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Obesity and Weight Management

Sudden Weight Gain

11/18/2010

Question:

Hi there, I am a 31 year old female who has been between 115-120 lbs my whole life. I recently spent 3 months in South Africa and during the last 8 weeks I went from 114lbs to 134 lbs almost all of the weight is in my thighs/butt area. Since I got home a month ago doctors have done tests for thyroid and kidney function etc. and have come up with nothing. Since being home I have drastically reduced my caloric intake and got back into the gym, but the weight is NOT coming off. Does this sound like a normal weight gain, or do I need to find another doctor and have more tests run? (I am also VERY fatigued and have gotten every little virus that has come around since I`ve been home as well).

Answer:

Thanks for your question. I'm sorry to hear about your weight gain after returning from your trip. Is it possible you've dropped your calorie intake too low and your metabolism has dropped?

There is a remote possibility that you could have picked up some type of virus that may have affected your metabolism (certain gut bacteria may be implicated in weight gain or loss). The fact that you are very tired and have picked up "every little virus," makes me wonder if something else is going on. You may want to have iron studies done as iron deficiency can affect metabolism as well.

I'd suggest you get a second opinion from a doctor that works in tropical medicine. If you are in the Cincinnati area, UC has a family medicine practice that does travel medicine. If you have picked up something from your trip, it could be something rare that a specialist may be able to diagnosis.

In the meantime, keep up the diet and exercise. I'd also suggest you meet with a Registered Dietitian to review your diet and exercise plans to make sure they are appropriate.

Good luck!

Related Resources:

Find a Dietitian: American Dietetic Association

For more information:

Go to the Obesity and Weight Management health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Adjunct Faculty
University of Cincinnati