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May 26, 2004

Weight and Weight Loss

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Question from San Clemente, California, USA:

I am 16 years old, and was just diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). I also have insulin resistance. The doctor said that I have a fifty percent chance of developing diabetes, if I don’t lose some weight. I am not overly heavy, but to be completely assured of not developing dietary diabetes, I need to lose about forty pounds. That sounds like a lot, but on my frame, which is decidedly “curvy, ” or “hourglass, ” it is just about right. I would also like to feel better about my appearance.

My doctor advised to cut way back on my carbohydrates. Indeed, the Atkins diet would be a good solution. But, in regards to that, I have many reservations. First, I have cut back drastically on my carbohydrates, but they were such a huge part of my daily consumption, that, mentally as well a physically, my body is not happy with the cutback. Lately, just the thought of certain foods make me sick to my stomach. I have also been throwing up. I am okay with wheat noodles, and wheat tortillas, but the wheat bread is seriously making me ill. I have no idea why, but I eat it and get so sick. Just the thought of it is enough to send me dashing to deliver the contents of my stomach in the toilet.

The main problem is that I eat a lot of sandwiches, especially as a full time student who knows that the food the school provides consists of french fries, cookies, bagels, pizza, and giant pretzels with salt and cheese.

I was just wondering if there is any low carbohydrate diet that I can still eat white bread, but have everything else in wheat. The only clincher is that I would be eating a lot of it, because it goes on sandwiches. Or, if there is a low carbohydrate white bread substitute or something, if that is possible.

I have tried many diets: pills (for adolescents), starvation diets, the Six Week Body Makeover, Slim Fast, and nothing has worked. I think that my insulin resistance has a lot to do with my inability to lose weight. My doctor thinks that a low carbohydrate diet will work, but it is probably the only one that I might not be able to handle. I am only 16. I know that it is good to change your habits early, but I can’t be throwing up for the rest of my life either. I KNOW that’s not healthy. I haven’t eaten very much coming up on the third week. I just can’t hold much down. I have been eating soup, but my doctor said to avoid it because of all of the preservatives in it.

I don’t know what to do! Everything that my doctor told me is bad for me is the stuff that I normally eat, but the things that are supposedly good for me are making me sick. I should also say that I am taking two medications, spironolactone and metformin, but I know it is not those that are making me sick; I have been taking them for a while. Is there anything I can do?

Answer:

From: DTeam Staff

With the food problems you are having, I would suggest that you schedule an appointment with a registered dietitian who can develop an individualized meal plan that will allow you to incorporate some of your favorite foods in moderation and prevent the nausea. Ask your physician for a referral to a registered dietitian, if needed.

JMS