Thursday, May 3, 2012

How to Gain 10 Pounds Overnight

I have blogged a few times pretty generically about "digestive issues" and how they pertain to my running. The last few months I have been struggling to find foods that don't upset my stomach in some way or another. I have no problems with lean meats and vegetables, but that does not a diet make -at least not for anyone who likes to run.

So while I try my best to avoid foods that cause me to puke during a race or run to the bathroom 5 times during a treadmill run, my body still has not been cooperative. Case in point:



No, I'm not 6 months pregnant. This is one of my recent "gain ten pounds overnight" phases. Fun, right? Something I am eating/doing drinking will cause my stomach to go from relatively flat to "how far along are you?" in a matter of minutes. As you might be able to guess, trying to run with a sudden ten pound weight gain is not fun.

So after lots of planning/calling/making appointments/etc. I finally got to an appointment with the right doctor today. I have to admit I was pretty relieved to see these two books in the room:

Food Rules and Forks Over Knives

Not because I think you have to read Michael Pollan in order to be a great doctor, but it was a relief to know that I was speaking to someone who would do more than write me a prescription and tell me to get the h-e-double hockey sticks out of there.

Roughly six gazillion dollars and 14 pints of blood later (me, EXAGGERATE? Never.) and I was sent home with this bad boy:


Let me tell you - it's quite interesting having a conversation about this kit with people. About four different doctors/nurses in the office had "tips and tricks" on collecting stool. I filled my quota for poop talk for a while, thanks. It tests for 50+ different things so hopefully at the end of it I'll have a better idea of what's up.

Do you go out of your way to find a doctor who is a runner/athlete?
I don't think you need to be an athlete to be a good doctor, but I do think it's a bonus when your doctor can identify with you - whether that's because of diet, exercise, whatever.

Do you have any food allergies/intolerances?
Not that I know of. I have tried cutting out dairy, meat and gluten at various times to try to get rid of some symptoms but nothing has been particularly effective in the long term.


52 comments:

  1. I have a gluten allergy, and some of my symptoms were similar to yours (extreme bloating, sudden bathroom needs). I guess it took me about two weeks to feel better after eliminating gluten. it is in EVERYTHING (soy sauce, salad dressings, sauces, etc.) so it was hard to adjust and not accidentally eat stuff that contained it.

    I hope they find out what the deal is! And hopefully it is something that can be easily cured :)

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  2. Wow that is one unhappy GI tract! I'll pray that you get some quick and easy to remedy answers.

    I like my doctor to respect my lifestyle. It's a plus if he or she is also an athlete too.

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  3. Hopefully they can help you find out what is going on because I am sure that is absolutely no fun...I understand being relieved to the see the books. I'm pretty much 100% anti-doctor at this point because of usual processes.

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  4. Wow, I am so sorry! How strange…. Good luck with everything, I know these tests and waiting for results can be tiring and stressful.

    I agree, I love when my doc is a athlete and even better when he/she is a runner….but it's hard to find, so I'll take what I can get. I want them to at least understand the mindset of an athlete or running.

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  5. it is possible to eat enough meat and veggies to support a runner lifestyle...http://www.amazon.com/The-Paleo-Diet-Athletes-Nutritional/dp/1594860890/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336069087&sr=8-1

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  6. I'm with Ashley and that is an easy way for me or my BIL or my sister to gain 5 to 10 pounds overnight--gluten exposure. My bro in law literally expands four pants sizes when he is exposed.

    I hope they can figure out what is happening to your body!

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  7. Having an athlete doctor really helps.

    I do have food allergies: ginger, cloves and shellfish. My lobster allergy requires an epipen. My 7.5 year old son is allergic to eggs, tree nuts and peanuts. He requires an epipen for his peanut allergy. My 5.5 year old has a dairy intolerance, milk (products) hurt his tummy and make him run for the pot. It is hard to live with food allergies and intolerances. Once you figure out what is causing this, you will be able to control it. Don't eat out until you know what it is. Cross-contamination for allergies and intolerances are a b!t(h. Good luck!!!

