ZocdocAnswersCould me symptoms be caused by a cancer or rare disease?

Question

Could me symptoms be caused by a cancer or rare disease?

My symptoms include difficulty sleeping and fatigue, weight gain, feeling full quickly, irritability, general aches and pains, constantly flushed cheeks. What could I have? Help!

Answer

Thank you for your question and I am sorry to hear about your symptoms. I would strongly recommend that you be seen by your primary care physician for further evaluation, but here are some general thoughts. First, more information would be needed to get a clearer picture of what might be going on (your age, gender, known medical conditions, time course of symptoms, etc.). However, in general cancer is often associated with constitutional symptoms such as weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, and low-grade fevers. Weight gain would be fairly unusual. Your symptoms could be caused by an endocrine problem such as hypothyroidism, which typically causes fatigue, weakness, constipation, and weight gain. An elevation in cortisol (there are many potential causes of this) or medications such as steroids (ie prednisone) could also be responsible. Other chronic conditions such as diabetes, especially when poorly controlled, could be associated with weight gain, fatigue, and cause early satiety through slowing of the GI tract. Finally, heart conditions such as heart failure could cause fatigue, early satiety, and would be associated with shortness of breath and swelling in the legs. In the very least, you should have routine testing for diabetes, cholesterol levels, and routine age-appropriate cancer screening. Again, I strongly recommend that you meet with your primary care physician to discuss your symptoms further and start the diagnostic process!

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