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What are the causes and treatment options for being underweight?

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Gastroenterologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 1989
Answered : 883 Questions
i m 35 years old married man with 5 ft 6 in height but under weight (40 kg). not able to put weight since 15 years though my deit is o.k. what could be the reason, its treatment.
Posted Thu, 26 Apr 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Ketan Vagholkar 6 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
Your body mass index is 14.8 which falls in the underweight range. There are many possible reasons for this. I would be in a better position to opine on your question if you could please answer the following questions.
1. How is your appetite?
2. Have suffered from any medical or surgical disease before?
3. Are your thyroid hormone levels normal?
4 Were you born prematurely ( which means your mother had you before completing 40 weeks) or did you have any disease in your childhood which caused severe weight loss?

Awaiting your reply
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What are the causes and treatment options for being underweight? 16 hours later
appetite: GOOD (05 chappaties per day+ one glass of milk+ friuts)
no/no disease in childhood
Answered by Dr. Ketan Vagholkar 3 hours later
Thanks for reverting.
From the description that you have provided, I would suggest you consult a physician who can evaluate you and order tests for thyroid hormone levels. The following tests need to be done:
a.     Serum thyroid stimulating hormone levels (serum TSH levels)
b.     Free thyroxine levels (FT4 level)

If they are normal, then you could follow the following advice:
1. Indulge in regular weight training exercises.
2. Take plenty of fluids and fruits especially bananas.
3. Take plenty of natural proteins, not the commercially available protein supplements.
4. If you take non vegetarian food, then take one egg on alternate days along with some non vegetarian food on alternate days as well.
5. Eat healthy food frequently, 5-6 times a day - 3 larger meals and 3 smaller meals alternately. Separate them by at least 3 hours so you can digest each meal fully. Don't go without food for 5-6 hours after having a major meal.
6. Use full cream milk and curd. Soya flour should be mixed in equal parts to wheat flour and mix cream while kneading dough for making chapatti. Include soya products, nuts and dry fruits in your diet
I hope I have answered your query.
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