Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Unexplained weight gain

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 10 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • February 12, 2009
  • 02:58 PM

I am a 39 year old female. I have two boys, ages 5 and 7, who were born by c-section. Since the birth of my second son in 2003, I have been trying and unable to lose weight. No matter how hard I try, what diet I try, instead of losing weight I keep gaining weight, a total of 20 lbs. in 5 years! I have looked into food allergies and intolerances, thyroid malfunction, usual blood tests, and everything seems normal. I've talked to nutritionists, who've said I don't eat enough (avg. 900-1000 kcal/day), and that I have a very slow metabolism. I am exercising every day, burning approx. 400 kcal each morning, and I keep adding weight, instead of losing. I follow a balanced and healthy diet without excesses, but nothing I do seems to help kick my metabolism into action again. My libido has been affected as well. I tried going off the pill for over a year, and that didn't change anything either. Is there any other syndrome/disease that I should be looking into? All doctors keep telling me to just maintain a balanced diet, eat more, and exercise more. But I don't buy it. Any suggestions?

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10 Replies:

  • Have you had your TSH checked? Sounds like many of the symptoms related to hypothyroidism.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 13, 2009
    • 00:13 PM
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  • Yes, I visited an endocrinologist who checked my TCH, and said all was normal.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 14, 2009
    • 00:47 AM
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  • Okay, I've read your posting. Realize that dieting can sometimes be quite deceptive in its ability to cause weight loss and your doctors are correct in that too few calories can acually down-regulate your metabolism. I would simply reaffirm here that at you age, naturally occuring changes take place in metabolism, some of which are guided by genetics. This can be impacted by changes following pregnancy as well. Beyond that factor, however, is the simple equation that your body absolutely must burn more calories than is being consumed in order for weight loss to occur. The fact that you mention libido would make me wonder whether the possibility of mild clinical depression may be an influential factor here, which would account for decreased sexual activity or pleasure and the increase in body weight. I would doubt at this point whether an underlying physical disorder or disease would be responsible. Best regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies
    • February 14, 2009
    • 01:31 AM
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  • So what can I do about my depression?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 14, 2009
    • 03:30 AM
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  • I'm sure I'm stating the obvious, but there are anti-depressants you can take. For me (I have a tendency towards depression), I avoid depression by getting up early. Conversely, if I sleep in I become very depressed, quickly. It's probably related to light exposure, but it's a very consistent correlation. Exercise is also helpful. But getting back to your original question, I'm wondering about two things: medications (many will tend to cause weight gain) and alcohol consumption (same).
    goldenmom7500 5 Replies
    • February 14, 2009
    • 07:32 PM
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  • Well, I'll tell you here that I'm not the greatest fan of simply prescribing anti-depressants based upon symptomatology and many physicians are very quick to the draw in doing so. The reason that I don't initially favor it is because if there are any environmental, social or personal circumstances very proximal to the situation responsible for causing the depression, then no amount of medication can overcome it and this is where many folks wind up feeling tranquilized as efforts are made to diminish symptoms without regard to the circumstances. Secondly, it's very important to find a specialist that can administer depression inventories to determine the nature and intensity of clinical depression if it exists. Some people are very aware of factors that could be precipitating depression, while others do not recognize either the factors or the symptoms and still others who are fully aware and in denial. I simply think it's wise to approach evaluation and treatment in such instances very carefully and methodically to avoid premature decisions about the use of anti-depressants. It may also be that professional counseling with someone specializing in clinical depression may be of benefit, depending upon how you believe that you might respond to such intervention. Again, I think that the persistent weight gain and diminished libido is related to clinical depression, but my suggestion is to search out the right professional for an in-depth evaluation before proceeding with any considerations regarding treatment. You'll be fine. Best regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies
    • February 15, 2009
    • 02:02 AM
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  • You mentioned that you were off the pill for a year - what form of birth control did you use in the interim? Are you taking any other medications other than birth control and what type of bc are you on? Birth control pills can affect your libido, and can also cause weight gain.I strongly suggest trying a non hormonal birth control. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3080 Replies
    • February 15, 2009
    • 05:12 AM
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  • Hi, I just wanted to ask you if you had your vitamin D tested. My best friend had problems with depression and weight gain and after about 5 years on anti depressants (and more weight gaing from the meds) she stopped her meds. She started taking vitamin D and calcium and has only had minor episodes of depression since. Anyhow she was able to lose most of the weight afterwards as well. Another thing you might want to look into is your cortisol levels. (not that I think this is your problem) but it does cause weight gain. The best of luck... Kiera
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 18, 2009
    • 09:23 PM
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  • I also have had problems with dropping weight. I am a former bodybuilder and have always done plenty of exercise - resistance and aerobic. However, over the last 10 years my weight crept up by about 30 pounds. When my tried and true weight loss techniques failed, I tried all kinds of diets and programs. None of these were successful. My brief flirtation with a personal trainer resulted in a weight gain of 10 pounds in only 7 weeks. In desperation I enrolled in an expensive six month program supported by medical professionals, dieticians, and exercise physiologists. Five months into the program, my weight has plateaued after a loss of only 6 pounds, I am battling to maintain this position. I have had a full battery of tests done. My blood pressure is normal, my resting heart rate is 57, there is no evidence of diabetes or problems with my thyroid. I initially thought that middle age had delivered me a low metabolism, only to find out after testing that my resting metabolic rate is 2191 - in the high range. My calorie intake is around 1800 per day - not even reaching my resting metabolic rate. Add to that around 600-1000 calories of exercise per day. I should be losing weight but I am not. Diet is not an issue. Exercise is not an issue. Stress is not an issue. Medically, the usual suspects of diabetes and hypothyroidism have been eliminated. However, there is something wrong somewhere. The staff on my expensive program have no answers, referring to my case as "unusual" and "atypical". I have thinking of having my cortisol levels checked. Any suggestions ?Thanks
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 22, 2009
    • 10:24 AM
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  • Hi ipgf... Ask for the thyroid results and see if you are anywhere close to the upper/lower range. Many people (including myself) go undiagnosed with harsh symptoms even tho their results come back normal. When you get the results find a good thyroid forum and post them there. Also elevated cortisol levels can cause the type of problems you are having. These levels can be quite hard to catch so you need to have them retested alot and also ask for a 24 hour urine test as well. Kiera
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 23, 2009
    • 06:45 PM
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