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Water weight vs. weight weight


Merrill
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I've gained and lost the same 10-15 pounds a couple of times in the last year and at the moment I'm heavier than I've ever been. My doc last week thought it could be water... but if I haven't been on any medications during this period, what would make my body sometimes retain water and sometimes not?

Also, how would anyone know if the weight they were gaining (and losing) was water or not? Swelling of the extremeties is easy enough to see--puffy ankles, for example, or rings that suddenly fit too tight on fingers. (I don't have that.) But do people retain water in their thighs, hips, belly? That seems like regular fat to me ... but is it?

I haven't done ONE thing different in terms of my diet or my exercise...and like I've said, I've both lost and gained this year--enough to change sizes from a 12 down to an 8 and then back up again. Help! :P

Thanks,

Merrill

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Good question! One I'd like the answer for, too. I lost 15 and now it's coming back on, especially in my belly. In fact, I'm frustrated with my pants fitting right... bigger belly makes them pull across the other end. :P

The weight has come back on since starting Florinef and beta blocker. I can't figure out if it's water retention or if I have a bit more appetite with the tach/BP more under control? Well, and I know that the holidays certainly didn't help.

Guess I didn't add anything useful but would like to know, too!

Ginger

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That's a good question...which I don't have an answer to. I'd be interested to find out if anyone does have an answer as one of my very ill friends has a huge problem with fluid retention. She's put on as much as 30 pounds in one week! Her fluid will shift depending on her body position, so for example, if she lays on her left, the left side will be bigger than the right...and will have pitting (if you push on an area, it leaves an indentation for a while).

Nina

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I always think it's water if the weight comes on fairly fast and also comes off quickly. For example when I put on a few pounds out of nowhere I usually assume it's water weight. Also I get a sort of "bloaty feeling". And that weight will be gone in a few days.

The only other way to tell is that you can leave an indentation when you press on your skin. But that might only apply to the ankles and legs.

Do you notice the weight gain more around your period? When I first got sick I had pretty significant weight swings. I had to keep 3 sizes of jeans and wore all 3 sizes in a year. Now my weight is more stable.

GayleP

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You can definitely retain water despite having pitting edema. I have significant edema, but it's not pitting. I know I carry water weight a) because I have a noticeable difference in the size of my calves and feet from morning to night; and :P I weigh four pounds less in the a.m. than in the p.m.

Try keeping track of your weight for a week by weighing yourself first thing when you wake up and just before going to bed. If you have more than a 1- or 2-pound difference, there's a good chance you are retaining fluid.

If you are, I'd ask the doc about being on a high-salt diet. I'd think that might be bad.

Amy

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I forgot to mention salt in my first post (thanks for the reminder, Amy)! Of course, the docs wanted me on high salt high fluid diet to raise blood volume... and I've been doing that. Almost every day, I drink 2+ liters of water and M-F, drink 2 glasses of powdered gatorade with somewhere in the neighborhood of 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of salt (total) mixed in. Weekends I more typically take a salt tablet or two for expediency's sake. This is in addition to eating turkey bacon on the weekends, drinking V-8, and salting my food every day of the week... But I've been behaving this way for a year... and still there's this weight gain and loss with the same amount of (almost no) exercise and a reasonably healthy diet. (Sugar is definitely my weakness, but I don't get increase of uncomfortable symptoms like others do.)

Here's another twist to think about. Sometimes lately, despite the same water intake as always, my urine appears darker yellow--and is therefore more concentrated. When I'm well hydrated (at other times), urine is very pale, almost clear--as it should be. I honestly do NOT think something is wrong with me or my kidney function, and I'm not worried about it ... I'm just annoyed, really, with what's become of me and my waistline (and hip line and thigh line :P !) And I'm curious about these changes week to week, month to month.

(Speaking of month--someone asked about menstrual stuff. I guess I do get a little bit bloated that time of month--but never significantly so ... and actually, over the course of all these years and on the whole, not so much so's that you'd notice. I know other people experience this much more dramatically than I do.)

Thanks for responding, everyone, and sharing your experiences.

m

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Guest tearose

M, another possibility is that some of your body weight is muscle that has turned to fat :P !

