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Mystery Disease

I have a co-worker who is moderately slender all over but has a fat stomach that makes her look pregnant. So pregnant that delivery guys have asked when is she due and people on the train have offered their seat to her because they think she is pregnant.

I don't see her eat a lot of food at work. Coffee in the morning, lunch at around 1:30 pm and then tea afterwards. nothing else. She has been like this for the 2 years that I've worked here and even longer. Does anyone have a clue as to what illness can cause that?


Tue. Jul 17, 8:34am

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i don't know the answer to your question, but it clearly sounds like you're suffering from being nosy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 9:03 AM

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Has she had children? Sounds like it could be that Distassi Recti (sp)thing where your tummy muscles "give" during pregnancy. Just a guess.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 9:40 AM

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9:03 AM

this is a very open office and after a couple of years of working with someone you get to know some of their habits. If I was as nosy as you say, I would have asked her.

So shut UP

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 12:30 PM

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9:40 AM

No, she has no children

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 12:31 PM

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If you read posts from the many threads on this site, you will see that one theme that winds its way through most discussions is how self-conscious we are about our appearance.

The woman in your office is probably self-conscious about her own body shape which may or may not be due to some health ailment.

She has apparently chosen not to discuss this personal matter with you, yet you persist in getting to the bottom of it - even to the point of writing about the poor woman on the internet.

How unfortunate that your own life is so empty and that your employer has so little work you're able to do that you have time to sit around and stare at others all day.

I feel very sad for you.



Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 12:46 PM

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Strange topic. Anyway, I have had a couple of friends/acquaintences with a similar phenotype and they had ovarian cancer (the tumor was so large it swelled the abdomen). But it's hard to speculate in a situation like this, especially as it's ... well, pure speculation without getting to know someone well enough to find out what is going on!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 12:52 PM

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I'm not posting her name or image so what is your problem? Yes she is self-conscious so is everyone. She has made remarks about her belly several times and told me these stories. I don't stare at her by the way. i've worked with her for a couple of years I would think that one would notice these things about a co-worker.

I'm curious and there is nothing wrong with asking others. If you can't answer the question just go to another thread. Why is it that when you ask a question there is also someone that wants to jump off topic?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 1:41 PM

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It might just be her body shape. I have a friend who is a total apple-skinny legs, skinny arms, no butt-but large breasts and a big belly. She gets asked all the time when she is due. It's sad! She doesn't eat horrible but she doesn't exercise and she drinks a moderate amount of beer. I don't think it's a mystery disease.

Does your coworker have a lot of stress in her life (work, home or otherwise)? When we are stressed out, we produce cortisol and when this happens often we accumulate fat in our abdomen which increases our risk for cardiovascular events, which is why it is so important to reduce stress in our lives, or learn to handle it better.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 1:43 PM

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DON'T BE SO OFFENDED. JUST IN THE SAME WAY THAT YOU ARE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR CO-WORKER, WE'RE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 1:52 PM

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Ignoring 1:52 PM

To 1:43 PM

She does tend to stress out very easily and she hates it when people tell her to relax. I've known her for 2 years and she was like this before I started at this job, but she didn't always look like that. But that could be it.

Thanks!



Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 2:12 PM

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I don't think it's cancer because she does not look ill. she doesn't complain about pain and she rarely rarely calls out.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 2:14 PM

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hmmmm...I wonder if maybe the woman's physician might be better qualified to advise her on her health issues that anonymous and untrained strangers on the internet?

oh wait ... I forgot --- the purpose is to entertain her bored and nosy co-worker...


Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 2:22 PM

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Maybe she has bloating from gas problems? Or maybe she just gains all her weight in her tummy. In fact it seems more common than ever to see thin or average sized women with a gut. I think it's due to poor eating habits.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 2:54 PM

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Ignoring 2:22 PM

To 2:54 PM

Is it possible to have gas problems for over 2 years? I can't imagine the pain. I get whiny for those few days during my period.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 3:30 PM

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What't wrong with talking about a problem that one sees? I don't blame the OP at all for wanting to know more. She can gather info here and maybe take it to her Co-worker for review, if the co-worker may have been hesitant to ask for it herself.

