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The Doctors Lounge - Primary Care Answers

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Forum Name: Nutrition & Diet

Question: Overweight with a physically unique condition


thomask - Sat Apr 02, 2005 8:54 pm

Let me introduce myself.

My name is Thomas, I am 34 years old, and live in Ontario.

Last year, (2004) I weighted in at 570+ lbs, and I was using the hospital laundry scale to get my weight. I have since dropped to just over 500lbs, about 512lbs at my last weigh in 2 months ago. (Why 2 months ago? read further, and no vehicle to get to a fairly distant hospital)

I do not consider myself to be unactive, however for the most part, perhaps I am, I sit in front of the computer for over 3 hours each day, and about the same for the TV, if not more.

My intitial weight loss, was using the so called celebrity hollywood diet, homestyled, I couldnt afford the $30 per bottle mix, and found comments online about using 100% pure citrus juices as a subsittute.

From that point, I was reglious about doing this 'diet', and from February 2004 to july 2004, dropped almost 60 lbs. Became employed, and while attempting to continue the fasting schedule I had given myself, it slowled pettered out.

For over 3 months, this was my schedule, fast 48 hours once a week, fast 24 hours once a week. I would Variate the days from week to week, occassionally fasting for 2 48 hour periods instead of the above.

Yes, I know it wasnt exactly healthy to do that, however my family DR said, when I told him what I was doing said.. 'right now, it doesnt matter what you do, staying how you are is unhealthy.'

Sometime in the last 5 years, I started to develop a large abdominal lump. My Family DR has no idea what it is, however his initial thoughts have been discounted, due to 'presentation'.

The lump tends to the right, and is not attached to the penis, it just decends over it. When I sit in a normal chair, the lump decends, and often reachs to just below my ankles. (I am 5' 11").

The skin along the top is while smooth, is harder, and I feel no pain, or substantially less pain then one would expect. The underside, is 'lumpy' and I have periods where it 'leaks' or 'bleeds' various fluids. While washing one day, one of the lumps 'opened' and I bled profusely, the hospital packed it up after it was cleaned out. (I felt a light probing from the sterilizing needle to clean the inside of the wound, but was at no point in discomfort except due to the normal state of my obese body and the small tables in the hospitals.. <G>) The packing lasted about 12 hours, and the wound closed itself up naturally.

I have extreme mobility problems, and now walk with a cane, which while allows me to walk faster, and further more often, my back is still in pain when I walk, stand (for more then 5 minutes) or sit (longer then 2 hours)

I have had my blood pressure checked, and even had a 'partial physical' and I have a 'clean bill of health' with the exception of my weight. My Blood pressure while 'high' is still considered high-normal.(I don't have the numbers, sorry..but I suppose I can get them for you if important)

Can anyone give me guidance or assistance in finding out what this thing is so I can help my Dr along? I check in with him about once a month to see if he has uncovered anything new information wise with my condition)

I don't want a gastric bypass, that is quite simply, coping out. Besides, it won't help, with my eating habits (I eat many medium-small meals, more like snacking)

The lump on my abdomen, when weighed on the home scale, I can only guess at it being about 200 lbs itself.

Thomas

I just don't want to be over 500 lbs anymore, I would be in heaven to be under 400 lbs

p. s. I will get some pictures of it online in a day or so, so please check back for a link.
Web-Medic - Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:57 am

Hello Thomask,

Have you talked to an Oncologist about this tissue mass? You may want to discuss having a biopsy done on it, they may need to remove it. How much research have you done on Gastric Bypass? I know it’s becoming very popular so I’m going to write a little bit about it here incase others are interested in it as well.

Not only do they make the stomach smaller, they re-route the small intestine so that the caloric absorption is different. It also forces you to change the type of food you eat because your body has a “dumping” syndrome. When you eat food high in fat, carbohydrates or sugars, most people experience a bad reaction. You basically learn not to eat bad foods. People that have Gastric Bypass surgery usually have to psychologically qualify for it also by proving that they WANT to lose weight. Some people think they have to eat no matter how satisfied they are. They feel the need to PROVE that Gastric Bypass (or any other weight loss program) WON’T work for them. They aren’t good candidates for this and can cause injury to themselves.
thomask - Thu May 19, 2005 12:59 pm

First of all, my appologies, I lost the site, and took me this time while working full time to re-find it. Heh.

I have had gastric by-pass suggested to me by a number of people, and have discounted it for 2 reasons.

1) It seems to me to be the cheaters way out. I need a lifestyle change, not physical 'change'.
2) I eat many small 'meal/snacks' today as it is to assist in diminishing my ongoing hunger.(Better to have a bowl of kraft dinner now, and another bowl in an hour, then to eat a big meal now and be hungry again in a hour)

I finally got the images online, please find them at
My Abdomina Mass

My Dr so far has refused to refer me to a specialist of any kind for fear they might try to do surgery, in his opinion putting me 'under' would be too big a risk.

If you want more images posted, in a more 'detailed' way, let me know and I will setup another 'directory' to place them, or forward them through email.

Any advise would be appreciated.