Can you get one of those body fat and weight scales? When my son went off to college we found a good one at wal mart.

I have lymphedema on just one side of my body and it can put an additional 2 lbs on me at most. When the water retention is present due to swelling, I do get pitting. When I really have plain ole water retention from too much salt or hormone changes, I feel kinda bloated all over. The scale again is helpful to see if body fat has changed...

Unfortunately although the holiday eating (lots of cookies too), put 5 lbs on me, which I can deal fine with, the bad part is I went from 20% to 27% body fat!!! That's a horror!

Hope you get a handle on this luv or is it luv handle ? tearose

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I definitely need a new scale, Tearose. How does yours know the difference between fat and muscle and bone and all that? Or am I overstating its fancy-schmanciness? Is there a brand you'd recommend? I'll look for it.

Maybe you're right, tho, about muscle turning to fat. Do you suppose it's in the realm of possibility that this 2-month break from the easiest yoga class in the world (and my being way too lazy to continue the practice on my own) could have something to do with my weight gain? If so, the good news is that my class just started again! I should be fit as a fiddle again ( :P ) in just a couple months!

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Guest tearose

okay, we all use the Tanita scale. You set your gender and height and then wait for the 00 to show up on the screen. You stand on it and it takes two readings by sending a current through your feet.(not dangerous or felt). The first reading is your weight and the second is your body fat in %. Simple and fast. My weight is usually 2lbs lighter in the morning and 1% more fat. The night reading, which is considered more accurate is usually 2lbs. heaver and the fat is 1-2% less.

Yes, less activity over two months and the being carefulness of neck problems can contribute to some muscle going to fat, but did you indulge in holiday feasting too? I bet is is the combination of several things. The good news Merrill is that you can turn this around in a matter of 2 months again in the other direction!

Now get on the floor with the rest of us and start moving those buns across the floor!

t

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Tearose, I was about to suggest a body fat scale too. I am at 28% body fat, so I am a real horror! :P I've gained 13 lbs post-POTS, which I was hoping was water, but I'll bet it's fat...oh well...

Merrill, I have a Tanita body fat scale, which I think is the most common brand. It sends a super small current through your body. I think it figures out the % because the current runs through muscle faster than fat (though I might have gotten it backwards).

Oh well, back to the Golden Globes...

Rita

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Hello All,

This is my first post but my wife and I have been "spying " the forum from afar for awhile until the courage set upon to participate. I guess a bit off background. After a long journey and a suffering Canadian medical system , I spent a total of 22 days at the MAYO clinic and was diagnosed with Dysautonomia. I am a 39 years old.My Wife and I are Personal Trainers , gym owners and my wife a Yoga "guru" . SO possible I can help a little. let me break it down basically.

1) for 1g of carb you will retain 3 g of water. the way to prevent this retion is to maintain good fluid intake over the whole day. Do not be afraid of carbs now because as we need to eat small it is a benifit to eat Complex carbs inorder to help maintain energy and increase "fat " burning

2 ) the scales are only effective at giving you a proper % when you are fully hydrated and you must weigh your self at same time -- probably @ 5-6 pm for body fat. For body weight weigh when you wake in the morning. Weights will be different.

3) Find a training program that is effective for YOU! That keeps both you outside and inside working. Muscles working will help to maitain weight and fluid levels. Proper fluid intake will allow as best as possible all systems to function efficently. It is important to maintan balance in your joints , connective tissues , as well as your cardio vascular system.

4) break your workouts up into activities You enjoy ; then wacth the water weight come of and your system balance. People usually find a Set Point weight that they feel comfortale at. A 5 lb range up / down know that its OK . worry more about enjoying being active helping your body to increase its ability to exchange O2 , balance its fluid levels ,and metabalise its energy systems. Don't force yourself to do it , but now we 're all forced to recognise it.

Sorry for the long winded dissertation , typing is the only way I can talk this long half the time. That's the one thing my Kids fancy about this deal , free time from DAD. but I 've got a pretty descent set of grunts and hand gestures. Again sorry for the length . Hope some help and Cheers to a Soft tomorrow

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Welcome Kite! Sorry you have dysautonomia but glad that you have found the DINET family. There is so much good information on the website thanks to Michelle and also the posts from the regulars here that you should feel comfortable asking questions.

