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Desperately need to put weight on - please help.

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by JC87, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. JC87

    JC87

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    Hello,

    As the title says - I am in desperate need to put weight on. No matter what I do the weight is literally dropping off me and I am literally skin and bone.

    I have tried increasing nutritional intake and eat only high quality nutritious wholefoods, however the more I eat the more I go to the toilet and the faster I am losing weight.

    I eat minimum of 2 eggs everyday, usually more. I drink whole fat (goat) milk in the form of homemade kefir between meals or milkshakes. I eat protein with every meal and good fats (coconut, olive, avocado, milk) and snack on nuts. I never skip a meal. I have tried natural whey proteins as well as amino acids with no luck. They made me go to the toilet more and made my digestion of food far worse. I have seen many doctors and had numerous tests done including food intolerance tests. I have been taking digestive enzymes, supplements to repair and heal the gut and pre & probiotics amongst other things for over 3 years. Despite some improvements with digestion, the weight loss is becoming more and more of a problem - and nothing seems to slow it down.

    I am 26 year old male and my BMI is 15.7
    I have lost 7kg in 6-12 months and I am skin and bone and my muscles are literally wasting away to nothing.

    Everything I have tried to stop this weight loss has not worked or even made me lose weight faster. I am so desperate - please can someone help.

    Thankyou in advance.
  2. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Oh that is terrible, I hope you find some solution.

    Have you ever tried eliminating dairy? Allow eggs but get rid of milk, milk proteins, etc?

    You are eating leafy green vegetables, starchy vegetables, meat/fish, nuts and seeds (but not too many), and a little fruit?
  3. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    Would more carbs be good? Your BMI does not seem that low. But I am not certain.

    GG
  4. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    have you been tested for microbial causes of diahrrea? If you have been on antibiotics for any reason any time in the past several months, be sure to mention this so they will include a test for C. diff. If they took labs for parasites, did they send them to the Great Plains lab (if you are in the US)? (other labs cannot manage these tests; they will nearly always come back negative even if there are parasites visible to the naked eye)

    have you been tested for inflammatory bowel disease?

    and what SOS said, have you tried elimination diets? common allergens/intolerances include soy, milk, wheat, eggs, corn, and nuts. Also try avoiding pork products, because they have a natural compound in them which can be problematic (even whole untreated pork). but people can be sensitive to anything, and digestive upset is a common reaction. If you are sensitive to many things or to something you eat often and which is not obvious, it may be difficult to figure out. (sometimes empirically is better than the tests)

    It sounds like what you are doing may have eliminated most of these already, but it may be worth looking into excitotoxins:
    http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=17091
    whey powder is an excitotoxin. some amino acids can act like excitotoxins.

    have you been tested for cachexia? (do you have ME/CFS? or some other disease?)

    What is your activity level like? I have been able to stop/reverse weight loss sometimes in the past by cutting down my activity level. (Unfortunately I cannot cut back any more than I am now, and I can't figure out how to fix my current underweight problem.)
    snowathlete likes this.
  5. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    I agree that more carbs, especially complex carbs, could help. A high-protein diet can sometimes boost weight loss. Adding such whole grain but easy to digest starches like brown rice pasta, spelt bread, and (not whole grain but good for the gut) sticky rice, and being sure to have plenty of whatever fruits and vegetables agree with you the best, could help.
  6. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    not just whole foods but try getting protein every 3 hours, a good protein supplement/drink as its easier to drink calories then to eat them and can add MCT oil to these drinks to increase calories. Anabolic type supplements might also help u retain and put on weight, things like OKG, HMB as well as creatine, they are all common bodybuilding supplements.

    Its worth getting all your hormones tested and if low supplement. most people who are ill have low dhea levels so taking dhea when low can have slight anabolic effects and if your cortisol levels are too high this can cause weightloss by putting u in a catabolic state, dhea and phosphatidyleserine can help in these situations. B12 injections are used by bodybuilders to increase their apetitte and put weight on. Also some antidepressants have apetitte/weight increasing affects as well as helping sleep if its an issue, meds like mirtazapine and doxepine are examples plus they can help counteract high cortisol levels.

    good luck.
    helios likes this.
  7. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    Assuming that professional medical advice has been sought to rule out common disease causes for cachexia, here is another +1 for carbohydrates, with an anecdote included:

    After some questionable treatments which affected my digestion, I lost a lot of weight and got down to an almost identical BMI to JC87. The mistake I made in response was trying to eat normally as if I was well. At the time, fats in particular really seemed to slow down my digestion and including them was just exacerbating the problem. What helped was an increase in carbohydrate-rich foods while greatly lowering fat intake, and to a lesser extent, less protein intake. Foods which are not energy-dense were also largely avoided for a while, such as most vegetables. Also, eating more frequently with smaller proportions, not large meals. Once weight and digestion slowly returned, I gradually reintroduced items.

