Our expert says:
I can unfortunately not send my Readers e-mails. People who are very thin may in some cases suffer from an overactive thyroid. So it may an option for your girlfriend to have her thyroid function checked. If she should suffer from hyperthyroidism, then the dr will advise what therapy is required. Another factor that could play a role is the person's reaction to stress. Stress or anxiety can depress the appetite. Gaining weight is just as problematic as trying to lose it. Basically individuals who struggle to gain weight do not ingest sufficient energy for the high demands of their Basic metabolic rate and/or physical activity. I have written some articles on this subject. For basic information click on 'Diet' at the top of this page and then on 'Diet Basics' and 'Weight gaining' and read the articles. Companies like Fresenius Kabi and Nestle, among others, make meal replacement supplements Phone Fresenius on (011) 545-0000, or the Nestle Consumer Services at 0860 09 6789 and ask about Nutritional Supplements to boost energy intake. Your girlfriend can purchase liquid meal supplements at most chemist shops. She can talk to the pharmacist about her need to gain weight and see which products he or she will recommend. Basically she needs to eat more food either by gradually increasing how much she eats at each meal, or by taking supplements IN ADDITION to her regular meals (not to replace meals), or by having more snacks between meals. If she uses a meal supplement such as Fresubin, with or without fibre, at the rate of 200 ml 3x a day, then she should gain 1 kg per week. Feedback from other Readers has indicated that they have successfully gained weight by using a meal supplement.
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