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To think I'm not "a fine and healthy weight" and it's okay to lose a bit more?

(33 Posts)
murmuration Sat 05-Mar-16 10:21:23

Because I've stopped taking the drugs the Dr's gave me to stop the weight loss blush

I understand why they are concerned - I lost 5 stone over 6 months, until they drugged me up this autumn. Before, like many overweight people, I had been trying to lose weight. When it started dropping off like magic, I was thrilled. 4 weeks and a stone lighter and I thought perhaps I should get it checked out. So I had all sorts of scans and 'scopies and such, and they found no reason at all. So they gave me two drugs to treat the symptoms: one to keep from feeling sick to my stomach when I ate (proton-pump inhibitor) and one to stop massive stomach pain when I ate 'too much' (smooth muscle relaxer). And the weight loss stopped.

I saw a gastro who gave me a stern talking to, saying that I needed to eat and if I continued to not eat, they may need to tube feed me. But it's not like I'm refusing to eat, as if I were anorexic. I have in fact been concerned that I might develop an eating disorder with this rapid weight loss, but I don't think I have. I still love food, and enjoy eating. But yes, if I start to fill ill and my stomach hurts, I stop.

But my BMI is 27, and my waist 34". Every single thing I see anywhere suggests that is not yet in a healthy range. Yes, definitely better than BMI 37 which I was before, but just because I lost a bunch of weight, does that mean I need to stop while still overweight? Had I done this on purpose, people would be telling me just a bit more, not castigating me for any further loss!

Due to a mix-up with the repeat slips, I ran out of the PPI two weeks ago. So I didn't have it for a few days, and I noticed that I felt so much better. So when I finally got it, I didn't take it again. I've been ill all winter with a series of seemingly never-ending colds, so I attributed my fatigue to that (and that I have CFS/ME, but I had been feeling considerably better since the spring, when, coincidentally - or not - I suddenly started losing weight). But I've developed two new overlapping illnesses since then, and while I feel miserable from the colds, I have noticeably more energy. I've also lost 3 pounds.

AIBU to think that it's okay to not take medication that makes me feel tired and keeps me from losing weight, when I am in fact still overweight? Surely I mustn't need to stay overweight for the rest of my life just because I had some medical issue that caused unexplained weight loss.

DamsonInDistress Sat 05-Mar-16 10:27:23

On the face of it, it all sounds very reasonable. But there's just something about the tone of your post (difficult online I know) that concerns me. Hard to put my finger on it but my instincts tell me that your concern about developing an eating disorder is, though perhaps not actually fake, at least not sincere. You're quite correct that your health isn't yet at its best point, but I can see why your doctor's are concerned that such a rapid lots should not be sustained.

DamsonInDistress Sat 05-Mar-16 10:28:52

I'd suggest perhaps trying to talk to them again, ask for a double appointment with your GP or your specialist (?) and see if you can come to a mutually satisfactory plan?

mommy2ash Sat 05-Mar-16 10:40:28

If you are losing weight at a rapid rate and it isn't showing signs of slowing down there is a serious problem here. I would stop focusing on the positives of the weight loss and try get to the bottom of why this is happening

HappinessLivesHere Sat 05-Mar-16 10:55:11

Maybe not helpful but I lost 35lb in 2 and half weeks after being immobile for 12 weeks. Weight dropped off once I was back on my feet but when I got to my normal weight it plateaued. If you're severely overweight you will loose more weight and quicker.

murmuration Sat 05-Mar-16 10:59:17

But they already tried to figure out why it was happening, and came to the conclusion of 'nothing we can explain, but it's not an ulcer or cancer'. At this point, I have to admit I am a bit sick of visiting HCP's and being told I'm 'fine'. I also have CFS/ME, and so this is on top of years of visiting Dr's to be told there is nothing wrong with me. It was actually refreshing to have them care for a bit, as me saying I felt terrible and could barely do anything got a lot of distain and implications that it was all in my head, but sudden weight loss got their attention. But now that they are unable to explain it, it seems to have reverted to the 'hysterial woman complaining' sense I had before, but with the added implication that I am now doing something deliberately to be in poor health.

Hmm, I'm coming to realise that might be what I'm so upset about? It seems like suddenly I'm being blamed, and especially with things like threats of tube-feeding, the assumption appears to be that once they had not found anything physical they could point to, it is now something that is 'my fault'.

I actually think 1.5lbs in a week isn't so fast? That's actually a reasonable goal for weight loss, although perhaps 1lb/week would be better. When it was 3-4lbs a week, sustained, I agree that's not right, which is why I went to the Dr's in the first place.

I think I'd feel much better if I had been told, "Okay, here, take these pills and let's stop this weight loss for now. Your weight is okay, although as it is a bit into the overweight range you may want to consider a small amount of weight loss in the future. But let's concentrate on fixing this issue, and then explore that."

