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Changes in Weight. Changes in weight result from changes in body {tissues or body fluid. Weight gain occurs when caloric intake exceeds caloric expenditure over a period of time and typically appears as increased body fat. Weight gain may also reflect abnormal accumulation of body fluids. When the retention of fluid is relatively mild, it may not be visible, but several pounds of fluid usually appear as edema.

Good opening questions include "How often do you check your weight?" "How is it compared to a year ago?" For changes, ask "Why do you think it has changed?" "What would you like to weigh?" If weight gain or loss appears to be a problem, ask about the amount of change, its timing, the setting in which it occurred, and any associated symptoms.

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