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Obesity and Weight Management

Weight help

01/02/2008

Question:

i have had a eating disorder since i was 13 years old. i am now 20. i have been eating healthy for the pasts 4 years now and i have kept my weight at the same weight. i exercise everyday. i watch what i eat. i admit i still count calories and i`m afraid to eat most foods still but i`m working on it. i dont eat junk food. i just dont understand why i gained it. i am eating less and exercising more. and it wont come off. i feel so tired all the time from it and i dont want to make my self sick again. i dont know if its water weight or muscle i put on. i tried water pills and even water pills from the doctor and they wont work. its like i`m eating less and less and i`m gaining more. i dont understand it. i`m really scared i dont want to gain the weight back i lost. can not having your period normal or just having no pariod but you get symtoms of it make you gain weight and keep it on. can some one help me understand why i`m gaining weight.i just want to get back down to the weight i was at. it was a healthy weight and i dont want to go below that. i just want this extra weight off.please help

Answer:

Abnormal periods and unexplained weight gain can be a sign of an underactive thyroid. I suggest that you have your regular doctor check your thyroid function. However, if your thyroid is noted to be functioning normally, I urge you to try to reduce your fixation on the numbers on the scale and rather on how your clothes fit.

It is not appropriate to compare your body at age 16 and now at age 20 because your body SHOULD be different after completing progression through puberty. Although you want your weight to be at a certain level, which, from what you state is difficult to obtain, it may just be that your body has developed a different weight set point (perhaps 2-3lbs heavier than the weight that you state is your goal weight). 

Being too thin can also be the cause of your not having periods. Dangerous dieting, water pills, and laxatives are not the answer.

I suggest that you continue with your treatments/therapy for your eating disorder and continue to learn how to eat correctly, an important skill for the rest of your life. Eating correctly along with exercise should always allow you to be at an appropriate weight for your body.

For more information:

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Response by:

Jennifer Shine Dyer, MD, MPH Jennifer Shine Dyer, MD, MPH
Former Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University