Instead I was told that I am "fine and healthy" and "don't lose any more weight" and the suggestion that they'd tube feed me if I did.

ouryve Sat 05-Mar-16 11:06:21

Yes, you are overweight, but if you're not eating, then you're missing out on vital nutrients and you will become more ill. You're already appreciating that there is so much more to health than what you weigh.

murmuration Sat 05-Mar-16 11:14:20

But I am eating! And while I recognise that something was seriously wrong this summer when I simply couldn't eat past 3-4pm without feeling terribly ill and in pain (I still had nice, large breakfasts), I am now having three reasonable sized meals a day. I went out to dinner this week with a friend and had a lovely meal, starter and all.

I am continuing to take the smooth-muscle relaxer if I feel my stomach is starting to hurt, although I'm not taking it 3 times a day like I was told. But it was three times a day 20 minutes before food, and I just kept forgetting, and realised I was eating and that I'd take it next time, and forget again... I've now figured out that I can take it once or twice a week, and have no pain problems at all.

I do need to see the GP and tell him all this. I am also mystified by the energy thing - a PPI shouldn't make me tired. But things are so much on the edge in my life at the moment, that I do not want to experiment with something that might make me feel worse. The one thing that was true even during the severe weight loss period was that I had tons of energy, and right now I really need that.

ProfGrammaticus Sat 05-Mar-16 11:18:39

Well you are still overweight, but you'd be better discussing this with a doctor that a bunch of randoms on the internet!

carabos Sat 05-Mar-16 11:26:51

If its any consolation, I was severely food poisoned some years back and my weight dropped to just over 7 stone (from around 8.5). Everybody was shock at the way I looked - my SiL burst into tears when she saw me on Xmas Day for the first time in months and accused DH of hiding my "cancer" hmm.

The gastroenterologist on the other hand was of the view that yes I was "a bit thin", but he wouldn't take any action to stop the weight loss until and if I lost a further stone. He was comfortable that at 5ft 4, i could go down to 6 stone without needing intervention. He concentrated on treating my bowel and my weight loss stopped.

I think you do need to stay in touch with your doctors, but in the absence of something very worrying, then you have a long way to go yet before your weight loss is a matter of real concern IME. That's assuming you're telling us everything.

murmuration Sat 05-Mar-16 11:48:37

Well, discussing stuff with randoms on the internet is the only thing that one does on MN, isn't it? And making a GP's appointment is on my to-do list.

Although I think this has helped me already, because just by typing stuff out I've realised my problem is being upset at the return of an attitude I am familiar with, having had CFS/ME for so long. For some physicians, they cannot seem to handle a patient with symptoms that they cannot explain, and so assume that it must be a mental health problem or otherwise a purposeful action of the patient. Now that I know what it is, I can act the way I normally do: confidence that I am not making it up, and persevere to get the care I need.

Interesting, carabos. I'm the same height as you, and I'd have another 5 stone to get to 6 stone! Before I took antidepressants, I spent most of my adult life at 8.5 stone. My current 'goal' (or what my goal was before the unexplained weight loss) was 9.5 stone, which would put me at BMI ~23. I actually felt a bit too thin before, although as I was very muscular (gymnast) I could find that I could lose more fat now and still be okay.

ProfGrammaticus Sat 05-Mar-16 16:17:21

Yes, I know. I'm sorry, that sounded rude. But really this situation seems quite complex given your rapid weight loss and whatever the reasons behind that may be, and it needs medical knowledge which most of the other stuff we discuss on here doesn't.

Lurkedforever1 Sat 05-Mar-16 17:06:12

I think you should see the gp again. Losing more weight is fine, but the speed which you've done it at isn't healthy. Your body still needs nutrition, overweight or not, and your metabolism will slow to accommodate too big a deficiency, so it will pile back on if you continue.

Generally I'd say provided you are broadly within healthy weight levels, whether under or over, hcps are more interested in how you have got there and maintain it, rather than the size itself.

murmuration Sat 05-Mar-16 21:10:13

lurked, that's interesting. So I guess I was 'close enough'. I feel like I might have taken things better if it was said in more of a reassuring tone than an accusatory one. I did admit to being thrilled at the initial weight loss - but what obese woman wouldn't (assuming they'd been trying to lose weight)? And I explained that I figured it was a stomach bug, but when it didn't clear after a few weeks, grew concerned. Surely the fact that I flagged it up to the doctors indicated that I wasn't just merrily losing weight really fast for the heck of it. Yet his attitude gave that impression, that it was all under my control, since there was no problem he could see.

Although, yes, GP is now higher on my priorities. Starting to feel ill tonight, which could perhaps presage being unable to eat, like before. That is not good.

