Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"How do I gain weight?"
I've always been skinny, but since I turned 21, it's out of control. I'm over 6 feet tall, and under 125 pounds. I've tried everything, protein shakes, tons of fatty foods, weight training - I feel like I'm just getting thinner. What is wrong with me?
In general, your weight is entirely dependent the amount of food you consume relative to the amount that you burn. You will gain weight if you eat more than you burn and you will lose weight if you burn more than you eat. The amount that you burn depends on your basal metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn at rest) and you physical activity.
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Genetics play a big role in your basal metabolic rate. If you are an athlete that trains every day, it will be tough to gain weight. On the other hand, there are certain conditions that can prevent you from being able to gain weight. For example people with celiac disease have a tough time absorbing food they eat. However, this will also cause abdominal pain. People with hyperthyroidism can also have a tough time keeping weight on. The best type of physician for you to see about this issue is a primary care physician such as a family doctor or internal medicine doctor. He or she can take a more detailed history of your diet, activity, and family history. Perhaps your doctor will want to do a blood test for celiac disease and hyperthyroidism. Hopefully, your doctor will determine that your weight is normal.
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