2018
    Each_day_2018 Member Posts: 66
    Options

    It's not a consistent weight loss, it happened pretty quickly up front and now I am just making an effort to get calories in so I can maintain my weight.

    My onc doctor ran all of my blood work and it was normal. I also had my exchange surgery (expanders to implants) on March 18 and they checked my blood before that too. It was normal. Because of that, my onc doesn't generally do anything additional because 'the bloodwork is fine.' I don't agree with that mentality so I'm just trying to figure out what to do next!

    KBL - I had a small area of LCIS; would that increase that chance that it could spread to the stomach/gi tract?

  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,682
    Options

    Mine was never found in my breast, so I’m afraid I don’t know. I do know lobular has more of a chance to move to the stomach than ductal. There are a lot of people on this forum that have breast cancer and normal lab tests.

    Gastro is not to just check for cancer. You could have gastritis or something else. I don’t understand why they would deny an endoscopy. You’re having stomach issues. That should be enough to be seen, at least at an appointment, if nothing else. I think the gastro should evaluate you and go from there.

  • KBeee
    KBeee Member Posts: 695
    Options

    Unexplained weight loss should always be investigated. Your docs need to resubmit it to insurance and perhaps use more urgent warning. Keep a food diary as well. Hoping all comes back fine.

  • Each_day_2018
    Each_day_2018 Member Posts: 66
    Options

    Ok ladies - thank you for pushing me to find more answers! I made an appt with my GYN, but they can't get me in til the end of May. In the meantime, I got through to my insurance and will be seeing the GI dr on Thursday and go from there.

    I did not mention initially, but I have also been having more and more severe mood swings and increasingly worse anger (which is not in my nature AT ALL). Is this common with menopause? Or could this be from something else/should I have other testing done? Of course, I plan to ask my GYN, but that's a while away so I wanted to see if any of you have any insight you can give me.

  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,682
    Options

    Could the mood swings possibly be related to the Armidex? I’m not on that, so I don’t know. I would ask your oncologist if the mood swings could be related. I’m glad you got an appointment with the gastro.

  • 2019whatayear
    2019whatayear Member Posts: 464
    Options

    very glad you have an appt. for me I have better overall moods since having my ovaries /tubes out. Def say something to your docs - just in case

  • krose53
    krose53 Member Posts: 74
    Options

    Each, have you continued to lose weight? When you said it comes right back up, did you mean you vomit if you drink liquids on an empty stomach? Are you feeling better? I'm not sure if your are going through menopause but I think mood swings can be related to that. I know my girlfriend had a lot of spontaneous anger that resolved after menopause. Hope you get some answers soon.

  • lillyishere
    lillyishere Member Posts: 770
    Options

    My appetite goes down and I lose weight very fast when I'm worried. BC diagnosis, surgeries, etc. have an impact on you especially the recent surgery of breast reconstruction is not an easy one. Definitely, get checked but it can also be from so many changes in your body and mind. Let us know... Hugs!

  • Each_day_2018
    Each_day_2018 Member Posts: 66
    Options

    YAY they had a cancellation so I will go for an endoscopy tomorrow. I'm really glad it's so soon, that way I don't have to sit and worry and google. I am QUEEN of telling people not to google stuff, but I am terrible with following that very advice!

    I had a brain MRI yesterday that came back clear (WOOO!)....But I feel like every time I rule one thing out, there's 20 other things that it could be.

  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,682
    Options

    Each_Day, that’s great news. Please come back when you get the results. Yay on no brain mets. Good luck.

  • jkl2017
    jkl2017 Member Posts: 279
    Options

    Each_day, I had mood swings and anger with menopause and again (years later) with Arimidex. So if you're going through menopause while taking Arimidex, it certainly could be connected. The good news is that my emotions eventually calmed down after menopause and again after switching AIs. Hopefully you'll find an easily-remedied, non-cancer explanation for the weight loss and gastric issues. Good luck and keep us posted.



  • Each_day_2018
    Each_day_2018 Member Posts: 66
    Options

    I had the endoscopy yesterday. He said everything looked good, but they did take some biopsies so just waiting on that. I was still pretty out of it afterwards (I am very sensitive to anesthesia!) so I don't recall them saying anything about Gastritis, but looking over the paperwork they gave me, it looks like acute gastritis. Acute gastritis says it could last 2-10 days, but it's been going on nearly 5 months now.

    KBL - you said your mets to stomach was found on endoscopy. Did they say it looked bad, or did the biopsies just come up positive? Were you having any symptoms? I just want to get to the bottom of this! I know I should be thrilled that everything overall looked good and healthy, but waiting for biopsy results is just so hard...I went back and looked at my pathology from my first surgery and my main tumor was Ductal with Lobular features and with the LCIS I just don't know. I'm glad I am working towards getting answers...but cancer F-ING sucks.

  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,682
    Options

    The symptoms I was having were rapid weight loss, 17 pounds, and I wasn't big to begin with, and not being able to eat more than a few bites before being full. I also had nausea every time I ate, but I never threw up. His exact words when I came out of the procedure was my stomach looked good except for gastritis, he didn't see anything concerning, but he took five samples, which did come back with cancer. He was so shocked, he made my PCP call me and have me come to the office.

