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    What is behind this weight loss?
    An_256983 posted:
    I'm a 22 year old female college student who has been struggling greatly with various stomach issues and I'm really starting to get worried! I'm having a hard time telling if certain symptoms are interrelated with other health problems I'm having or if they are signs of something serious.
    For about a year, I have had pretty moderate to severe stomach pains. I can't remember exactly how or when it started, but I changed my diet from eating garbage processed junk, like most college kids do, to eating relatively clean and going to the gym. I felt GREAT, but soon I was losing WAY more weight than I had intended. I have never been overweight, but at that point I was at my heaviest, weighing around 135. I wasn't even aiming to "lose weight", per se, as I was just trying to improve my quality of life and hopefully get in shape in the process.
    I was keeping track of my calorie intake to ensure I was eating enough and not starving myself, and this is when I began to notice it was incredibly difficult for me to actually consume enough calories. I don't remember exactly when the pain started, but I remember calling my mom one night SOBBING because I was still 500 calories under my daily requirement and I was trying so hard to force a meal down my throat and my body just was not having it. I felt full even though I KNEW I was hungry. I felt like I couldn't swallow this food at that moment no matter how hard I tried. This issue became increasingly more apparent.
    I'm not entirely sure of the timeline of symptoms. I began having a cold, empty burning feelings in my upper abdomen. Loss of appetite got worse and worse, coinciding with the amount of pain I felt when eating initially, but eventually (and currently) my lack of appetite became worse than the pain.
    My doctor took a stool sample and told me there was a trace amount of blood in two out of three of the samples, but he attributed it to my (incredibly mild and rarely irritated) hemorrhoids. He prescribed me daily Nexium. Initially it worked, but then it stopped. I quit taking it because it was expensive and not improving my symptoms.
    I become very full very fast. I have to "graze" throughout the day to eat, and its still not enough. I am constantly gassy. Most of my pain feels like gas pain. Anti-gas medications typically work and relieve most of the pain.
    However, I was also recently diagnosed with nodules on my thyroid and typically I display hyperthyroid symptoms. I also have generalized anxiety disorder with panic attacks. I used to have problems eating when I was younger due to an intense fear of vomiting, but eventually I was able to return to normal. Vomiting (thankfully) has not been a symptom of mine, nor has nausea for the most part. I also rarely experience heartburn. My bowel movements are often irregular with diarrhea or constipation occasionally, usually more constipation. In general, my stomach pain is less severe than the initial onset of symptoms.

    I don't drink much at all (and almost never binge drink) and quit smoking cigarettes awhile ago, but I was never a heavy smoker (a pack could last me over a week and I was giving away a good portion of them). I do smoke marijuana regularly because it alleviates ALL of my symptoms from my stomach and my anxiety. It is the one thing that restores my appetite and gives me the ability to eat without pain. I'm confused about how many of these issues are related directly to a stomach problem and how much of it can be tied back to my anxiety or my thyroid (i.e.: fear has made eating difficult due to stress; weight loss due to overactive thyroid; fatigue due to lack of proper nutrients; etc). I'm trying to make an appointment with my GP to hopefully refer me to a gastro specialist, but being in college and away from home makes regular doctor visits a bit more difficult. I'm currently weighing in around 107 last time I weighed myself. My average was 115-20.

    Thanks for any help

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