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Question
Posted by: Lila | 2009-02-10

Underweight struggling to pick up

I had a bad experience over the weekend. I am a blood donator and have found out that i can no longer donate blood. My blood pressure dropped below normal and caused me to pass out. I also have a shortage of iron in my blood. I am 25 years old, about 1.55m tall with petite build. What is the appropriate weight and what can i do to gain weight? I especially struggle to pick up some weight at my waist and upper body.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Lila
If you are 1.55 m tall, your ideal weight would be 52 kg to give you a BMI of 22. Ask your dr to prescribe the necessary iron-folic acid supplement to treat your iron deficiency anaemia. The following foods are excellent sources of easily absorbable iron: red meat, liver, fish, eggs, iron-fortified breakfast cereals, maize meal and bread, plus dried fruit like raisins. For basic information on how to gain weight, click on 'Diet' at the top of this page and then on 'Diet Basics' and 'Weight gaining' and read the articles. Companies like Nestle, among others, make meal replacement supplements Phone the Nestle Consumer Services at 0860 09 6789 and ask about Nutritional Supplements to boost your energy intake. You can purchase liquid meal supplements at most chemist shops. Talk to the pharmacist about your need to gain weight and see which products he or she will recommend. Basically you need to eat more food either by gradually increasing how much you eat at each meal, or by taking supplements IN ADDITION to your regular meals (not to replace meals), or by having more snacks between meals. If you use a liquid meal supplement at the rate of 200 ml 3x a day, then you should gain 1 kg per week. Feedback from other Readers has indicated that they have successfully gained weight by using a meal supplement.
Best regards
DietDoc

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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