    I think everyone's symptoms are different. I really have no symptoms with the gastritis. I don't have burning or anything like that.

    I am having the symptoms of not being able to eat a lot and a little bit of nausea after I eat. I've also lost a few pounds. When I had endoscopy a few weeks ago, he said it didn't look any different than last year, which did have a few changes. I have nodules in my stomach now. I just have no idea if it's status quo or getting worse. I have to rely on my bloodwork, which I'm not sure gives the whole picture.


    After he got the results of the endoscopy, he immediately went back in and got 12 samples just to be sure. The first time he took five.

  • Each_day_2018
    Each_day_2018 Member Posts: 66
    Options

    Thanks KBL - Yeah, I also am not having the common symptoms of gastritis. I don't have any burning, pain, acid reflux, heartburn, NOTHING. It's only the lack of appetite...but I think now I'm probably deficient in some things which is causing the fatigue and weakness. I've tried like liquid protein shake-type drinks, just to get something in me, but those make me nauseous for a short period after. I am able to eat 1 full meal per day (usually late lunch/dinner), but the meal is still probably half of what I used to eat. Before, even when I was stuffed, I would still pick at the food. Now, I cannot...once I am "full" I cannot stick another bite in my mouth...It's not self control that's stopping me either; it's like I cannot physically do it!

    When I do have nausea, it comes suddenly and doesn't usually cause vomiting, but I will dry heave quite a bit. This usually happens once a day, sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the evenings.

    The endoscopy center called this morning to check in and they said the biopsy results take about a week. So I'll be over here freaking out until then...LOL. Luckily I have my first appointment with a therapist today....something I probably should have started a long time ago!

  • kmom57
    kmom57 Member Posts: 153
    Options

    Each day, thinking about you and hoping good things. Waiting sucks so bad. Sorry you are going through this.

  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,682
    Options

    Yes, the waiting is so hard. I was kind of fortunate that for once, cancer wasn't on my radar with my first endoscopy, so I didn't even think about results since he said it looked good.

  • Each_day_2018
    Each_day_2018 Member Posts: 66
    Options

    Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts! Still waiting for results from the endoscopy biopsies....it's driving me mad! On Friday, I go for an Ultrasound of the gallbladder and liver. Hopefully with the US, results will be quicker....but I'll just be over here impatiently waiting....

    KBL - I can imagine it was quite the surprise when you received that news...esp after thinking everything looked good. :(

  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,682
    Options

    Well, to be honest, I had had two cancer scares previously, so when my doc told me, I had to really be told this was real because the other two times were lots of scare and then told it wasn’t cancer. It really was cancer then, but they went down the wrong path, meaning looking for the wrong cancer.

    I’m sorry you’re still waiting.

  • 2019whatayear
    2019whatayear Member Posts: 464
    Options

    Waiting a week is rough. I hope you get good results soon and that the US results are quicker

  • Each_day_2018
    Each_day_2018 Member Posts: 66
    Options

    They uploaded the report from my endoscopy, but It only checked for a few things? Do they check for cancer? Why would the report not show it? I called the other day for the results, but no one called me back. I am going there tomorrow for the US, so I figured I'd just wait and ask then...But wanted to get some feedback in the meantime

    image

  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,682
    Options

    when I had my endoscopy, it did say negative for metastasis if there was a spot that showed no cancer. That is strange. I would definitely ask.

  • Each_day_2018
    Each_day_2018 Member Posts: 66
    Options

    Ultrasound was clear. I'm waiting to hear back from the office about my follow up appointment from the endoscopy and to see what's next. I'm stumped.

    I'm glad it's nothing serious so far....but at the same time, I need to know so we can fix it! And I feel like with the weight loss, its something. I used to always joke that I never got the 'weight loss' symptom of any health issue...I thought it was crazy that ppl could even lose weight without trying! And here I am...with no more answers than I had a month ago. Well, I take that back...I do have answers...I know it's not my liver, kidneys, gallbladder, pancreas, and whatever the endoscopy looks at :)

    Now...to just look at every other inch of me so I can finally breathe...and then repeat next time I feel a little funny...

  • Each_day_2018
    Each_day_2018 Member Posts: 66
    Options

    Still no closer to finding what's wrong. All of the US/Endoscopy, brain MRI, thyroid levels, etc have been fine. I was just thinking though, I had IDC with lobular features. When I first went to the dr with my lump, they could feel it, but it didn't show up on imaging until two years later as it was long and stringy and caused more of a thickening than a 'lump'.

    I've heard a similar stories with several women who have ILC. I'm wondering if, like with lobular, it wouldn't show up until it's more advanced? me....this could still very well due to some vitamin deficiency or something silly, but I just can't help but think its something worse. I'm down 5 more pounds and eating less and less..not because I want to, but because I just cant.. I wonder if it's depression or something? I started seeing a therapist a couple weeks ago and I think it is a good thing...I'm not sure how I feel about it yet LOL. I just don't know what else to do. :(

  • wallycat
    wallycat Member Posts: 1,245
    Options

    Could you be having a reaction to the arimidex? Can you try and stop it for a month or two and see if that helps?

    I'm so sorry for the uncertainty.