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Why am I unable to gain weight?

Wednesday, 30 September 2009
Answered by: Dr Monica Mahajan
Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Max Hospital, New Delhi
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Q. I am a 28 years old man weighing 60 kg and 176 cm tall. I am not gaining weight in spite of taking adequate high protein diet. In fact, I started to lose weight as soon as I started having the following foods in my diet – lime, oranges, tea and cucumber. I have become sensitive to these foods and these things increase my anxiety too. I have undergone the following tests: endoscopy, blood sugar level, B12, hormones (T1, T2, T3, cortisol); all the test reports were normal except B12. My B12 level was 150 pg/ml. The doctor has prescribed me Meconeuron-OD. My appetite has also decreased and whenever I take slightly more food than regular, my tummy bloats. My stool colour is dark brown. Please advise.

A.  As per your height and weight, you are slightly underweight (body mass index 19.4). You most likely do not have an allergy to these food items, as that would have caused a rash, vomiting, pain. You may have food intolerance to these food items including lime, oranges, tea and cucumber. These items contain citric acid, cellulose etc, which may cause bloating and discomfort. The anxiety levels lead to an irritable bowel syndrome. Cucumber has large quantities of water and is used by people fighting obesity. If you plan to gain weight, take a high protein diet including eggs, soya, paneer, etc. You can also take protein supplements. Vitamin B 12 is present only in non - vegetarian food items and is lacking in fruits and vegetables. Your levels are low, so continue the supplement. Also get a stool sample checked to rule out any worms, infection or malabsorption. What is your ESR? In case symptoms persist, colonoscopy maybe planned. A regular exercise routine will also help to reduce anxiety and improve bowel movements.

A.  As per your height and weight, you are slightly underweight (body mass index 19.4). You most likely do not have an allergy to these food items, as that would have caused a rash, vomiting, pain. You may have food intolerance to these food items including lime, oranges, tea and cucumber. These items contain citric acid, cellulose etc, which may cause bloating and discomfort. The anxiety levels lead to an irritable bowel syndrome. Cucumber has large quantities of water and is used by people fighting obesity. If you plan to gain weight, take a high protein diet including eggs, soya, paneer, etc. You can also take protein supplements. Vitamin B 12 is present only in non - vegetarian food items and is lacking in fruits and vegetables. Your levels are low, so continue the supplement. Also get a stool sample checked to rule out any worms, infection or malabsorption. What is your ESR? In case symptoms persist, colonoscopy maybe planned. A regular exercise routine will also help to reduce anxiety and improve bowel movements.

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