Let me to tell you being young female and undiagnosed with an invisible illness that causes weight loss is not easy.
My journey started over a year ago with a horrible virus that I never recovered from. Me and my brother both caught a virus my brother recovered within 24 hours I got rid of the virus within 24 hours but developed chronic nausea. After two weeks of battling with nausea constantly knocking back Petobismol I rang the doctor they gave me anti acids which only helped slightly I have later come to realise I have GERD so that is why they helped slightly. A few weeks later I experienced my first ever traumatizing doctors appointment. I finally decided to see a doctor face to face which now I look back on and wished I’d asked for a female doctor. I told the doctor all my symptoms nausea, weight loss of over a stone, faint feeling when I stand up, breathlessness. The doctor then processed to ask me after hearing all my symptoms “Do you like your weight? are you bulimic? these young girls don’t like their weight”. I just sat there speechless. My mum then told the doctor I have a massive phobia of sick so there was no way I was causing this myself. He also had the cheek to tell me to never stand up when I told him I get faint after standing up, he included a special demonstration just for us. The doctor then did some routine check ups for hernia, h pylori and celiac disease. When all of those came back negative the doctor diagnosed me with ibs and anxiety. The doctor actually said to me ” I don’t want to see you again in here”. It was the first I had cried in a doctors office it felt like he had just told me you can never be free of this nausea. I was then sent to a therapist for six months which surprise surprise did nothing and I felt like I was wasting precious time but I wanted it so much to work. I gave up on doctors for a while after that continuing to battle through life and university with nausea over time I slowly lost more and more weight. I did try different diets during that time gluten free and dairy free gluten free helped so I stuck with it for a while but I still had bad session of nausea and almost fainting and shakes. I did go back a few times to the doctors for many other reasons and each time they said the weight loss was due to eating less and diet change. I personally felt there was something wrong.
I lost 6 lbs over last Christmas which was odd because it was when I ate more food than I normally would as I was at home. I visited the doctors again making sure I didn’t get the same the doctor again. After loosing over 2 stone I finally had a female doctor that listened to me!! She did lots of tests including testing me for celiac disease and h pylori again of course they both came back negative. I was also tested for diabetes which came back negative and my thyroid was checked it was working normally. I did need my liver checked twice though the first time it was acting funky like I had a virus. After all those were fine I was finally referred to gastro!! Since then I’ve had many tests so far all have been negative.
During this journey I have gone from 10 stone 5 lbs to as little as 7 stone on bad days even though I always eat. Every time I look at myself I love it but hate it, unintentional weight loss is funny. That is why every time I get told I’m clear of one illness I’ve been tested for my mind says are you doing this to yourself? Why are you doing this to yourself?
In these two years of battling with the unknown illness everyday I’ve got stronger I can manage with daily chores easier and when nausea comes to visit me everyday I find natural ways to ease it. I still have my bad days when I cannot function but I know that is my body saying I need to rest. I try not to blame myself but its hard not to when you have constant judgement. I do not let my anxiety control me. I do not let this illness control me. I will find out whats wrong with my body. I will not let it slowly kill me.