    Try to calculate your daily energy intake and see if it is around normal. I did at the time and the problem was obvious.
  8. JC87

    JC87

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    Thanks for the replies. I will have to read through them properly and respond.

    I do eat plenty of complex carbs with every meal - brown rice, buckwheat, spelt sourdough, potato etc...
    I have been tested for food intolerances. Negative to dairy intolerance however I have avoided dairy products for many months with no noticeable advantages.

    I have been diagnosed with ME/CFS (also family history) tested negative to parasites, but positive to leaky gut, dysbiosis and hypothyroid.

    My activity level is low and becoming increasingly less as I lose weight and strength. At present my days revolves around eating meals having a shower and going to bed.

    Please keep up any suggestions that may help. Thankyou!
    snowathlete likes this.
  9. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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  10. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

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    Have you tried running your daily food intake through a calorie counting program? Just to see what you're actually taking in? Might not be part of your weight loss, but many of us end up eating a surprisingly low number of daily calories when we clean up our diets to eliminate food sensitivities and introduce healthier options. For me, the quantities also dropped some because my stomach can't handle big meals anymore. This may not be an issue for you, but I know that when I actually looked at what I was taking in, it was very very little, especially compared to what I used to eat. Might be worth confirming that limited calories isn't a contributing factor. I assume that doctors have tested your thyroid, etc.

    The bathroom issues are obviously a huge problem, though they could be separate from the weight loss. It may be that you're dealing with two separate problems that are both causing issues for you, and they just both happen to affect the gut. I know that some of my gut issues were tough to pin down because I assumed that I was dealing with only one problem when in reality there were a pile of different issues on top of each other. Lactose and fructose can cause diarrhea if there's more than the body can handle. But you mentioned it not being better when you were off dairy, right? You might want to try removing all FODMAPs triggers, in case it's an IBS issue, and see if that helps any.

    I find that if I stick to no grains, no milk, no tomatoes, no peppers, no eggs, no sweet things (including fruits and sweet veggies) for breakfast, I am better able to handle those foods later in the day. My gut is definitely much more sensitive first thing in the morning. It seems like once something sets off my stomach, the whole thing stays much more reactive for a day or two after and it becomes impossible to tell what's going on because EVERYTHING sets it off then. That may not be an issue for you, but I know that I've spoken to others who have seen a similar trend. It might be worth trying just green vegetables and lean meat at breakfast for a while and see if that helps at all.

    If you haven't tried Mutaflor already, that might be a suggestion too. Might not resolve the problem for you, but it could have a small impact. I might also try going off of the prebiotics for a while if you haven't tested that yet. Prebiotics give me horrible diarrhea, even in small quantities. So do fibre capsules. My body just can't tolerate them at all.

    I hope you're able to find the triggers or the root causes soon. That's a difficult thing to struggle through.
  11. Rand56

    Rand56 Senior Member

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    Heaps mentioned about about possibly trying HMB. Years ago I took it and can attest to the fact that it can put weight on you and atleast for me, it did fairly quickly. I bought it back when it was more the craze in bodybuilding. Nowadays it has been replaced with other supps but there has to be something to it. No wonder they give it to horses to build up their muscle mass.
  12. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Lots of good ideas here. Just adding my cents worth of experience.

    I was really skinny for many years during this illness. My problem was malabsorption, due to insufficient hydrochloric acid production. Betaine HCl really helped me a lot. I took up to 4 capsules/meal at one time. Too much, and I got heartburn. Not enough, and I got digestive upset, migraines and vomiting. Just the right amount, and bingo! I felt good after eating. Kind of like Goldilocks finding her sweet spot.

    Digestive enzymes were NEVER ENOUGH for me. It was the Betaine HCl that made the difference. Consider checking it out. And also, consider getting some really thorough parasite testing. Some labs are much better than others. Sushi probably knows which ones to recommend...?

    Best of luck to you with this.
  13. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    As far as parasite testing, I think it is the doctor that is most important. Most take a stool sample but the parasitologist I had the most help from said that parasites live attached the to wall of the rectum and above--hence is would just be "good luck" to find them in a stool sample.

