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Do I have malabsorption?
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Do I have malabsorption?

Over the last year, I have doubled my weight despite eating a healthy diet.  I showed my food diary to my doctor who agreed that my diet was reasonably healthy - I eat 7-8 portions of fruit & vegetables a day.  The only negative is that I do not do any structured exercise.  Like most people, I find it hard to find the time so instead of worrying about what I don't do, I decided to incorporate more activity into my daily routine like walking a minimum of 10,000 steps a day.  

Since my weight went on, I have been diagnosed as having a B12 and folate deficiency and am also deficient in zinc.  I haven't tested for any other vitamins. I have also had tests on my Thyroid which have come back as being in the 'normal' range.  I suffer extreme exhaustion and have slept through whole days at a time.  My skin is so dry it has gone ash grey and my hair and nails have become extremely brittle.  Some days, it can take me 10 mins just to walk up one flight of stairs at work.  My migraines have also increased.  My bowel habits have also changed in that I now have a bowel movement within 45 mins to an 1hr after eating and I have a movement 3-4 times a day compared to about twice a week previously.

I have been to my doctor numerous times over the last 2-3 years and unless my complaint is something he can actually see or feel, he disregards my concerns - he tested me 4 times for my B12 and folate levels before he would concede that there was actually something wrong!

I have now changed my doctor.  Does anyone have any ideas what could be causing my symptoms?  Could it be malabsorption?

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Have you seen an Endocrinologist?  If not...do!  I was having similar problems and my GP did a thyroid test, twice, and it was in the "normal range."  After much argument, he admitted that only an Endocrinologist could order a more definitive test on my thyroid and sent me to see one.  I was suffering from Hypothyroidism.  So, if I were you I'd make an appt. to see one and go from there.  I'm glad you have switched doctors, as there are good and bad ones.  Something is obviously wrong, and an Endocrinologist is a good place to start.  Good luck to you!
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729009_tn?1237330483
Ok, I just happened to watch this Mystery Diagnosis not minutes ago.... The lady it was about had symptoms for years and years namely stomach pains, fatigue, headaches (from the eyes she said), but also a strange balance issue. Anyhoo, it was all due to her vitamin B12 deficiency. More over, though, she actually had a disorder where she wasn't able to absorb the B12 properly and it resulted is some kind of "(don't remember the word) anemia". The treatment was actually B12 shots because her digestive track wouldn't allow for the absorbtion.  If this at all sounds like something you'd want to know more about, I'd be happy to look for it in more detail.

Take care!
Nicole
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could be... my doctor is thinking malabsorption too, usually they do a stool test to look for abdnormalities ...mm... I know I misspelled that..

ANYWAY, yes it easily could be.  An idea is you could go get tested for celiac (which does give false negatives sometimes) but for starters I'd go on a lactose free diet.  then maaaybe gluten...it's a rough diet though :'(.  You could be allergic to anything but the big ones are lactose/fructose/gluten.  Some side effects of celiac is hair loss..itchy skin..insomnia..abdominal pain..nausea.. it's a long list.. but any allergy will cause malabsorption.

Another idea is to go to an allergist and see if there's something causing your problems..I know some people who have celiac don't have the normal symptoms but are tired all the time and are deficient in certain vitamins (especially the B12 like you said because their body is fighting the gluten or whatever is the offending problem and then shedding with diarrereah or constipation) and have IBS issues.  The Celiac diet is actually pretty healthy but takes time but you probably want to get tested first..over time though you will just continue to get worse do to damage to the small intestines (which absorb vitamins..those you are short in) if you keep eating whatever is causing it.

so I don't know.. tough call you could sit down with your GI specialist and see what he thinks or just go lactose free for a week or so and if not better then go gluten free but normally you want to test for it first (blood test) *which is what i'm doing and it is not fun..* or get your back pricked up and down a billion times by an allergist to help find out what it is.

good luck!
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