Rapid weight gain: I was pretty shocked... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Rapid weight gain

Phil_1972 profile image

I was pretty shocked when I weighted myself today and wondering if our scales are inaccurate! I've never been so heavy and blobby despite my abstinence from alcohol and efforts to be disciplined with food. In fact I eat a lot better than when I was a full-on drunk - fruit and vegetables daily. I've got an endoscopy next week which is my first for over two years. I'm not vain but very self-conscious in the changes in my appearance. My face looks like I have eczema plus I do have some rosacea and this red rash on my nose, cheeks and forehead. I'm pretty sure - not in a self-diagnosis way - this happens when I'm less disciplined with sugar and processed food. Just after views not unofficial diagnosis' of course.

33 Replies

Hi Phil,

Before my Hep C I was diagnosed a type 2 diabetic a few years ago and was told about food groups, not too helpful for me, because I do not like fish or vegetables (except potatoes, baked beans and peas) but I changed my diet and cut out all the simple carbs that our bodies can quickly turn into glucose, cakes, sweets, biscuits, fruit juice (I thought it was healthy??? ) etc all the treats.

There are 2 groups of carbs, complex and simple. Complex carbs do turn to glucose slowly and even healthy foods turn to glucose. Things like white bread, white flour, potatoes (Basically any food that I like) are not good, even sauces and too much salt can make our weight creep up.

I am general good with my diet (but life without an occasional treat is unbearable) but my weight now (that I lost 50lbs), has plateaued and tends to go up and down. When I used to weigh myself daily I'd be surprised when my weight had risen but now I accept that it does not always go down, regardless of what I eat.

If my weight started to worry me, I'd speak to a doctor. But weigh yourself daily, do not expect losses every day and exercise a little more (I am lazy so I have to make myself do that :) )

Phil_1972 profile image
Phil_1972 in reply to Gravy58

Thank you for responding. With limitations I’m pretty active. What concerns me the most is the fluctuations ie I can go from x stones and pounds to y stones and pounds very quickly.

Trust1 profile image
Trust1Administrator

Hi Phil,

You may find our publication on Diet and liver disease useful to read;

britishlivertrust.org.uk/wp...

It may also be time to get a referral to a hospital registered dietitian to provide a specific plan too?

Phil_1972 profile image
Phil_1972 in reply to Trust1

The only thing I was offered (which I went on) was a 10 session group weight management/ nutrition course. It was helpful and I learnt a lot but there was no individual plan so yes I shall bring this up at my next appointment. Thank you.

Trust1 profile image
Trust1Administrator in reply to Phil_1972

britishlivertrust.org.uk/li...

See point 6.

Phil_1972 profile image
Phil_1972 in reply to Trust1

I’ll raise this because I’m pretty sure everyone who attended and finished that course was meant to have an individual nutrition plan. Thanks again!

Trust1 profile image
Trust1Administrator in reply to Phil_1972

You are very welcome :)

Are you sure the rapid weight gain, definitely isn’t fluid related? Maybe worth checking.

Phil_1972 profile image
Phil_1972 in reply to BlueAster

It could be. I’ve got the endoscopy on October 19 then an appointment with the consultant on November 5 so shall raise this. Thank you for responding.

BlueAster profile image
BlueAster in reply to Phil_1972

That’s good, you’ve got it covered then. Good luck.

I understand that you were hospitalised a while back, presumably after you had stopped drinking or were you offered support? What stage of liver disease have you been diagnosed with, it would help to identify the potential causes of weight gain?

Phil_1972 profile image
Phil_1972 in reply to TT-2018

Thank you for responding. I. was taken to hospital in an ambulance on September 5th 2018 which was the day I last drank alcohol. I was diagnosed with alcoholic cirrhosis and have had a lot of unpleasant symptoms over the last three years. When you say support I’m not sure what you mean?

TT-2018 profile image
TT-2018 in reply to Phil_1972

So are you compensated or decompensated, cirrhosis runs from stage one to four and depending on which stage, fluid retention is part of the symptoms?

Where you offered assistance from an NHS alcohol support worker when you were hospitalised, or had you already managed to stop drinking completely by the time you were admitted for the first time with cirrhosis?

