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Is my BMI too low?


Posted by Hollie

Hi, I am 15 years old, 1.68 metres tall, and i weigh 46. Apperantly my BMI is 16.3. I've never had my period before, and my mum says it's because I'm underweight. However, I don't think I am, and I am actually trying to gain weight, but I just feel sick and gross after I've eaten more than I usually do. Before I go to bed I always do sit ups, push ups and a series of other exercises. I have tried to make myself puke before, but I noticed I just don't have a "puke reflex". I do athletics 3 times a week. I feel normal about my weight, except I don't think I have a nice stomach. Is my BMI too low? According to a BMI kalkulator it is. Does the fact that I've never had my period before connected to my BMI?
 
Answers (2)
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Hollie, BMI is a tricky thing. It can be a helpful general guideline for a range of weight, but it is quite limited in taking certain things into account- like body frame and muscle mass. For example, some athletes (professional football players to name one group) can have relatively higher BMI's but be in terrific shape and not overweight at all. This is because they have tremendous amounts of muscle.

Having said that, though, where BMI doesn't tend to be limited as a measure is on the underweight side- and 16 is for sure a BMI that's too low. You really need to consult with a medical doctor about your health. People with BMI's as low as yours can suffer severe medical complications and even die.

A medical practitioner can help you figure out why you feel sick after eating and guide you toward better health. Also, you need to start having a menstrual cycle- it's super important for the strength of your bones, among other things. And not getting a period can be very related to a low BMI.

I really encourage you to seek medical help as soon as you can. Best of luck!

To me, you perfectly described the early stages of an eating disorder. You are a mirror image of myself when I was your age. I am much older now and I have been fighting anorexia for many years. Please talk with your family about your eating habits, and if that is too embarassing, ask to see a doctor. They may be able to help you find a dietician who can come up with a meal plan for you that will help you gain weight at a slow, less painful pace. Don't let your disordered eating become unmanageable! Feel free to message me if you have more questions, I am knowledgeable in this subject. Take care.
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