I personally can't guess what it could be, except maybe a lining of fat around her liver which can be caused by abusing medications, alcohol, or prescription drugs. SHe should talk to a nutritionist.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 3:43 PM

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9:40 poster here

Well, that was my best guess, sorry.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 6:19 PM

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maybe she secretly stashes twinkies and that's where she carries her weight.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 1:09 PM

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maybe if it was any of your business, you'd know what you'd need to about it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 1:29 PM

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is there any way that you can access her social security number? if so, you can check her medical records through human resources by calling and pretending to be a nurse in a new doctor's office or you can find out who her doctor really is and call, pretending to be her.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 1:30 PM

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to 1:30 poster

You are absolutely ridiculous - grow up!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 1:52 PM

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I had a friend who had the exact same body type and she had ovarian cancer. She is not on the earth any longer, I miss her.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 1:59 PM

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here's a thought ... give me her name and telephone number. I'll simply call her up and explain that her co-worker has become obsessed with the woman's shape that clearly does not satisfy the co-worker's expectations about how other people should look (the same co-worker, incidentally, who's posting on a site for OVERWEIGHT PEOPLE, for Pete's sake).

I'm sure that when the misshapen one realizes that her failure to conform to the OP's high standards of appearance has caused the poster's productivity at work to screech to a halt so she can burn up the internet over the matter she will immediately take steps to resolve the matter.

But not until she releases all her personal and medical data for her nosy co-worker to share with a bunch of anonymous strangers on the internet.



Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 2:02 PM

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you could make prank calls to her and be very vague about the nature of the calls, just imply that they are medically related to her. or bring in a psychic to the next office party and have her / him prod the strangly shaped woman. trick her telling about herself.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 4:10 PM

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i don't think there is anything wrong with anonymously asking what might be up when someone looks like that.

my mother is VERY thin and active. she runs marathons, works out for a couple hours a day. well, she always had a pooch. she never understood why. i mean, nothing that looks like a baby, but it was noticeable, especially to her.

turns out she had a benign tumor. it was the size of a grapefruit. not that big, but big enough to show. she just had a hysterechtomy in june to have it removed. it was screwing up her cycles and made her very sick. it is actually quite common in older women who still have cycles and weren't on a method of birth control most of their lives. after menopause, it is supposed to go away on its own, but if it is causing too many problems they recommend you remove it. now, this is for benign tumors though.

could be something like that? who knows.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 5:04 PM

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what do you call it when a person is so attentive to another person's body shape that they start a thread on the possible reasons why the other person looks the way they do?? the collective mass is trying to inform you that this is actually none of your business. there is no guise of wanting to help out the woman in question, there is only a strange, compelling curiosity, a secret longing to know, a voyeur trying to remain hidden but trying, too, to gather information to make the spying all the more interesting. ask anything you want but remember the old saying, "never ask a question that you're not prepared to hear the answer to." the answer to your question is, "only your coworker knows for sure. ask her if you want to know."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 5:11 PM

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I second everything the 5:11 poster said. Thank you.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 6:44 PM

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I dont understand why everyone has to be so bitchy on these threads!
Anyway. I have a friend like that and she has celiac disease. She's allergic to gluten or wheat or something like that. I also have an intestinal disorder and a distended belly but i am fat so......

Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 7:07 PM

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Thank you!

To 7:07

I had heard of that disease before but I could not remember the name and whether a distended belly would be one of the results.

Anyway, I want to thank everyone who answered my question like mature adults.

As for the rest of you: I read your comments earlier and I was going to rip into all of you. Then I thought to myself maybe these members who seem offended by my question have gone through the experience of being asked "when is the baby due?" or made fun of becasue of their own protruding belly so I'm going to tone it down a bit.

I'm inquiring about my co-workers condition not to make fun of her or to talk about her behind her back. I have not asked anyone at my job about it either. Some of you talk about how I have nothing better to do but you have made more comments on this thread than I have. I wouldn't be surprised if they are all from the same person pretending to be different members. How sad for you if you are!!!!

What I find disgusting about this thread and many others on PT is that a simple question is overblown and ridiculous comments from people like 5:11, 6:44,4:10, 2:02 (I'm sure they are the same person) distract people from answering the question. What we are then left with are childish comments and name calling.

