Unexplained weight loss, and growing belly. Not pregnant.

Patient

Q: I had my fourth baby 7 months ago. Over the past few months my weight loss has increased, without change in diet and exercise. My belly also seems to be growing rather than shrinking.

I am about 8 pounds below my target weight, and dropping. My hips and butt are smaller than they have been since I was in junior high, and I am two pants sizes below my normal size. But my belly is 4 to 5 inches above normal. I realize many moms carry a pooch. But it is more pronounced than usual, and right out in front. Last week at Thanksgiving, family members saw me and were concerned about how skinny I was. After I removed my sweater and my pooch was visible, one asked if I was pregnant. I am not.

Other than an occasional non digestive feeling pit in my stomach, I feel fine.

I am a former athlete and used to be very strong. I know muscle weighs more than fat. I have used that reasoning to explain my weight loss, because I am nowhere near as strong as I used to be. But at what point do I need to worry that there may be something else going on? 10 or 15 pounds under my norm? Family is starting to bug me about going to a doctor, but I thought I would wait a while and see if I continue to lose. What do you think?

Doctor

A:   This question is currently in queue and will be answered shortly by one of our doctors. In the meantime you may browse our library of answered questions by clicking here.

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