Phil_1972 profile image
Phil_1972 in reply to TT-2018

I’ve been told decompensated but no stages have ever been mentioned verbally. I asked for all my notes some time ago related to my lengthy hospital admission and subsequent appointments and I didn’t see stages there either. I never - in hospital - acknowledged the cause ie alcohol and frankly as well as being very unwell physically my head was shot to bits. Additionally lack of or poor communication/information has caused me a lot of stress over the last three years.A man was sat by my bed one day when I returned from the bathroom who was a voluntary outreach worker from a local recovery organisation. I hadn’t asked for anyone and wasn’t expecting anyone so the brief conversation was rather awkward as I was still telling myself my reason for being in hospital wasn’t alcohol. Obviously since then I’ve come to terms generally and acknowledge the cause.

Regarding your eczema, you really need a referral to a dermatologist to establish a potential cause. Initially they look at possible allergies and the 1st question is usually have you changed your washing powder? Steroid ointments are often prescribed but not recommended for the face and these ointments can cause the skin to thin. There are many over the counter creams but considering you have cirrhosis, it's probably best to have a prescribed cream as some contain alcohol.

Thank you for responding. We’ve just moved house and have registered (today) with a new surgery. I’m hoping a different GP will either know or refer me on. This practice is seeing patients face to face now whereas our old one still isn’t which in terms of issues like this makes telephone appointments kind of pointless.

Great news you can get face to face appointments !

You can’t still? I assumed our previous surgery was the exception rather than the norm!

Its the norm. You are lucky. We can see a locum within 24 hours but not a GP

I’ve not had a face to face appointment in 18 months + and have no idea if this new surgery is good. I hope so.

Well best of luck !

I’ve definitely put weight on since my abstinence from Alchohol and eating healthy fresh fruit and veg no sugar 100 cans less a week and out weight on !!! No takeaways etc baffling it’s Jason by the way from fb

Phil_1972 profile image
Phil_1972 in reply to Foxdud

Yeah it is confusing but then the liver does a lot and when it’s damaged lots of things can happen.

When I was first diagnosed a year ago I got a rash all over my back, face, neck, chest and all over my scalp looked like chicken pox then they turned bright purple. A year later I still have them on my back, recently been to see a dermatologist and he said with my liver failure cos of my AIH I have acne and iv never had any trouble b4 with spots, they r awful but just 1 of them things to deal with 🙁 and don't get me started on the weight I'm crushed with how I look

Phil_1972 profile image
Phil_1972 in reply to Malty3870

I’m sorry for what you’re going though.

Malty3870 profile image
Malty3870 in reply to Phil_1972

There's no need for a sorry lol just hoping I cud help out, when I was first diagnosed ya dont realise how much ur liver can affect ur whole body its mental, hope ya get sorted out to 😁

Phil_1972 profile image
Phil_1972 in reply to Malty3870

Same here. I had no idea how many functions the liver has. In fact I could probably have written what I knew about the liver on the back of a stamp. The British Liver Trust has been a great source of clear information.

Malty3870 profile image
Malty3870 in reply to Phil_1972

Me 2 it's not until after when ya do a bit research you realise how much mess that horrible little thing can make, the little s#^t lol 😆

Phil_1972 profile image
Phil_1972 in reply to Malty3870

I’m a lot happier within myself now though despite liver disease.

Good for you onwards and upwards 👍

I feel your pain Phil. I was in same position early this year. I’m post liver transplant 3&1/2 years now. Obviously I’m taking many meds steroids, immuno suppressants etc.My weight went from 10st to 15:9 in December. Rapidly almost overnight. Tried WW and SW couldn’t lose an ounce. Had tests for internal blood loss, hypothyroidism, etc. Finally my daughter said “mum try calorie counting “ I did snd I started in mid March. I also walk (minimal) and have a PT virtually 3 times a week - I’m limited in what I can do but…

I’ve gone from size 20/22 December to size 14/16 now! I have lost 2 stone exactly I’m now today down another pound.

I’m eating healthier now.

Just be careful that it is fat gain and not fluid though fluid should be obvious. If nothing medical you may consider Cal Counting- if I could bottle this feeling I would

Good luck Phil I wish you well

Maggie

Phil_1972 profile image
Phil_1972 in reply to vulnerable

What's calorie counting please?

Would take too long to explain here Phil. Basically a measure of food that our individual bodies need to survive …If you go to NHS nutrition and caLorie counting that should provide the information you need. If you find it interesting then ask your GP or Hepatology team time refer you to dietician/nutritionist

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