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I have a problem that I'm very upset about and I can't figure out what it is, but I want help so badly. I'm a 19 year old girl, and I've struggled w/ an eating disorder for about 2 and a half years and just recently began working with a treatment team to get better. Right now my height is about 5'9.5" and I weigh about 105 lbs. Now, at that height/weight, it would logically seem impossible for me to have ANY excess fat anywhere on my body, and I know that now, but that's where my problem comes in. My stomach, especially my lower abdomen, is MASSIVE. I mean like, so big that if I'm wearing a pair of jeans, I can't look down and see the button because my stomach distends that far. I usually buy my pants up to 2 sizes larger and wear baggy shirts to cover my stomach. It's not hard, but soft and squishy, and I can grab a good amount of "fat" or whatever it is, which I can't understand because I'M SO UNDERWEIGHT!!!! When I bend over, it literally hangs, it's so disgusting. Even when I suck in as hard as I possibly can, there's still a squishy pooch below my belly button. Over the holidays I ate a tiny bit more than I usually do, which for me was like 1,200 cals or less, especially now because my ED tendencies have been worse because of this. My stomach has actually been increasing in size since the holidays, and even though my scale weight hasn't changed, my stomach is even more distended and flabby and I can grab even more "fat". Now it's hugely distended all day long no matter how much I eat. I've asked my ED doctor about this and showed her my stomach and even SHE thought it was strange, so she had me get an X-Ray but so far I haven't heard anything back :( I don't understand why my body is like this :,( All of my friends that weigh 15-25+ lbs more than I do have pretty relatively flat stomachs, nothing like this. The only time I've seen someone w/ a belly like mine is someone that needed to LOSE weight, but how can that even possibly be an option for me?!?!? I don't know what to do and I'm so upset, I've cried about this so many times. If ANYONE can offer any kind of advice, any at all, please let me know!!!!!!

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Hello KLH,

Gee, just about anything could be causing that.  You could have liver dysfunction.  It might not be just fat and you could have some kind of blockage in your intestine.  Are you constipated at all?  Another possiblity is that you have excessive fat receptors in you mid region and that's where mot of your fat is getting stored.  I'd like to know what your doctor finds out with the Xray.  I have seen people with really big belly regions but they are big and fat all over. It sounds like something unusal is going on here.  You are extrremely underweight for your height so I'm thinking you don't eat very much or exercise excessively.  Perhaps you have an over active thyroid.  The possibilities are endless.  Nevertheless, I wish you the best on your Xray and drop a line to let me know.

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