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Underdeveloped and Underweight

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Old 11-16-2006, 03:06 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3
calvino HB User
Underdeveloped and Underweight

Hello and thank you for deciding to read my post...

I think I am a severely underweight woman... I'm 19 years old, 5' 3", and a mere 83 pounds. I have always been skinny for my whole life, though not this skinny. During my recent adolescent years, I was at least 90 pounds. I try to eat and rest as well as I can. I think it wasn't until after I visited China, contract some flu-like illness from eating/drinking something bad, did I drop to the mid 70s (and regained to 83, a point I can't seem to pass). Despite these symptoms, everything else is quite normal, including my menstrual cycle.

I've also gotten a slew of symptoms from then too: extreme fatigue (yet crazy restlessness/anxiety so I cannot have good sleep to recover from tiredness), a terrible lack of appetite (I feel like I have to force myself to eat anything), a worsening memory, difficulty trying to think, gastrointestinal problems (bloating, constipation, diarrhea), vaginal/anal itching...

The worse problem is trying to gain weight so that I have some semblance of looking like a woman. Although I have always been underdeveloped, I was a very attractive and bright young lady, but especially of late, I appear to be nothing more but emaciated and stupefied. None of the women in my family face any weight issues- all are quite fit and healthy.

I have struggled with my weight for quite some time. I have seen a nutritionist, gastrologist, and endocrinologist to see what was wrong with my digestive and hormonal systems... but they dismissed me as normal. They've ruled out some things like Addison's Disease, cortisol problems, prolactin problems, thyroid problems...

Right now, the only thing I can attribute my problems to are parasites because the symptoms match them most... I'm hoping someone can help me out here...

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Old 11-16-2006, 08:23 AM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: pennsylvania
Posts: 1,351
jen52983 HB User
Re: Underdeveloped and Underweight

You can always go to the doctor to have them test for parasites, if that's something you think it could be. At the very least, it couldn't hurt to rule it out.

In the meantime... how would you feel about starting birth control, if you aren't currenlty using it? Birth control can help significantly with your pms and all the terror it brings! It can also help you gain weight. Ingredients in BC tend to cause metabolism to slow down, which leads to some weight gain. Of course this varies from person to person. BC has also been known to increase breast size in some women.

Also, try a high protein diet. Avoid shakes, mixes and pills though. They contain additives that can be harmful in ways. Red meat, eggs, fish, chicken, nuts.. all of these things are high in protein which help to gain "healthy" fat. Most of the time we want to watch our intake of all the food groups really. But if you are trying to gain weight (as my little sister is also) increasing your protien intake should help you out with that.

I always mention this to people suffering from nutrional problems- research Celiac Disease/Gluten Intolerance. It is becoming more well known, but is still some what new to the medical world. It is a food allergy. I have it. I had a whole slew of symptoms as well, all were so generalized that it took a long time to even realize there was a serious problem. Finally my doctor discovered it. By linking my symptoms with levels in my blood work, specifically bellyrubin (I'm sure I spelled that wrong. It's something to do with your liver) he diagnosed me with a gluten intolerance. Can't hurt to check it out.

What did the nutritionist suggest?

I would go to the doctor again. Have then test you for any causes you suspect. Better safe than sorry!

Good luck. Take care.

Last edited by jen52983; 11-16-2006 at 08:34 AM.

Old 11-20-2006, 01:55 AM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 76
Tiea HB User
Re: Underdeveloped and Underweight

I'm trying to gain weight too, it's hard, especially when you have no appetite. Ask your doctor to prescribe you something to increase your appetite, or go to a health food shop for a natural stimulant. While you're at the health food shop, ask them about healthy ways to gain weight. They can give you high protein shakes to make up and advise you on the best kinds of foods. I've also heard that women who lack zinc in their diet won't develop properly. Because I'm underweight and underdeveloped I finally bought some zinc tablets today. Should be interesting to see if they make any difference.

Last edited by Tiea; 11-20-2006 at 01:56 AM.

Old 11-20-2006, 11:40 AM   #4
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 23
Moontayl HB User
Re: Underdeveloped and Underweight

I understand what you are going through. I am 28 and barely 87 pounds and I have had 2 children. I have done everything doctors have told me to do from ensure protein drinks (never gained an ounce at 3 a day for 6 months), so I quit that. Plus keeping a log of everything I consume. It's been a difficult road, I won't lie. Doctor's just think I have an eating disorder (which I don't and never have), or I'm depressed (which I am not). I have had a battery of tests all come back fine. When doctors don't have an answer, they send you to a psychologist-it MUST be psychological (whatever). I have learned that this is who I am. As long as I know I eat and I don't have an eating disorder that's all that matters. They offered to put me on medication, but I was afraid it would make me gain too much weight so I opted out. If you LOOK healthy-as I do-I wouldn't worry about it anymore. Who cares what people think. They stare cause your overweight, they stare cause your underweight-you can't please everybody. My advice to you would be, eat small meals through-out the day (like 5). Eat a lot of pasta's and breads-they are full of carbs. Good Luck!

