Family, Internal Medicine, General Medical Questions/Unexplained Weight Loss


My mother-in-law is 88. She was diagnosed with heart failure and kidney failure in 2006, but has not gotten significantly worse since then. (Her kidneys have been around 25% functioning for several years.) At a routine appointment on May 16 she weighed 130 pounds, which was an expected weight at that time. On August 2, she was down to 108 pounds, though she was eating normally. Despite increasing her intake since then, today she is at 104 pounds.

She had an x-ray and a CT Scan (without dye.) Docs expected cancer but saw none. She does have an enlarged heart and multiple compression fractures, but that wasn't surprising. Her doctor mentioned something small on her lung, but doesn't think it warrants follow-up, and my mother-in-law's breathing is fine. She was also checked for diabetes, and her thyroid was checked. Everything is fine. She doesn't have nausea or diarrhea or any other symptom.

The only change in medication was a few months ago. She was taking 40 mg lasix in the morning, and is now taking 20 mg twice a day instead.

Except for the weight loss, she seems healthier than ever. She has decent energy; we go out daily. Mentally she is functioning well. Her strength is good. Overall, I would say she is in remarkable shape for her age and medical history.

The doctors don't know what else to look into, but they are open to suggestion. Any ideas? Could the change in lasix make a difference?

I think a general and specific workup.....   routine labs including thyroid testing.   The Cat scan.  Possibly endoscopy.

With a history of heart failure and kidney failure, this could be simply failure to thrive also, but I would ensure that the other workup is being done.

Family, Internal Medicine, General Medical Questions

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Robert Borucki


I am an expert in Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine.


I am trained and boarded in Family Medicine and have also worked extensively in emergency medicine for over 10 years.

BA in Natural Sciences; MD in 1986\borucki

©2016 All rights reserved.