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  8. WOW! I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this, but I am so glad you posted about it. My husband has similar tummy/GI issues. We can't seem to pinpoint what is causing it. What kind of doctor did you go to? I'd love to get the hubs tested for whatever he needs to be tested for so that I don't have to hear him groan and whine!

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    1. Sorry your husband is dealing with GI problems like this! I couldn't respond to your comment via email but I wanted to write that I actually went to a doctor of internal medicine, although I imagine a gastroenterologist would be even better in some cases. The kit I have gets sent away to a lab and takes a few weeks to get results, but I would say it is worth it for peace of mind.

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    2. Thanks! That's the issue though...He went to a GI, had an endoscopy, and he gave him a presciption for Aciphex. The Aciphex is CRAZY expensive, helps a little more than Zantac, but doesn't relieve the issues. I may try to talk to him about scheduling an appointment to talk to his regular doctor about food allergies. I just hate it for him (and anyone else having to deal with it) because it is so uncomfortable! I can't imagine the feeling of being bloated all the time!

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  9. Aw its like you swallowed a kitten! I hope you get answers soon, that must be really frustrating. I don't have a GP that is an athlete but my chiro is and that really helps.

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  10. You have to collect your own poo...in 4 vials? Please don't take video, even if Nuun asks nicely.

    I have IBS, but I never bloat up that much. Mine is completely controlled by diet (for the most part). I hope you don't have to do as many "drink this barium!" tests as I did before they figure it all out.

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  11. Holy cow! I hope you get things figured out soon! That sounds so miserable!

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  12. Woah...Hope everything works out and they find out what's wrong.

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  13. That's a lot of poo collecting you have to do :/
    But at least they will hopefully give you some answers.

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  14. WHOA. That looks totally fake! I can't believe that's real! I hope you feel better and figure things out, that sounds horrible.

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  15. ah man bummer girl! Hope the new stuff helps!

    I hate going to the dr. I have been fortune where I haven't had to go but if I did I would deftly search out the best ones and I would prbly prefer them to be sports related.

    It is great to see your doctor is reading good material :)

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  16. I used to have that issue too - bloating! I still get it when I drink milk or some coffees. I hope you figure everything out and when you do let me know

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  17. Holy moly! I can't even fathom being that bloated. I really hope they figure it out soon. Also, I want poop collecting stories. That just sounds like way too much fun. Did they supply you with rubber gloves?

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    1. No gloves. Didn't think that far ahead but needless to say, I will be buying some ASAP.

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  18. Bummer! I feel like I'm going through a similar thing. Egg yolks seem to upset my stomach or anything that is overly fatty (like sausage even).

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  19. OMG how awful! I'm so sorry you have to deal with that. Hopefully you get a diagnosis and get it under control asap!

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  20. Did the digestive issues start recently? Or is this something you have dealt with all of your life? Do you have any other symptoms. Skin issues, fatigue, etc.. Sorry for all of the questions! I really hope they can pinpoint the cause. Can't wait to hear what the doc says.

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  21. Whoa! That looks uncomfortable! My old roommates wife is lactose intolerant and that is what happens to her. She totally gets a belly just like that! It's strange. Ew. Stool. NOT FUN!

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  22. I am really sorry for here that you are not feeling well. I hope they figure it out and get you some relief really soon. I feel really sad looking at your picture because it's missing your beautiful smile :( Take Care!

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  23. I can totally sympathize with having stomach issues(((

    But it sounds like you are heading in the right direction with this new doctor.

    *fingers crossed* that you find one simple thing that you can easily avoid.

    I definitely prefer a doctor who is a runner and/or is knowledgeable about alternative diets.

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  24. I had huge GI issues last year. Before I started running. We ended up finding out I had an ulcer and gastritis. It sucked but was easily fixed. I dealt with it for about 2 years at that point. I had major bloating, diarrhea, constipation etc.

