Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

19 year old weighing 79lbs (36kg)

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 3 Replies
  • Posted By: kaziel
  • May 15, 2009
  • 06:38 AM


I am a 19 year old female who currently weighs 36kg and I suspect my weight is still going down. It's hard to get doctors to take my concerns seriously - they keep assuming I have an eating disorder despite the fact that specifically tell them I'm there of my own free will because I'm worried about my health, and insist I'm not anorexic and have in fact been skinny and trying to gain weight my whole life.

Some history:

-I'm 5'3 with a tiny frame, most women in my family are of the same build, most had problems with being underweight until their mid-20s, but none have had such severe problems.

-The most I've ever weighed has been 40kg when I was about 12

-I've been quite underweight my entire life, but have always had a very strong appetite (I can't eat a huge amount at one sitting but find myself very hungry every 1-2 hours)

-I've had iron deficient anaemia since I was at least 12 (could have been there for years, I refused to have blood tests until I was this age)

-Up until the age of 14 or so I had chronic unexplained stomach pain (possibly due to chronic constipation)

-When I was 17 I was admitted to hospital after having constant (daily) severe nausea for 2-3 months straight, resulting in loss of appetite, weight loss and eventually vomiting. During this time I had been seeing a GP who had assumed I was anorexic, but after she got blood test results back tha t showed my nutrients were fine she referred me to a specialist (who immediately had me admitted to hospital)

-In hospital I had numerous blood tests and an endoscopy, but they couldn't find anything wrong

-In the two years since then I have led a normal teenager lifestyle - lots (and I mean LOTS) of fatty, rich junk food, lots of meals, an average amount of exercise: and I am STILL losing weight. I've tried drinking protein shakes every day for months, I've tried exercise to put on muscle, I've tried to eat a healthy, protein filled diet... nothing has changed.

My concern is that in the two years I've been out of hospital and been very healthy (I rarely get sick, never anything more than a cold), I have LOST weight. While I feel okay, I'm seriously worried that I'm going to keep losing weight and eventually waste away. It's hard for doctors to take me seriously, always assuming I have an eating disorder, despite blood test results to the contrary. I keep being referred to dieticians so they can help me eat an 'enriched diet', but I think the most important course of action is to find out what is wrong with my body that is stopping me from gaining weight.

I've been seeing doctors about being underweight for years, but this is getting ridiculous! I'd really appreciate any thoughts or ideas anyone has on what could possibly be wrong. A doctor mentioned something called 'futile cycles' but said she didn't really know much about it.

Thank you very much!

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3 Replies:

  • Have you ever been tested for hyperthyroidism?
    misskr 17 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi misskr, I should have mentioned I have been tested for hyperthyroidism (multiple times) and according to a doctor it is 'a textbook example of a healthy thyroid'. Thanks for your reply!
    kaziel 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Try researching Celiac Disease? Weight gain is one of the biggest signs, plus others. Don't let doctors tell you that it only has to do with intestinal, stomach or bowels. Not always the case. They also tell you that you have to have biobsy to know. Not always the case either. If you get a blood test make sure that for weeks before you eat lots of wheat, barley and rye things so you have a good level of gluten in your system to test against. No gluten in your system will only give a false reading. I had the same problem when I was young and then it turned into many other problems when I got older. Also the chronic unexplained stomach pain is another big sign of Celiac. Trust me I know what your going through - No doctor would even consider I had it until my Grandmother almost died in the hospital and other relatives were diagonsed it. Luckly for me my current doctor at the time said why not lets try it. He told me it was a rare and most likely I did not have it. Guess what I had it! Not only that after the diet change (no medications - they were going to put me on medication to help with symptons) everything went away and you know what. I had not felt that great in years.
    krinbox 2 Replies Flag this Response
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