Weight Loss

Differential Diagnosis of Involuntary Weight Loss

  • Malignancy
  • Infections (acute / chronic)
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Diabetes (uncontrolled)
  • Depression / Psychosis
  • Hepatitis (acute)
  • Peptic Ulcer
  • Nausea / Vomiting (due to many causes)
  • Diarrheal Illness
  • Adrenal Insufficiency (rare)

Symptoms to Inquire About

Diarrhea
Nausea / Vomiting
Cough
Hoarseness
Dysphagia
Fever / Sweats
Drugs (esp. stimulants)
Hemoptysis
Hematemesis
Hematochezia / Melena
Hematuria
Vaginal Bleeding
New Lump /  Lesion
Pleuritic Chest Pain
Upper Abdominal Pain
Lower Abdominal Pain
Pelvic Pain
Depression / Psychotic Sx

Complete PE, including

Lymphadenopathy
Hepatosplenomegaly
Jaundice
Breast Mass
Prostate Nodule
Nodules under Tongue (smoker)

Basic Lab Tests

CBC
Sed Rate / CRP
TSH
Full Chemistry Panel
LDH
HIV Antibody
PSA if >50 (Afr-Am >40)
Chest X-Ray

More Extensive Tests

  • Abdominal & Pelvic CT
  • Chest CT (if smoker)
  • Colonoscopy (if >50)
  • Mammogram (woman >40)
  • Cosyntrosyn Stimulation Test (if orthostatic hypotension)

See Postings Weight Loss – 1 and Weight Loss – 2.

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