Uncontrollable Weight Gain


Asked by cacookhorn

Uncontrollable Weight Gain

My sister is 32 yrs old and for the past year has experienced a significant increase in her weight. It started with a pain in her stomach and was hospitalized, however nothing was found to cause the pain and when it ceased some she was released, however she was in so much pain when she would eat that she just stopped eating. She had to take a leave from work. First they thought it was parasites they treated her for that with no success. She lost about 25-30 pound.

Her Dr. said that due to some extra stress in her life (home forclosure) that it may be a manifestation of her stress and recommeded a psychologist. They put her on antidepressants. She felt a bit better, of course, but other things began to happen. SHe began to gain weight rapidly. She began to feel like her sugar level was dropping after she ate and several times throughout the day.

They gave her a machine to monitor her blood sugar and it showed that it was elevating after eating which is normal but no one addressed the issue of her feeling dizzy and tired and uncontrollable shaking. She said that when this occured, which was often, eating or drinking something sweet kind of curbs the reaction. A visit to the endocrinolgist who told her to fast from the night before completed a full day test. Her blood sugar was tested every hour with no food for several hours and it showed no elevation and did not decrease, it stayed at the same level. Continuous testing still show her blood sugar to be in the normal range.

Her GYN took her off of the birth control that she had been taking for the past 7 years with no problems too see if that might help, but has made no difference. She has gained approximatly 50 pounds in the past 4-5 months. Dr after Dr has found nothing. She doest eat much now, sometimes skipping diner due to a heavy work schedule and in the past two weeks gained 10 pounds. They have done several blood tests to test for thyroid problems but every test comes back normal.

She returned to work so we cant monitor her eating, but she says that she cut out any extra sweets, cookies, cakes and other things from her diet, however, still eats fast foods at times.

She is constantly fatigued, her skin color is a pale yellow, and she cannot stop gaining weight. Now her hips and legs are beginning to pain i think due to the rapid weight gain. We don't know what to do anymore. I have been researching and found several things that it could be, cushings, a tumor in the thyroid gland, bad bacteria in the stomach, side effects from the antidepressants, but what to do? Dr.s wont test unless they have a reason and none have run any scans to test for the above.. In the past few months they have decrease her antidepressant dosage slowly and only remains on one now at 30mg and continues to ween off that. Is there anything else that it could be? What can we tell them to test for? HELP!!!


You gave alot of details and yet it is really hard to even begin to try and figure out someone complicated like this so let me advise a couple of things. Anti-depressant very often cause weight gain - for a variety of reasons, though some can cause weight loss so i would at least re-visit the medication issue. A number of women's gynecological issues - fibroids, hormones can also cause weight gain. Eating causes weight gain and though I don't want to sound unkind or make the assumption that something physical is not the cause - it sounds like there are eating issues going on here and I would get help from a therapist or therapist/dietician team to help with stabilizing your sister's diet so her blood sugars stay steady and so she gets off "fast food' and on to a healthy eating program. It may help with her other issues and it will certainly be a way for her to safely drop these excess pounds if they have no medical origin or cause.

Answered by Amy Hendel, P.A.