Once again, thank you to the ones who shed some light on this mystery disease.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 8:41 PM

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THIS THREAD IS CLOSED.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 8:41 PM

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Just seeing if it's administratively closed, or if one of the posters who pretend curiosity is a deadly sin of which they are entirely pure is also pretending to be an administrator with the power to close threads...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 9:19 PM

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A Neighbor had a swollen stomach like you describe. When she got sick of people asking when the baby was due, she went to the doctor, and found out she has Liver problems...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 10:03 PM

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Your description fits me, and I've been reading this to see if you're who I think you are. If so, I am very offended by your behavior and have an appointment to talk to someone in HR tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 11:50 PM

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Keep the focus on yourself. Unless you are the one with the belly


Thursday, July 19, 2007, 12:13 AM

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When did PT get so full of freaks who hijack threads because they think they are better than the person who asked a question? NO question is inappropriate and perhaps the OP had a genuine concern for their coworker. There is nothing wrong with being curious-those of you who jumped down the OP's throat are the ones who said much nastier things. As if you have never seen someone and been curious about something about them. You're so perfect. I wish PT would remove posters like you from the database-I bet you aren't very helpful in your groups either. politically correct nuisance and control freak.

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 12:27 AM

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with the mature stance the op is taking, it's surprising to read that she / he feels attacked by or in some other way offended by the remarks and opinions that criticize the op's question. do you really expect only "thumbs-up" repsonses from your entire audience? you should learn to hear both sides. that is what really exemplifies the type of maturity you are already claiming to exhibit. you listen to and really hear both sides of an issue and then make an informed decision as to whether your current behavior/though patterns might do better with a little tweaking or re-adjustment. some successfully matured people even opened themselves up to the idea that they may have been wrong in the past, especially with regard to shutting out those with opposing viewpoints. good luck with your detective work. who knows, maybe you'll even unravel the mystery of your curiosity....

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 8:53 AM

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"Coffee in the morning, lunch at around 1:30 pm and then tea afterwards. nothing else. "
it's so obvious that she doesn't eat breakfast or dinner, ever. and it's so obvious that by eating at 1:30, she's trying to get you to notice her lack of a lunch. it's like she's playing some sick guessing game with you, toying with you, pretending to be discreet about her condition and then acting so brazingly obvious about it in the open office environment. what a show-off! i hope you figure out her dirty little secret and then you can gossip about it quietly and move right up the social ladder. you really sound like you deserve it!

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 8:59 AM

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OP, I can tell you're genuinely curious. Don't let the fattys here get you down.

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 9:35 AM

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maybe the op is a fatty, too?

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 10:03 AM

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ha! don't let the fattys get you down?! what a crock of a statement. so, you disagree with some shared opinions, the best reaction is to start name-calling and being derogatory. i wonder why that sac of fat is stuck in your head?

Friday, July 20, 2007, 9:43 AM

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maybe the lady has a case of "drive neurotic people crazy with this buldge in my belly" syndrome?

Monday, July 23, 2007, 9:02 AM

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ha! that's a good one!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007, 9:51 AM

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this could actually be the format for a new sitcom.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007, 10:12 AM

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Can anyone help me out? This is the first time i have seen this website. I want to start the fat smash diet but I know I will suffer headaches if I quit coffee...and I know I will never stop drinking it for ever, so is it really that important not to drink it in the detox phase....I don't have the book yet. I am just going on the info I can fins on the internet. Thanks all

Tuesday, July 24, 2007, 11:42 AM

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I've been reading this thread and find it very entertaining. It happens on almost every thread, someone just has to critisize. (okay spelling police, get started) Nevermind what the question was, what the point of this whole site is or how innocent the OP's point of view. I think there must be some who just read these threads, and then think about how to be nasty and unpleasant and see how they can rain on others parades.
To 11:42, look in the teams/groups section and you can find people trying the fat smash diet. I'm like you, not willing to give up the caffine! Good luck on your quest and don't let the negativity that some people display get you down. Just keep looking for the right group. It took me a while, but I did.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007, 11:56 AM

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thanks for the info 11:42. Coffee drinkers of the world unite!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007, 12:14 PM

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what info are you referring to? the poster didn't give any info, the poster asked for info.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007, 12:23 PM

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Cattiness aside,
perhaps its a herniated stomach. I've seen this more in men than women, but I'm sure it happens.

Thursday, July 26, 2007, 1:51 AM

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catty people use the phrase, "cattiness aside". FYI.

Thursday, July 26, 2007, 8:42 AM

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Saucer of milk, table for two.

Friday, July 27, 2007, 12:02 AM

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8:42: I was referring to the other folks posting catty comments on this thread....like you.

Friday, July 27, 2007, 12:17 AM

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