    He took a scraping from the wall of the bowel (painless) and also blood tests which would show if you were fighting something like a parasite. He also tested 3 months in a row to get all the stages of parasite development. I had had a lot of parasite treatments before (I used to go to India regularly) but this is the only only that really worked.

    Sushi
  14. _June

    _June aren't I pretty? *baaah!*

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    Good morning JC

    Like someone else mentioned, have you tried keeping a journal of what you eat, and what quantity?
    For example, today this is what I'm eating. I'm a sedentary woman.

    Breakfast:
    I made a salad with:
    one can of cod liver,
    3 hard boiled eggs,
    chopped scallions
    Beef shoulder roast (3 large slices as thick as my thumb),
    3 tablespoons of beef tallow (this fat is completely absorbed by the beef and the carrots, and I eat it all)
    2 large carrots,
    carrots were cooked in 1 cup of homemade beef broth until the broth reduced and caramelized,
    1 cup of lacto-fermented beets.
    This is a lot so I might end up snacking on the leftovers through the afternoon.

    Now you see I only eat two meals per day, but when I started out I needed to eat 3 big meals like this, and then snacks. And I was losing weight. So you probably need to eat a lot more than that.

    I'm here stuffing my face, and this only comes to about 1780 calories. It's nothing at all. Often I need to force-feed myself more food to make sure I get enough calories, even though I feel stuffed.

    And you're a man. You need to eat a lot more than this.

    ----
    This food doesn't make me go to the bathroom, because this food doesn't have "waste" like bread or rice. My body uses up all this food so there is barely any waste.

    ----
    Are you going to the bathroom because the food just goes through you? Maybe you're taking too many probiotics? Don't get me wrong, I love kefir and sauerkraut :)
    Or maybe there's some food you're eating that irritates your gut? Then you need to figure out what. This is why keeping a food journal is good, because you can write what happens after you eat the foods.

    Do you make bone stock? When I had IBS (food just went through me), drinking bone stock everyday helped me a lot. But the best thing you can do is eliminate what's bothering you.
  15. JC87

    JC87

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    Thanks again for the replies. I have been taking Betain HCL and Pancreatic/digestive enzymes long while. They have definitely made a massive difference to my digestion and If I forget to take them it causes lots of problems... however the improved digestion hasn't helped me put any weight on. I have had parasite stool tests done multiple times but will ask my Dr about the bowel scraping test for parasite. Thanks for the suggestions.

    As for keeping a food journal I do that on and off most of the time - it is a good tool for looking back and improving etc.
    @ _june.... however there is absolutely no way my body would tolerate eating that much food in a single meal. There seems to be such a fine line between getting enough food without causing more problems. The more I have increased my food intake the faster I seem to loose weight. My body is so sensitive to just about everything and any improvement I have in health have not eliminated or lessened these sensitivities so I end up having relapses and the viscous cycles keep turning.
  16. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

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    I also had a problem with low weight, until I supplemented with ketotifen, a mast cell stabilizer and h1 antagonist. I put on almost 20% inside three weeks. I am not suggesting mast cell issues are the cause of the wasting, however I have since found out that ketotifen blocks TFN alpha which inhibits uptake of glucose. Uptake of glucose is an issue with many cfs patients. Many patients also have raised TFN levels. My weight has stabilized at that higher level and with the addition of creatine I have managed to put on a little muscle.

    Disappointingly, the ketotifen has had no effect on my POTS or cognitive problems which may also be caused by low glucose uptake (as shown by SPECT scans), so I am wondering if either ketitifen doesn't get past the BBB or other inflammatory responses are involved, perhaps TFN beta. Haven't done the reading on any of it yet. Perhaps others may have something to add..
  17. jstefl

    jstefl Senior Member

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    How is your blood pressure?

    My BP dropped to 80/50 a few years back, and I was unable to gain back the weight that I lost. Once I started on Midodrine, my BP increased, and I was able to gain back some of the weight that I lost. I still need to be careful to make certain that I eat enough, but the problem is not nearly as bad as it was.

    John
  18. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    "the more I eat, the more I go to the toilet."

    That's what needs to be looked into. No matter what you eat, it sounds like you have a GI condition going wrong. Do you have Celiac? Have you been tested? If that is messed up, you can eat whatever you want and not put on weight. I would look into that first and foremost and then see what that says. It sounds lile your GI tract is not working properly if you keep having to go to the bathroom. Either go to a GI doc or someone who is holistic or both. That needs to be examined.

