Sunday, May 23, 2021

What Covid 19 dehydration taught me about water retention vs. obesity

Hi friends! I'm getting back to normal after a long bout of Covid 19 (*tosses confetti!*)  The gist of this blog is to show how I lost 100 pounds and believe it or not, I've learned quite a lot about weight loss from coronavirus, specifically regarding dehydration, obesity and water retention. 

If you follow my blog, you know that I follow the gastric bypass reality TV show "My 600-lb Life." Now, you hear a lot of bizarre stuff from patients and a common excuse for gastric bypass weight loss fail is water retention. 

"My 600-lb Life" Joyce, for example didn't lose weight before bariatric surgery, as Dr. Now told her to. In fact, she gained 60 pounds in one month!! When questioned, out came the invariable "it's just water weight gain." There are a few problems with that which having Covid 19 has made clear to me. First, it's not "just" water weight gain. If you are retaining 60 pounds (or 6 gallons) of water, there's a problem.

Water retention can mean that you are seriously dehydrated. Dehydration played a big part of my coronavirus trip. A rogue fever that came and went for two weeks used up all the fluid I could take in. I got (and still get) nasty headaches, nausea and diarrhea (which caused further dehydration). No matter how much fluid I drank, I got insanely thirsty. 

Covid 19 reminded me of my mother-in-law's nightmare. She was hospitalized with dehydration. Neither the doctor nor we could figure out why because she drank water constantly. Then I noticed that  mom, who weighed 100 pounds soaking wet, had developed an abnormal belly bulge. I suggested fluid retention (she also avoided salt on her doctor's instruction). The conclusion was that while she was drinking, she was retaining water and so not getting electrolytes or salts, which help to process fluids. 

So, back to coronavirus. While we were drinking water, we weren't getting enough electrolytes either. Ergo the dehydration despite being hydrated. My takeaway is to avoid plain water in flu or Covid 19, which seems to just flush out electrolytes and drink Emergen'C or Gatorade. 

To those ridiculous "My 600-lb Life" obesity excuses of water weight gain, I say, bollocks. Even if it is "just water" that's not good. Also, the gastric bypass surgeon is telling you that it is fat weight gain. Lastly, there's no such thing as water weight gain of a 60-lb magnitude. A big part of how I lost 100 pounds was to listen to health experts and take my obesity seriously. I also take every opportunity to learn more about weight loss, even while sick with Covid 10. 

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