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Smoking and Tobacco

Excess Weight Gain

04/22/2010

Question:

I quit smoking two months ago and feel great! I expected some weight gain (no more than 10 pounds)and immediately began to watch what I eat and upped my exercise (I am military - so the exercise really isn`t a problem). I have gained 23 pounds in two months!!!! I am concerned that my smoking masked a medical condition - should I get some blood work or something? Thank you!

Answer:

Wow, twenty-three pounds in two months. That is a lot. Average weight gain after stopping smoking is about six pounds, so this is high. However, it is fairly rare for a medical condition to cause weight gain while you are "feeling great." Nonetheless, a trip to your doctor to rule out conditions such as hypothyroidism or edema wouldn't be a bad idea. While you are waiting to get in, please keep a diet diary, writing down everything (be brutally honest) that goes in your mouth, and bring it with you to the doctor.  

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Response by:

Rob  Crane, MD Rob Crane, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University