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Frequent bowel movements yet I gain weight
Hi.  I am a 44 year old female, who, since a bout of Giardia in 1992, has experienced 6-8 bowel movements per day.  Lately these are becoming more urgent  (I have not had any accidents but I have to answer the call immediately).   These vary between being very loose to soft, and I have noticed that food can go right through me in 4 hours.  I suspect I am lactose intolerant, and also intolerant to flour and yeast, because I get abdominal cramps and bloating almost immediately after ingesting these, With flour I also experience fluid retention in my calves and fingers.
My symptoms are not worrying to me as I'm able to avoid problem foods most of the time.  However, I'm becoming increasingly frustrated by not being able to lose weight... my weight is creeping up slowly (currently 195lb @ 5ft5).  I can't understand how this can be the case.  Surely I'm not absorbing all of the nutrients from the food I eat, and so shouldn't I be losing weight instead?
Does anyone have any ideas?  I have spoken to my doc and a nutritionist about this and they are clueless and disinterested.  My calorie intake is anywhere from 900 - 1300 cals/day, and I have shown my food diary to both the doc and the nutritionist.  I get the impression they don't believe me as neither of them can suggest anything for me to try.  How are my symptoms physically possible?
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Just a thought - I'm wondering - even though you notice the fluid retention after eating foods with flour, if you're actually retaining fluid all the time and that is the cause of your weight gain.  Remember also that flour of various types can be found in a lot of the foods we eat.  Is it strictly wheat flour that you have trouble with or do you also have trouble with things such as rice flour or corn flour?  If it's strictly wheat flour, you may want to experiment with staying away from anything containing wheat or wheat products - including cereals, etc. - not just the flour itself.

I actually just googled long term effects of giardia and some of these were chronic diarrhea, lactose intolerance, impaired digestion and tiredness.  It's possible maybe your infection was not comletely cleared up - you may want to think about/suggest to your doctor doing another stool sample to check to see if the parasite still exists in your system.

I hope you feel better soon.
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