Hey, Dancing Light, Merrill, Tearose and others we now (potentially) have trainers and another yoga instructor for the DINET spa!!

I would like to get one of those body fat scales but I think it might scare me....body weight is fine but body fat....no clue. Merrill, you go first!

Tearose, are those cookies ready yet?!

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Geneva, even tho it scares me too :( , I'm going to get one of those scales--but I'm bumming out that I just used my 20% off Bed Bath & Beyond coupon on a dumb pair of tongs! :) I couldn't think of anything else I absolutely needed--though I certainly saw lots of things I wanted! Shoot ... I've got to rummage through the recyling now to see if I can find another coupon. Oy.

Thanks for the info, Kite. And welcome here!

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This thread caught my attention because I have been having really bad edema that changes my body weight and there has been little luck getting the edema to truly go down. It is now suspected that it is caused by exposure to bad mold that has gotten in my system etc. Doctors have ruled out heart problems, blood pooling etc.

Anyhow, I've been really sick and was on a very strong antibiotic a few weeks ago. About mid week on a 10 days worth of the med. I had an upset stomach and started feeling better...Not to go into details. Anyhow, I was laying in bed and realized I was suddenly feeling LOTS better and my legs felt different. Within about two hours TONS of the edema went way way down and you could actually see bone and defined muscles, despite some of the edema still being there. My clothes were hanging on me too. I decided to weight myself and there was a 10-13 lb. difference. This lasted for a little over a day and was really truly wonderful, to feel closer to normal than I have in a very long time and to actually look it too.

We know mine is not from lack of exercise, despite mine being reduced. I am an athlete so I have very low body fat and exercise makes no difference on the edema. Mine does go down some if we combine pilates with massage.

We think the edema went down because toxins of some kind got out of my system but not all of them cleared out so its back. Sigh. A bizarre but nice experience and I look forward to it going down and staying down. I was very disapointed when the edema came back.

I am waiting on an appointment with an environmental allergist that treats people exposed to mold. Appearently it can cause all sorts of yeast overgrowth etc. that can cause worse syncope, edema, pain and tons of other things I have going on.

I just wanted to share this, because what happened to me in the past few weeks was really different and wasn't sure if it would make sense or benefit anybody.

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I used to have a terrible time with water retention. Some days I would need to wear jeans that were a size bigger than what I would normally fit in. I don't really have that anymore, but some days I do notice that my stomach is a little bigger and the ring I wear every day is a little tighter. It doesn't seem to affect what clothes I wear, though.

Last spring, I gained 12 pounds in 3 weeks. It was insane! I didn't eat anything out of the ordinary. Besides, I would've had to eat like a horse to gain that much in so little time. It was sooo frustrating because I couldn't exercise more to work off the new inexplicable weight. It took me about 5 months to get rid of it.

Ever since I got sick with POTS, I've struggled with the weight issue (whether it's water retention or regular weight) because, I think, of the sheer lack of activity. I'm doing better now that I'm feeling better and getting back into going to classes, etc. But it's still difficult because I can't just do a cardio workout, you know?

Anyway, I'm rambling.... :(

Love,

Kristin

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Hi,

I am having a terrible time with this. Had to stop wearing my wedding rings because my fingers would swell so much. (Wearing them around my neck on a chain Jim says its like we are going steady :) ) My chinese doctor is very concerned with this and it is amzing how one day my legs look so heavy and another day you can see bones. In chinese theory it is that the fluid is not going to the right places and not going out like it should so she gives me herbs and accupuncture. She says it is also a sign that the lymph is not moving like it should and has suggested a lymph massage. Haven't tried that yet but probably soon. The one thing that does help is to rub upwards on my arms and legs to help get it moving. Sometimes that makes quite a difference. But it is very very annoying. It is amazing to me that so many times I come on this site and find out that others are experiencing things that I am,having symptoms that drive me crazy that I would never have contributed to POTS. As Nina always says we are not the average bears. :(

Stacey :-)

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