And I have to remember that the GP has always been very good. I may be fearing a reaction like the gastro, who was also dissmissive of my CFS/ME. But I've got so much to do, I really don't want to take a pill that has so far perfectly correlated with increased fatigue. Argh! Need to make an appointment soon, but will want to see my doctor, so it could be a few weeks.

pointythings Sat 05-Mar-16 22:10:18

I would say that what you have experienced is scary weight loss and cause for concern - I understand you are thrilled at getting so close to healthy range, but this doesn't sound right. Please get yourself checked out.

I've lost 18 kilos over the last 9 months and people are remarking on it and expressing concern. In my case it is because I have been consciously working at it, and it feels slow but sustainable. I have no pain, my appetite is reduced in terms of portion sizes but I am comfortably eating healthy portions. It doesn't sound like that for you.

Get yourself looked at for everyone's peace of mind and then let's hope you continue to progress towards a healthy weight.

murmuration Sun 06-Mar-16 07:29:22

But the thing is I have been looked at. Inside and out! And it's reached the point where it feels like they've thrown up their hands and said "there's nothing wrong we can see" and so are just medicating the symptoms.

That would be fine, except for (1) one of the medications they've given me actually makes me feel worse; I'd honestly rather feel a little ill than as fatigued as I was three weeks ago and (2) dire threats that I must remain this weight the rest of my life - I feel that is uncalled for; surely something more middle-ground like stay here until we've measured XYZ at QWG/four months/six months/one year - something! Not just forever.

I was really scared, about things like ovarian cancer, that my symptoms fit well, and bowel cancer, that several relatives have died of. But there seems to be nothing 'scary' going on. And instead of giving me this news in a reassuring way, I get told accusatorily that "you've had lots of tests" and "there is nothing physically wrong with you" and a speech about having to eat or they will tube feed me. I'm realising I'm actually quite mad about the attitude of the gastro. I had to ask him "so, there's no sign of anything like ovarian or bowel cancer?" since he didn't specifically say that, although it would have been in the letter from the GP as my main concerns. Going in to an appointment scared and coming out castigated was very disorientating.

But I definitely need to feed back to the GP my discovery that the PPI appears to be causing me fatigue. I will try to get a double appointment with him, as I also need to talk about why I've been having so many colds/infections/etc non-stop for the past four months now.

Roonerspism Sun 06-Mar-16 07:35:51

I don't know much about weight loss.

But I do know that PPIs aren't a great idea long term and if you feel better off them, then stay off them!

JellyMouldJnr Sun 06-Mar-16 07:44:26

It's your body. If you feel healthier off the pills, go back to your dr and say that.

Katenka Sun 06-Mar-16 07:47:01

My doctor put me on laxatives at 16, rather than look at why I never went to the toilet.

At 24 I stopped taking them and ended up investigating the problem myself. They made me feel awful.

I know it's a different problem, but sometimes medications don't help. Go discuss with your doctors. Don't worry about the weight issue too much. If you feel better off them that's something he needs to know and look at.

helterskelter99 Sun 06-Mar-16 07:47:18

Have they actually checked properly for bowel cancer, it is often dismissed in younger people as is deemed and "old" persons cancer

murmuration Sun 06-Mar-16 07:56:03

Interesting about PPIs. Just did some googling - dementia concerns! Eek!

How does one check properly? I had a CT scan of abdomen and pelvis, which I understand should have revealed anything in that area?

Roonerspism Sun 06-Mar-16 08:21:29

I know murmation. I'm staggered at the number of people who take them long term and whose GPs don't bother to tell them that research is indicating it might not be a great idea.

Doesn't even sound like you need them!

LilacAndLovely Sun 06-Mar-16 09:26:08

I've recently been out on a PPI (lansoprazole) for severe acid reflux. I was previously taking ranitidine which worked for a couple of years then stopped.

My appetite has definitely reduced over the last couple of months and I'm loosing weight...I don't even know if this is a known side affect of lansoprazole but for me, I'm pretty certain this is the cause. I don't want to be taking a PPI because some of the long term side affects are worrying...but the relief I have from reflux is immense. One tablet every other day and I've not had reflux or heartburn for two months whereas previously I had it constantly.

pointythings Sun 06-Mar-16 09:36:08

My DH lost a lot of weight on a PPI, and not in a good way. He had side effects too. As long as you have been checked out it may well be that you are better off without it. As long as you stay aware of the changes in your own body and get help if something alarms you, I don't see why you shouldn't come off them and see what happens. Good luck whatever you decide.

murmuration Mon 07-Mar-16 14:35:45

Well, no in-person appointments for GP left this month, but I have a telephone appointment on Friday.

And I'll see someone today as my cough has taken a turn for the worse...

Interesting rooner, perhaps the GPs don't know? A friend told me a PPI shouldn't do anything else than deal with stomach acid, and she's an Alzheimer's researcher! So clearly didn't notice that...

I think I'll try to track my food intake. I have an app I used back when I was trying to lose weight -- I'm pretty sure I'm eating an okay number of calories per day now, but it would be good to have some evidence.

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