    I would cut out everything dairy and milk and see if that makes a difference.
  19. _June

    _June aren't I pretty? *baaah!*

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    I already posted here a while ago, but I'm checking in again. How is it going now?
    I've already been through this so I thought I could help. I had to eat a full meal every 40 minutes because I was starving. Or I'd faint. Even so I still lost a lot of weight. I lost all my muscle and was just skin and bones. And then my bones started eating themselves too, so they hurt a lot and felt like they were shattered.

    When you go to the toilet, what is it? Diarrhea? Or normal stools?

    You say you keep a food journal. What foods make you go to the bathroom? Please be specific, not "all of them".

    Could you write your journal here (food + hour of the day, and write what time it makes you run to the bathroom)
  20. _June

    _June aren't I pretty? *baaah!*

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    When I was at my worst all I could eat was half a sandwich per day (the size of half my hand). Then it went straight through me in 30 minutes, partly digested, or I got sick and vomited. I don't know how I survived months of that!

    Now I can eat two or three big meals per day, and if I'm more hungry, snacks. At first I needed a lot, but now I only eat once or twice per day, without snacks (because I'm not starving anymore). Luckily I gained ALL my muscle back when I changed my diet (no exercise, I was too weak). So now i'm stronger again. I'm very happy.


    What kinds of protein? I got sick eating just chicken and fish for years. I need to eat beef, lots of beef. The fattier it is, the better. I get sick if I eat lean meats. I need to eat fatty beef nearly every day. That's how I gained my muscle back, and got healthier!
    It generally comes to at-least 1100 mg of cholesterol per day. If I have less, I get weak, CFS symptom come back, and lose weight.

    I eat about 3 eggs cooked in GOOD FAT like beef tallow or pig lard (about 3 tablespoons of fat).
    I eat about 9 ounces of beef for lunch (about the size of 3 decks of cards), with a side of carrots sliced and cooked in butter and/or chicken stock (until soft, NEVER raw).
    Then for dinner about 6 to 9 ounces of salmon, cooked in 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, then I add more coconut oil and cook my vegetables (maybe sliced bell peppers and onion).
    And a snack of 1 cup whipped heavy cream with 1/2 mushy strawberries. (slice strawberries and then shake them in a plastic container until they get bruised/soft).

    If that's too much to eat (I know what you mean, I was there), divide it into tiny bites and snack on them throughout the day.

    Because I'm very sedentary, now that I gained weight and I'm healthy I'm only hungry for one or two meals, without snacks. But while I was recovering, I needed to eat a lot (as I described above).

    But you need to make sure to eat plenty of calories with it. That's why I cook my meat with 3 spoons of tallow or lard, and then more when I cook the vegetables. It gives me a lot of calories, without having to feel stuffed or having it go straight through me.

    Try **not** to eat high-fiber grains and vegetables. This means no brown rice, no whole grain flour, no broccoli. In fact, try not to eat grains or seeds at all, I was only able to gain weight and feel better when I stopped eating grains (and seeds like sunflower seeds).
    Avoid nuts.
    No lettuces, no green leafy vegetables, until your digestion improves.

    But don't reduce fiber all at once, reduce it a little every day for one or two weeks to give your body time to get used to less fiber. Like I said, I did this diet accidentally, not on purpose, so I suddenly cut out fiber and had constipation for a week. But at the time I didn't realize I was eating differently. If I had known, I'd reduce fiber slowly. After that week, I didn't have constipation or diarrhea anymore, it was the first normal bowel movements in years... I looked at happy, like a chicken after she's proud of laying an egg :p


    There's a japanese snack that's good cold, egg omelet (tamagoyaki). Heat 3 spoons of pig's lard, make an omelet with 3 eggs and one spoon of soy sauce. As it cooks try to fold it into a rectangle. Then put it in the fridge. When it's cold, cut it into slices, and eat it cold throughout the day.


    If you have nutrient deficiencies, liver will help, I eat about ... 18 ounces per week? If you're willing to try this, I can give you some recipes that you can't even tell there's liver there. (I don't like liver, but I have no choice except eat it or I get weak (CFS symptoms), but the way I cook it lets me eat liver without gagging :) )


    My digestion improved literally overnight when I (accidentally) stopped eating all grains and all nuts and seeds. The day before, I was in the emergency room from morning to night because of poor digestion (!).

    Now that I'm healthier I occasionally eat a little plain white rice (1/2 cup at most) with my food, but not too often or I get sick again. Maybe once per week, no more.

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