I had a long chat with my doctor friend on the phone yesterday, and we discussed all my symptoms over the past two days (I have some medical knowledge as well). The problem is that there’s probably two causes overall. Together, we came to the following conclusions:
1. My implant may have become damaged, which is causing my hormonal symptoms. I need to get it reviewed, and possibly replaced. This may also be causing water retention, which is causing the weight gain.
2. I may have contracted heliobacter, which has given me stomach ulcers. This makes sense, because it explains the sudden onset of my feeling really rough (I gained the weight first, but I only started feeling really ill two days ago). It also explains the central back pain I have (the stomach is distended and pressing on the spine), the stomach swelling and pain, the feeling of fulness after only a few bites of food, the GI symptoms (bleeding into the GI tract), the weight gain (caused by compensation of the corresponding low blood pressure through water retention) and the dizziness (low blood pressure). I’ve made a doctor’s appointment to get tested for ulcers, although I am feeling a bit better today. Again, this doesn’t mean much… because ulcers can bleed gradually, you tend to feel worse after one ruptures and then you get gradually better until the next one pops.
Interestingly, no sooner did I feel better today then I hopped on the scales and realised I’d lost 3lb, literally overnight. I think that it’s most likely to be stomach ulcers that are the problem (strange as it sounds). You bleed internally, so your blood pressure drops, so your body desperately retains water to try and increase the pressure. Anyway, I’ll get it sorted soon.
@patchy: Most people do underestimate calories, but I’ve done a lot of scanning barcodes to get the exact lowdown, and I’ve always overestimated rather than underestimated. You are right about starvation mode though. I actually read a very interesting article on this which I can’t find the link for at present, but it concludes that even if you do enter starvation mode (which for me would be around 600 calories a day), you only reduce your metabolism by around 40%. If you do the maths, at no point will you ever burn fewer calories than you eat, even if you do starve. However, the risks of starvation mode are long term and caused by the cannabalisation of muscle (notably the heart), so it’s obviously not a good thing!