Old 11-20-2006, 03:53 PM   #5
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Indiana
Posts: 53
novmom HB User
Re: Underdeveloped and Underweight

I feel your pain!!! I don't have any advice because I'm going through something similar right now. I'm 5'7.5" and currently 102lbs. Only a few months ago I was 126 lbs. I dropped weight like no tomorrow....and the doctors have no clue why. They have run tons of tests and nothing.

The comments are so hard. Lately, when someone comments about my size I have told them...."The doctors are monitoring me. Do you think I'd be seeing a doctor if I had an eating disorder?" Or something along those lines. It usually shuts them up.

I, myself, have very similar "symptoms" as you have posted too.


hang in there!!
Mom to -
6 yr old son, diagnosed w/ Mood Disorder NOS
3 yr old daughter

Old 11-28-2006, 10:48 PM   #6
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1
ngellove HB User
Re: Underdeveloped and Underweight

I am 21 years old and I am underweight. I am about 5 feet and weight barely 90 pounds. I have a hard time trying to eat and i'm underdeveloped. I am ok with it for the most part...I just don't think is healthy and would also like to be able to buy clothes that actually fit right. Nothing seems to look ok with a body so skinny, does anyone else feel that way...I would just like to get in touch with people who are underweight like myself...please write


Old 12-04-2006, 11:25 AM   #7
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3
calvino HB User
Re: Underdeveloped and Underweight

Thanks for everyone's responses. I really appreciate it.

Ngellove, I know what you mean about the clothes. The problem could be easily resolved if we would just gain...

One year ago, I had such strong motivation to gain weight that I gained about 10 pounds in two months, which is an amazing accomplishment for myself. I added fat to my boobs and thighs! I actually had some shape to my body! However, I lost that weight very fast. It happens after every time I worked hard to gain weight.

I know how some of you say that as long as I'm healthy then it doesn't matter the way I'm made, but the problem is that I appear very sickly...

So eat, eat, eat is the way to go. I don't know why it's so difficult for my body to produce that natural urge to eat. All I really can do for now is to force myself.

So the question now is how can I improve my appetite?

Old 12-27-2006, 03:59 PM   #8
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 1
dlvn2006 HB User
Re: Underdeveloped and Underweight

I can relate, too. I'm 5'5'' and 98 lbs. I just want to look womanly in jeans and a t-shirt. I'm always having to cover up my body somehow with a big jacket or sometimes I even wear two pairs of pants. It's frustrating because everyone thinks I'm anorexic, but I'm not.

Calvino, how did you manage to gain 10 lbs?

Old 01-23-2007, 12:47 AM   #9
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3
calvino HB User
Re: Underdeveloped and Underweight

I know this response is very late... but I have been busy with school and yes, gaining weight haha. I don't know if this post would still be of help, but what the heck, I'll post it anyways...

I am steadily gaining the weight. The hardest part of it all is finding the motivation. I can gain healthy weight if I consistently eat a lot of healthy and fattening foods like peanut butter, rice, nuts, pasta... I have to keep pushing myself and eat more and more of these healthy foods.

Another thing I must do simultaneously is to be mentally and emotionally healthy. I need a good night's sleep... if not, I'll lack the energy and deplete the little storage of fat on my body. In fact, this very thing happened at a alarming rate when I experienced one of the most traumatic events in my life late last month. I was so stressed that I dropped to 78 pounds in a matter of days. It was really scary.

Consistency is the most important thing... I have gained about ten pounds since!!! By eating and sleeping well, I am starting to look so much better. I I'm aiming to be at least 100 pounds in no more than 6 months. I'm already getting a more womanly shape... and I can't wait to tone my body once I have the appropriate mass to work with.

I have to admit though, as I gain more weight, the more I have to eat. It's not easy because sometimes I feel like I'm going to explode with all the food I'm stuffing into myself. Sometimes, I even want to throw up (and I'm not bulmic or anything like that). It's just that my body isn't used to it, but this is the only way to make it grow. I have to keep pushing my limits... that body I want is attainable. I'm not going to give myself any excuses.

Good luck to everyone. I wish you all the best.

Old 01-23-2007, 05:15 PM   #10
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Posts: 2
hmb HB User
Re: Underdeveloped and Underweight

I just had a friend who was struggling with weight loss and some of the other symptoms you were metioning like being tired all the time but not being able to sleep. She ended up having hyperthyroidism. I don't know if you have already been tested for it, but if not it may be an option.

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