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  25. Oh my God I was about to write "CONGRATULATIONS!!!!"- I have friends who have this happen to them- literally a different person from the time they wake up to when they eat. Usually it's around dinner time. Hope everything gets figured out! And p.s., I still think you look adorable with the weight gain- I bet your husband has baby fever! :)

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  26. I have GI issues also but it does not make me bloated like this..poor you...have you tried ENDEFEN? Natural product. It could help you. I take it.

    also have you discussed this with an OBGYN. I know it sounds silly...BUT what if this is endometriosis. I had that and it can make people look 6 mos pregnant just like that. Maybe pay attention to your cycle also.

    I do hope you will find answsers soon.

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  27. Good for you for taking control of your health!!! I hope your doctor rocks :D I have similar issues and was diagnosed with IBS, which is kind of frustrating because there's not a whole lot to do about it other than avoid the things that make it worse...which most people figure out by themselves before they get the almighty diagnosis. ;-) haha

    Anyway. Hope you get some answers. Have fun with that stool kit. :D

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  28. been there! yep, i feel ya. I am hoping you find some answers. I'd go for an ellimnation diet too. Dairy and wheat are usually main culprits.

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  29. Hope you get it all sorted out soon!

    I had to have an ingrown toenail removed one time and the doc that did it not only was a runner, he also had an English Springer Spaniel! I knew I had found the right guy.

    My current doc, our family physician, who is younger than me, is a nice guy, but just doesn't understand why I run and why I like to be on the low end of my weight range to do that.

    It is nicer to have a doctor who gets you, that is for sure.

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  30. Oh man, that looks painful. I hope you get it sorted out and that you don't poop on yourself in the process. :)

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  31. Ouchie! I am the same way after having my son and still haven't gone to get it checked out. Guess I should huh?

    And hey now, you check out my blog. I look that way at 16 weeks! NOT 6 months!! LOL

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  32. Looks like you have a case of Valeria...

    Seriously though, that looks so uncomfortable. I really hope they are able to find an answer for you soon and that it is an easy solution!

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  33. You cracked me up with all the poop talk...lol. But all jokes aside, wow, that looks uncomfortable. Hopefully they will find out what is going on. I don't have any allergies but two months ago I had the worse "stomach-flu" like symptons for almost a whole weekend, and since then I cannot eat red meat. I am having to take a probiotic with my meals because I get the worse pain and get bloated. Ugh... I haven't eaten red meat since then, and although eating chicken and turkey, have cut back significantly on meat.

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  34. That's what I look like when I have lots of dairy (excluding yogurt). Ouch. So miserable.

    My physical therapist and chiropractor are both runners. I love that because they get the mental part of it too- the fact that I need to run. My regular doctor is also a runner, but that's just a fluke.

    Hope you get some answers.

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  35. oh vanessa, i hope u get all of this squared away soon, i'm so sorry!! i kno how horrible GI issues are. :( as for doc's, i feel bad for if i kno they aren't a runner i sort of in the back of my mind discount some of the things they may be telling me. i always seek out someone who 'gets' my mentality...lol.

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  36. I went through exactly the same thing! Bloating, back stomach pains, running to the bathroom. Found out I was gluten intolerant and ALL problems have disappeared. But you need to be careful. It is in a lot of foods you would never suspect (beer for one!) Good luck.

    BTW, I'm a vegetarian (well, I still eat fish occasionally) and gluten intolerant, and I've been really healthy and running well for 15 years on mostly vegetables and lots of vegetarian protein sources. So don't worry about the meat and veggies -- it actually sounds pretty healthy.

    ❀Barbara❀
    My Running Shortz

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  37. Oh Vanessa, that looks so uncomfortable you poor thing. I hope you get an answer soon from your tests.

    My doctor isn't an athlete, but he is very thorough and never just writes out a script and sends you on your way, he always gets to the bottom of the problem.