Thomas

Oh yea, the texture of the skin in this area, feels not unlike a pregnant womans belly.
Web-Medic - Fri Jul 08, 2005 3:33 pm

Hello,

Have you found anything further out on your abdominal mass? I saw you placed another post here, did you get helpful information from anyone? I am very interested in your outcome. You have chosen wisely to not have GB, they are finding rare side effects that don’t get talked about much because the good of the surgery far outweigh the bad. As far as Gastric Bypass – It is causing non-alcoholic “fatty liver” in some people that are having it done due to the loss of small bowel. This is a very dangerous side-effect that happens with others factors like Diabetes (which a lot of the candidates have), rare but serious.
Gracie - Fri Jul 08, 2005 7:13 pm

I am thinking this is just edema that would go away with weight loss. I cared for a woman that weighed over 700 lbs before, and she had edema and sores all over her body.
My suggestion to you is slowly change your eating habits, fasting is not a healthy way and chanes are, the weight lost that way will come back. You need to get in touch with a nutritionist. Also, start getting some exercize. Take a walk just to the end of the driveway this week. Next week, try to go to the end of the street, slowly increase how far you walk each week. Any exercise is better than none at all. Learn to eat 3 healthy meals a day with frequent HEALTHY snacks in between. fruits and veggies. A bowl of kraft mac n cheese now and a bowl in an hour is not healthy. If you eat the right foods, you can eat enough to fill you without overeating, although a part of wieght loss is learning to deal with hunger, as you stomache is streached very large now, of course you will need a lot of food to take away hunger, but over time, eating less will shrink the stomache.
Gastric bypass is not the easy way out. It is very hard to relearn the proper eating habits, since you can only eat very small amounts of food at a time. 2 bites will fill you instead of 2 bowls. But you still have to fight the urge to eat constantly or gastric bypass will not work. Find a different doctor, talk to a nutritionist., and get moving, any exercise is better han none at all.
thomask - Sat Jul 09, 2005 7:01 am

Web-Medic wrote:
Hello,

Have you found anything further out on your abdominal mass? I saw you placed another post here, did you get helpful information from anyone? I am very interested in your outcome. You have chosen wisely to not have GB, they are finding rare side effects that don’t get talked about much because the good of the surgery far outweigh the bad. As far as Gastric Bypass – It is causing non-alcoholic “fatty liver” in some people that are having it done due to the loss of small bowel. This is a very dangerous side-effect that happens with others factors like Diabetes (which a lot of the candidates have), rare but serious.


No, nothing new. I am planning a trip to a 'Teaching' Hospital in Toronto Ontario in the next week, I've been told if I want something done, to seek one of these places out and just not 'leave' until I get some sort of result (at least an appointment with a specialist of some sort...)

Thomas

P. S. I've moved recently, doing alot of cleanup around the house et al.... Living in the country with less water pressure resulted in taking more 'sponge baths'.

I can lift this 'formation' into the sink, 'bath it' as it almost fills the whole sink in the washroom. Here's the rub, I turned the hot water on, and with the pressure problems we've been having, didnt realize there was no cold. Now I've got a minor 1st degree burn on the formation. I had no sensation while the scalding hot water was pooring over it for about a minute before the lower skin warmed up and I checked the water temp...

No Pain
No pain 3 days into this (yes, I am cleaning the burn every day and placing ointment on it)

[Doing a quick read on edema now, and it sounds alot like what I have.. at least I have something else to present the dr with... going to continue doing research on it..]
thomask - Mon Jul 25, 2005 3:30 am

While I continue to believe this is not a nutritional or diet problem, I have indeed began to change, or rather, continue to change my eating habits, as well as 'excersize' habits.

I've begun feeling slight pangs of pain within the mass.

Hopefully I will have something to report tomorrow, I am going down to one of the Emergency rooms at a Teaching hospitals in Toronto, ON, to have it looked at. Hopefully they can at least GUIDE me to more help.

Another smaller 'bubble' on the upper section presented and 'popped' today, blood and a off white fluid/puss exited. Upon completion of cleaning, the area (approx 1 sq inch) 'deflated'.

The Burn I had, has healed nicely, however it did 'sweet' alot. I can only assume this is normal for a low level degree burn. (tap hot water).

I have examined the edema possibilities and the extention from that, the Ascites possibility. There is some 'truth' in the presentation of what they describe, so it might be a mixed blessing, hopefully I will have good news for you all tomorrow or tuesday.

Thomas
Frustrated and in pain.
thomask - Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:56 am

OK, so I appologize for not posting when I was supposed to.

This is the update, after some problems with getting anything done, they opted to send me for a sona-gram(?)

After all is said and done, and I get the opinion of the Head Techician of what's been seen, its ALOT OF SCARRY TISSUE within. All organs are where they are supposed to be. Everything is 'normal' with the exception of the protruding abdominal mass.

Now, for the last while I've been trading messages with Dr Swallow at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, and she's been trying to get me in somewhere to get a CT scan, the hitch is because of my size, MOST beds do not handle >400. Last weigh in, I was down to 492 lbs (yay me!!)

The Sonagram tech said I would live a long life with no problems, or it could develop into cancer, or be otherwise unpredictable (but otherwise the doctor would have to examine the results).

All bloodwork that came back last summer was 'normal' and nothing of note was found.

I'm waiting for a call back I placed to the Dr on a rumour I heard about Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie (ontario) having a new larger capacity CT Machine, so I will drop you guys a note later when I know more.

;)
Thomas

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