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Weight gain even while fasting

For the past 25 years I have been steadily gaining weight. I was only 125 pounds in 1983. Now I'm 250 pounds and at only 5'3" that is WAY too heavy! Yet no matter what I do, I end up gaining rather than losing.

I have a home gym that I used every day until I tore my rotator cuff and dislocated my knee at work. Now I can't use it. I used to walk miles every day. While I walked I was only eating a tiny bit, usually a salad and some fruite/veggies twice a day. Still I gained.

I've tried the Adkins diet for a year and although I stuck to it faithfully, I gained. I joined a weight loss group and worked with a personal trainer for months. They refunded my money and the trainer told me that he couldn't understand it. The harder we exercised and the less I ate, the more I gained.

I've tried the Slim Fast and South Beach, the Adkins and Slim Quick, the AcaiSlim and even a colon cleanse. I've ate little meals every four hours to speed up my metabolism and exercised until I literally collapsed. Still, each time I gain, not lose.

The chiropractor keeps telling me it's all in my head. As long as you burn more calories than you are taking in, you WILL lose weight. But if that is true, then last March when I was sick with the flu and ate not a bite of anything for two weeks, why was I 22 pounds heavier at the end of those two weeks than I was the day I got sick? And when I was in the hospital with pneumonia last August, I was on nothing but an IV drip for a week. I gained 9 pounds in those four days.

Typical day: up at 4 a.m. Leave for work by 4:20 a.m. At work by 5:15 a.m. Nothing is open until 6 a.m. so there is no breakfast. I get no breaks at all during my shift, which is 5:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., so there is no eating during that time. Lunch is usually around 2:45 p.m. and normally consists of just a grilled fish dinner from Long John's, which is supposed to be about 350 calories. I drink water only. (I eat a LOT of fish and stay away from red meat. I couldn't say when the last time was that I had a hamburger.)

At home I usually walk a mile to town to collect the mail and then back a mile. In the summer there is an acre of yard to mow by hand, so I get plenty of walking/pushing/pulling there. In the winter, there is snow to shovel for both myself and the neighbors. Then a bath, maybe a small salad or a bowl of soup for supper, an hour of bible study/prayer time and I am in bed by 7:30 p.m.

I don't care for sweets so they are definitely not the problem. I eat maybe one piece of pie a year at Thankgiving and possibly one small piece of cake a year if there is a wedding in the family. That's it.

I don't drink pop and I hate coffee. Once in awhile I have a glass of tea, but not very often. I have a two quart pitcher of water in the fridge and I empty it twice a day in winter and sometimes twice that in the summer when it's hot. So I get plenty of liquids. I also drink milk and grapefruit juice. I have to limit the citrus juices though because I am allergic to the citric acid in them. If I drink too much too close together, I break out in hives.

I have had my thyroid tested a dozen times and it's fine. My glucose is normal. I am not anemic and my blood tests have all come back normal as well. I have had an ultrasound of my heart and neck, an EKG, and EEG and a Halter monitor test. All are normal. No blockages, swellings, or anything else. The tilt table test came back normal as well, as did the urinalysis.

I do see a chiropractor every six weeks to help with back pain from an earlier injury, but other than that there is nothing to speak of except the occasional flu bug.

I know that being 46 and in the middle of the change has some affect on my weight. And I normally have one round of prednisone each year for very severe excema problems. That makes me gain instantly as well and of course I have never lost it either. But what concerns me is that even when I eat nothing or next to nothing I still gain. And I gain a LOT. At one point I picked up 22 pounds in ten days when I was down with the stomach and bowel flu and was unable to eat anything. All I could hold down was water or juice.

I don't have insurance so gastric surgery is out of the question. Besides, I want to know what is causing this, not get a quick fix. Any ideas?

I have looked through medical books for years thinking that maybe there is some really rare disease out there that could be causing it. But everything I run across lists unexplained or sudden weight LOSS as a symptom. I have found nothing to date that says anything about having weight gain as an indicator. Except hypothyroidism of course and we have ruled that out.

Maybe someone has heard of something I haven't??

I'm beginning to think that my body has convinced itself that it's starving even when it isn't and therefore, converts everything straight to fat. I have tried everything I know of to try with no luck. But this excessive weight is beginning to concern me for the effects it could have on my heart. My mother died when she was 33 and my father died at 57. Both of heart attacks. I don't want to be number three. Doctors keep getting onto me about losing, but no one seems to have any idea on how to do that short of surgery.
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269786 tn?1243793707
The only time I have heard of someone gaining weight like that is when they had an enormous cyst (an ovarian cyst) and it was messing with their hormones/thyroid too.

The only other thing I can suggest is to see a dietician. Maybe he/she could guide you through a healthy diet or give you suggestions as to what might cause this.
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649848 tn?1534633700
My first thought would be a thyroid issue.  Weight gain is one of the most prevalent symptoms of low thyroid.  I know you said you had your thyroid tested and it was "normal", but I learned the hard way - normal on the lab report, meaning within lab ranges is not necessarily normal for your body, so you might try to get your doctor to look into that a bit more.  

Another thing I see is that you don't eat breakfast.  I know how hard it is to eat early in the morning, but it's necessary, especially if you don't get any breaks during your shift (I thought everyone was entitled to at least a lunch break).  I have to be at work at 6:00 am with about a 45 min drive to get there.  I get up at 3:30 am in order to have time to get showered and ready to go, then I make sure I get a light breakfast before I leave the house in case I don't get to stop later for anything to eat.  Usually on Sunday, I boil 6-7 eggs and keep them in the fridge, plus I keep bananas, yogurt and other things on hand that are easy to "grab and run" if necessary.  Some days, I will cook a couple of eggs in olive oil and have them with an english muffin.  But even if it's just grabbing a piece of fruit, some milk, a protein bar - just so you get something in your stomach.  

Your body could be hanging on to extra fat as a defense mechanism since you don't eat anything all day.  

PMoon's suggestion of a dietician is a good one.  A dietician would be able to help you come up with the right combination of foods to make sure you get all the food groups.

Good luck and hope you keep posting to let us know how you are doing.  
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649848 tn?1534633700
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Arlington, VA
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