/ Health Worries

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mypyrex - on 09 Mar 2013
I've been obliged to return from "exile" and seek the benefit of the wisdom of any UKCers who might be able to throw any light on the following or offer advice.

Sister in law, who is 76 has been found to have a rapid heart beat(arrythmia? - sp)and is under her dr for that. What we are more worried about is her rapid weight loss, coupled with no real interest in food, she says she is eating but either she isn't or she isn't eating enough. She has lost about 2 stones in six months but she says the dr is not concerned about it. We do wonder if she is telling the dr the full story

She has had all sorts of tests(which would have presumably ruled out the "Big C") for other things but nobody, least of all herself, seems to be tackling the weight loss which is worrying all the rest of us. She says she is not worried but I don't think she can see how she has "wasted away".

Assuming a return to a "normal" diet I would have assumed that she would have started putting on weight with a couple of weeks, if not days but it isn't happening.

I know we are not a medical forum but anyone able to comment? I think she needs to see a nutritionist.
mypyrex - on 09 Mar 2013
Bump
toad - on 09 Mar 2013
In reply to mypyrex: I've no experience, other than my Dad, who is a little older - he simply has a much smaller appetite than he used to. If you are concerned, a dietician may be able to help, though I think would have to be referred from the GP.

Are there any psycological problems - is she active? Circle of friends? social activities?. It could just be that she's a bit down
mypyrex - on 09 Mar 2013
In reply to toad: Thanks for that. No psychological problems that we are aware of. We do wonder if she tell the Dr. everything.
In reply to mypyrex: Very sorry to hear this is troubling you all. Can you be a bit more specific about the types of tests?
mypyrex - on 09 Mar 2013
In reply to nickinscottishmountains:
> (In reply to mypyrex) Very sorry to hear this is troubling you all. Can you be a bit more specific about the types of tests?

Only that she's had tests for things like pain in her bones - which I think is caused partly by not having any "meat" on her. She's had x-rays, blood test, ecg

Sorry if that's not very specific.

ThunderCat - on 09 Mar 2013
In reply to mypyrex:

Sorry to hear your trouble.

Does she live alone? Mrs Tc's nan had a very slow slide into dementia and the very first signs we noticed was her losing weight. She said she was eating fine but when we visited we found there was nothing in the fridge. Seemed she was regularly buying food and simply not bothering / forgetting to eat, then binning the food when she noticed it had gone out of date and buying more.

Hope she's ok.

puppythedog on 09 Mar 2013
In reply to mypyrex:
One option that you could take is to talk to her GP. They may not/probably won't give you any information but you can ensure that they have heard your concerns. How you do this to manage the family politics of it would be down to you. We recently advised my Father in law that we would talk to his GP to make sure he understood how worried we were and that was accepted but may not be in your case.
I know that GP receptionists often feel it is their job to defend to someone else's death the time of the GP but you should be able to at least talk on the telephone to the appropriate GP if you insist. At least then you would know they are aware of it if you worry she is playing it down/not telling them about it.
Hope that helps,

james
jon on 09 Mar 2013
In reply to mypyrex:

Don't know about the weight loss, but arrrythmia is an irregular heart beat rather than just a fast one. I believe a fast heart beat is called tachycardia. I thought she liked egg and chips... that should fix the weight loss!
Trangia - on 09 Mar 2013
In reply to mypyrex:

Sorry to hear that. Does she live alone? Have you noticed any signs of confusion? Memory loss? A tendency to repeat things she's already told you? My step mother started exhibiting these signs at the same time as losing weight when she was in her late 70's. She also started to become slack about personal hygeine, which was surprising as she had always been fastidious and was a smart dresser.

All of these were signs that worried us and when we eventually got her doctor to get a referral to the hospital for tests they became concerned about her heart, and generally weak state. She also got a series of urinary infections which can result in confusion. Because of her heart condition she was admitted into hospital where she remained until she died from a heart attack 4 months later. During her decline which was startling and rapid she continued to lose weight, just picked at her food (she was put on a drip, but tended to pull it out) and gave up trying to walk. She became agressive towards family, nursing staff and friends. Her decline into what appeared to be dementia was also startlingly rapid, but even this was eratic, some days she would be lucid and fine, the next she wouldn't recognise us.

I do hope that you can get help for your sister in law and get her eating, because she must build up her strength, or she may get into a slippery slide like my step mum did, and that all started with her going off her food.

Good luck.

mypyrex - on 09 Mar 2013
In reply to Trangia and all:
> (In reply to mypyrex)
>
> Sorry to hear that. Does she live alone? Have you noticed any signs of confusion? Memory loss?

No, she's still running her own property conveyancing business and her husband is still alive. Obviously he's as worried as we are. She's mentally quite sharp and it seem sto be a more physical thing.
andic - on 09 Mar 2013
In reply to mypyrex:

Is she on medication which may be affecting her apetite? Perhaps some build up drinks in addition to her normal intake might help?
mypyrex - on 09 Mar 2013
In reply to andic: We've managed to persuade her to take complan
waterbaby - on 09 Mar 2013
In reply to mypyrex:
Sounds worrying and a difficult situation to deal with. Can her husband not convince her he should accompany her to the Drs? I find it difficult to believe the Dr wouldn't be concerned regarding that amount of weight loss, so perhaps she isn't telling you all something?
mypyrex - on 09 Mar 2013
In reply to waterbaby:
> (In reply to mypyrex)
> so perhaps she isn't telling you all something?
Perhaps neither is she telling the Dr.

puppythedog on 09 Mar 2013
In reply to mypyrex: Which is where you or her husband can speak to the Doctor yourselves. I strongly advocate this if can find a way without upsetting her because she feels you have gone behind her back.
Fiona Reid - on 09 Mar 2013
In reply to mypyrex:

yhm
Pompey - on 09 Mar 2013
In reply to mypyrex:
sorry to hear about this. worth finding out if she's had her thyroid checked as an overactive one can cause weight-loss and arrhythmias.
jenniwat001 on 10 Mar 2013
In reply to Pompey:

Yep, would be my first thought too.
RockAngel on 10 Mar 2013
In reply to mypyrex: i read all the way through that and got to thinking about whether it could be an overactive thyroid too. Definately worth checking to either get this blood test done or whether its already been checked
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mypyrex - on 10 Mar 2013
In reply to all: Thanks for advice and info. Apparently a blood test for thyroid is scheduled for this week.

Thanks to all.

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