    I do have food allergies, but after a few years of testing with specialists there is still no cause found so now I just have to take my chances and carry an epi-pen with me everywhere I go. Not much fun so I really hope you can find a cause and fix it.

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  38. I was having some serious GI issues until recently...I would get sick during runs (and other times) and have to try to run to the nearest bathroom. It was awful. I went to the doctor and he said he was going to do a RAST. He took my blood but apparently my insurance wouldn't pay for the test, so he never ran the test. (I was pissed!) I ended up doing an elimination diet - i.e. pretty much only having rice, chicken/fish, and certain fruits and veggies for 3 weeks. I was able to figure out some sensitivities!

    Sooooo....hopefully the tests your doctor is running will help you out. If not, he'll probably suggest an elimination diet. Let me tell you. It's unpleasant being so restricted, but so worth it if you might discover how to stay healthy!

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  39. That doesn't look like a fun weekend activity, but . . . I really really really hope it helps you figure out what's causing your issues so that you can put it behind you and go back to being the fun eating and running chica!

    Good luck - hugs!

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  40. I have a very hard time finding a doctor I can relate to in this state! Hope you get it figured out soon!

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  41. GI Issues are the worst! After years of dealing with that stuff I finally got diagnosed with Celiac and it's been a whole new world. I really hope they can figure something out for you. A crappy diagnosis is so much better than the "try this" or the "take this" or the worst "we're not sure" .. Also, I totally agree that the Dr. of Internal medicine is a great idea. GI docs I've dealt with are very difficult and I eventually ended up with an allergist that deals a lot with food allergies, etc. He seemed by far the most knowledgeable. Very similar to the feeling you had with those books in the waiting room.. Best of luck, I hope you get this stuff figured out.

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  42. I had this SAME ISSUE! For 3 years, and now I've been better for one year with a once in a while hiccup but its only been probably twice that I've been bloated in the last year. I went to a gastrointerologist (not sure if I even spelled that right) and he asked me to follow a diet high in fiber (at least 30 grams) from real foods (no supplements) and start the day with fiber one cereal and greek yogurt each day. After 5 weeks of doing that my poop was way healthier and I had very little bloating. After 3 months I felt like a new person and was eating dairy, gluten, ect without problems and they used to be the culprit. The key is to get the fiber from vegetables, fruits, whole grain bread, ect, and not from metamucil or something, or fiber one bars. fiber one cereal is ok though. Also he had me take Align probiotic for 6 months to reset the bacterias in my colon, but I don't have to take them anymore.
    good luck and I hope you don't have any real issues and that you can get better! I hated feeling sick all the time.

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  43. That is so crazy! hopefully all this testing will help you figure it out.

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  44. Hi! I have similar issues - huge bloating! My tummy looks worse than the original posters. I also realized - I gained about 9 pounds overnight! I just happened to weigh myself yesterday and today at the same time - empty stomach 1st thing in morning. 9 pounds heavier today! Had a BIG meal yesterday of fries, cheese, ranch... lotsa beer and topped it off with ice cream... but the food itself wasnt def 9 pounds... can gas cause weight gain? or is it just retained water?

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    1. Yikes! Sorry this is happening to you. I often gain ten pounds overnight and while I am certainly no expert, I do think it is primarily water. Eating new/unusual foods (which for you might be those fries, cheese, beer, etc.) are often culprits. Anything that deviates from my normal diet! Don't know how gas could actually CAUSE the weight gain, although obviously it's a side effect!

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  45. Oh man! Hope you get answers soon!

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  46. I'd suggest checking out The Paleo Solution. Actually, fruits, veggies and meats can work for athletes (including runners!). I followed it during marathon training - not quite 100% compliant, but close - and it worked well. The transition phase sucks, but it gets better. It might be worth it, especially since you're having such drastic side effects.

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  47. I've had real bloating issues off and on for a while. And I've used Diagnostechs test kits before :) I have yet to figure out the reason...I'm suspecting in my case that it's sugar :(

    Hope you're able to find out what is UP. Digestive issues suck.

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