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Can you loose a lot of weight just from stress?

(37 Posts)
beingabanana1 Sat 02-Dec-17 08:58:36

Not really an AIBU. My 46 yo Dsis has lost approx 2 stone this year making her very underweight (BMI 16). Definitely no underlying illness as had extensive blood tests etc. She insists she is eating 3 good meals a day. I find it hard to believe this can be true but don't know if IABU.

Lilifer Sat 02-Dec-17 09:02:18

Yes absolutely you can. I have done and if under stress for a prolonged period then you can quite possible lose a stone or two.

PerfectlyDone Sat 02-Dec-17 09:03:46

Well, I lost 3 st from stress but that was because for the first time in my life I felt physically unable to eat for a while and when I got better just carried on eating less.

Stress alone may affect appetite, but will not on its own make you lose stones.

A BMI of 16 is worrying.
And blood tests don't tell the whole story about her health.
Has she had scans/x-rays?
Or are you worried she might not be eating as much as she claims/have a problem with disordered eating?

RitaMills Sat 02-Dec-17 09:08:24

Absolutely, when my dad had an affair with a younger colleague of my mums the stress of the reveal saw her drop from a healthy 9.8st to 7st, she just couldn’t be get the weight back on for such a long time, she was skeletal, tired and old looking, was a horrible period. sad

Frederickvonhefferneffer Sat 02-Dec-17 09:10:30

When I found out my ex was cheating on me and I had to end the relationship, move back in with my parents and switch jobs, I was very stressed and lost 2 stone.

RoganJosh Sat 02-Dec-17 09:10:46

I agree that if you lose weight from stress, it’s because you’re too upset to eat.

bananafish81 Sat 02-Dec-17 09:13:09

Yes massively

Although for me it's always 'sadness starvation', whereby I lose all my appetite when I'm stressed

I lost half a stone in 2 weeks after the death of my mum

I lost a stone in about 6 weeks after my first miscarriage

I was small anyway, so a smallish loss is always more noticeable on me (went from BMI 19 to less than 17 very easily)

Tawdrylocalbrouhaha Sat 02-Dec-17 09:16:46

Definitely yes - I recently lost a stone in less than a month (9st down to 8st) due to stress over heart problems. I was eating excellently and not exercising much, but also not sleeping well and worrying all the time.

I am now constantly chewing almonds because I don't have another stone to lose.

beingabanana1 Sat 02-Dec-17 09:18:03

Interesting thanks. Yes I have no doubt she is stressed but just cannot understand how you can loose so much weight if you are still eating properly. I get that stress can effect your appetite but Dsis says she is still eating 3 proper meals. I am very worried about her. She looks dreadful but very little I can do as she won't take anti anxiety tablets recommended by doctor and, as I said claims to be eating well. Weight just keeps drooping off though.

PricillaQueenOfTheDesert Sat 02-Dec-17 09:20:37

The stress diet made weight fall off me every time. But that said, I was not eating three meals a day, I couldn’t face food during the stress times.

Tawdrylocalbrouhaha Sat 02-Dec-17 09:21:43

I should add that in my case (due to the cardiac issues) I had cut out all the cakes and biscuits, so although Im still eating loads, it is now just the healthy nutritious stuff. I hate it.

LIZS Sat 02-Dec-17 09:24:29

I doubt her idea of 3 meals is yours. Stress can suppress appetite and she may well be eating fewer calories.

Mumsymcmumface Sat 02-Dec-17 09:24:44

Proper full on stress sees your body in permanent “fight or flight” mode with heightened cortisol and adrenaline levels. Your body is permanently primed to utilise your energy reserves to give that extra bit of energy needed to respond to the perceived threat.

I can fully believe that would lead you to drop a few pounds even eating properly.

Real stress for a long period of time is horrrible and really messes up your body

MissWilmottsGhost Sat 02-Dec-17 09:25:01

I lose weight when I'm stressed, and have ended up skeletal during really bad times. But like PP said, it is due to decreased appetite rather than eating normally and still losing weight. Though IME it is possible to think you are eating 'normally' when you are not, and doesn't need to me a massive reduction in daily calorie intake to make a large difference over a few months.

stitchglitched Sat 02-Dec-17 09:28:03

I became very underweight when my first marriage broke down, because I couldn't eat properly. A big weightloss whilst still eating well warrants further investigation.

CecilyP Sat 02-Dec-17 09:32:40

I agree that if you lose weight from stress, it’s because you’re too upset to eat.

I would agree with that - perhaps your sister is just picking at her 3 meals a day, or they are very small in relation to her decreased appetite.

JaneEyre70 Sat 02-Dec-17 09:33:44

I'd be very worried about someone with a BMI that low, and would gently suggest she needs to see her GP. She could have thyroid issues, undiagnosed diabetes - anything. Stress could be the cause but other more serious medical issues need to be ruled out too. You must be really worried about her.

beingabanana1 Sat 02-Dec-17 09:33:54

Thanks everyone. I just don't know what to do next. She weighs 1 stone more than my slim 10 yo dd so you can imagine how shocking she looks.

beingabanana1 Sat 02-Dec-17 09:35:41

She has had tests for thyroid, diabetes, xrays etc. All normal.

FucksakeCuntingFuckingTwats Sat 02-Dec-17 09:38:06

You cannot lose weight unless you are in a caloric deficit. Or ill. So she's eating less than she is burning.

However being stressed CAN raise your heart rate which would put you into fat burning mode so you are burning more calories than you would if you weren't stressed and your heart rate was normal.

Generally why people lose weight with stress is also due to eating less though.

If she's losing due to her heart rate being elevated so much through stress then that's really, really dangerous for her heart and she needs to try get help to reduce the stress levels.

JaneEyre70 Sat 02-Dec-17 09:39:04

Do you know what is causing her to be so stressed?

ImminentDisaster Sat 02-Dec-17 09:39:46

I hope your sister is OK, op. It must be such a worry for you.

I lost loads of weight very quickly during a time when our house was damaged through no fault of our own and the insurance refused to pay. But it was because I just wasn't eating, wasn't hungry, couldn't eat anything.

The80sweregreat Sat 02-Dec-17 09:40:24

Yes, not personally as i tend to eat when stressed, but watched 3 colleagues all go through awful divorces and the weight fell off them. they were not overweight to start with admittedly, but it happened.
It can cause all sorts of problems.

RochelleGoyle Sat 02-Dec-17 09:40:26

I lost a stone in less than a week following a particularly traumatic life event. Stress can definitely do it.

mummyretired Sat 02-Dec-17 09:43:10

Years ago I lost at least a stone in a fortnight due to bereavement. I was eating normally as I was having family meals with the children plus being fed by family and friends. I know of others who found the same.

I believe the brain uses huge amounts of energy when it has a lot to do.

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