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Weight Loss Can Lead to Body Poisoning

Losing weight is truly an uphill battle. Those who are overweight struggle daily with not eating things that others are enjoying, trying to move their bodies more in a world that encourages them to sit—even often forces them, in the case of the work environment—and generally enduring the horrible advice from others, from things like, “What’s the big deal, eat the donut,” to “Why can’t you just not eat?” You want to scream, “Why can’t you just not breathe?” of course, but those who’ve never had a weight problem never really seem to get it.

Once, after I had my daughter and lost forty pounds, I started passing gallstones. I ended up with a blockage, blood poisoning, a week’s stay in the hospital, and surgery—a very unusual and complicated removal of my gallbladder—all because, as my doctor put it, I lost weight very rapidly. That’s pretty disheartening for someone who worked at it so hard—nobody ever really tells you about the downfalls of weight loss, only that it’s good for you and you should do it no matter what—and after the hospital experience, following bed rest, and other complications, I gained most of the weight back anyway!

Oy.

Further complications are involved when it comes to weight loss as well. According to new research, body fat often stores harmful chemicals that our bodies are exposed to. It keeps the chemicals from seeping into our blood stream, which is good, but the fact that it’s there in the first place is problematic. As the body releases the fat, these deadly toxins—including DDT and PCBs—are released into the blood stream, poisoning the body and making it sick. Some researchers say that this effect can even cause disease, from type 2 diabetes to rheumatoid arthritis to heart disease (what you’re trying to avoid by losing weight in the first place!)

So it seems that no matter what you do—lose or keep substantial weight—you’re in a pickle. While doctors advise patients to eat a largely plant-based diet to help stave off the effects of these chemicals, they also seem snide in their whole “don’t gain wait in the first place” advice. Blame is so often directed at individuals when both the poverty that’s connected with weight gain and the fact that these chemicals were allowed to be around individuals in the first place are both largely ignored. Focusing on helping people be healthy—no matter their size or if they’re trying to lose weight or not—should be the aim, rather than the blame-throwing.

And no matter what, people need to know that there are risks involved whether they are overweight or not, as well.