Medications and Weight Gain
Food and Weight Maintenance
Medications that Cause Weight Gain
While medications are necessary for many diseases a side effect can be weight gain. Over the holidays I managed to gain 3 pounds. Now while that is not a lot of weight, I find it necessary to pay attention to small weight gains or they turn into larger ones. I have been on Prednisone for several years and as long as the dosage is below 7 mg I can maintain my weight quite well, as that is what your body normally produces. However, if I end up in a situation where the dosage must be increased and it lasts for a few weeks I always gain weight. Another medication I use to take that will also cause weight gain is Lyrica. It is a wonderful drug for Fibromyalgia. It is a good idea to get medical information concerning side effects about any medication you are taking,
Cortisone and Medication Effects
Prednisone will change your metabolism after taking it for 6 weeks, especially if you are on higher doses. According to my doctor, your body normally makes 7 mg of cortisone a day, so if you take under that amount, you will have fewer side effects.
High doses have a lot of nasty side effects, such as thinning of the bones leading to osteoporosis, early cataracts, fluid retention, moon face which means your face gets very round, increased appetite, indigestion, mood swings and nervousness or restlessness, just to name a few. Prednisone is given for many types of serious diseases so it is a necessary drug, but if you have a choice I would opt not to take this medication.
Another popular medication that causes weight gain is Lyrica. It doesn’t have as many side effects as prednisone but the weight gain is well known. Some of the reasons it is prescribed is to treat fibromyalgia, seizures and pain from nerve damage due to diabetes. If the disease warrants a medication, a little weight gain is not a reason to stop any medication. I am sure there are other drugs that can cause weight gain but I won’t try to list them all because I am more concerned with ways to help control your weight.
Other Medications that Cause Weight Gain
Some type of antidepressants cause weight gain, such as Zoloft, Paxil or Elavil, but others cause weight loss. There are some medications to treat diabetes that cause weight gain, such as insulin, and classes of drugs known as sulfonylureas and thiazolidinediones. They think these drugs lower blood sugar which will increase your appetite. Hormone replacement therapy can also cause weight gain. Even drugs like Pravacid and Nexium can cause weight gain in some people.
Hints to Lose Weight
The best thing to do is not keep any junk food available. I know which things I can stay away from and which foods call me by name when in my home. I try to keep fruit because it is sweet and helps with those cravings. I find drinking something warm sometimes helps calm down the hunger. I eat at least 3 to 5 small meals a day, maybe with a fruit snack in the afternoon if I’m hungry. That way I don’t eat any large meals. I do fill up more easily because I’m not used to eating large meals. I also try to walk every day. The types of exercise I can do is limited but it is better to do something than be a couch potato.
Dining out can be a challenge. It is good to know the restaurant you’re going to so you can decide on what you want to eat ahead of time and not make an impulse decision to buy based on a good looking picture. I always order water with lemon. Water will start to fill you up and I believe lemon suppresses the appetite to some degree.
If I want an alcoholic beverage, it’s wine because that is lower in calories. No fancy looking drinks for me. If I am having soup, I stay away from cream based soups and I also order salad with dressing on the side. Restaurants are great to drown the salad in dressing, which I don’t care for regardless of the calories. I stay away from fried foods as there are plenty of choices listed that are broiled and baked.
If you get a large meal, plan to take home a doggie bag. It helps to divide the food on the plate immediately so you know what you are going to eat before you start. Too often I have found myself eating and talking when I’m no longer hungry. You can also share a course with a friend if you know the meal will be large. And my most important rule is do not look at the desert menu! If you know you are going to splurge, plan ahead. You can even have an appetizer and a dessert instead of a main meal. Also, everyone needs a bit of dark chocolate now and then. After all, now they say that it is good for you. Good luck with your own food plan.
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It is difficult to have a chronic illness and then be put on medicine that only treats the symptoms and doesn't cure the disease and the kicker is it has side effects, like weight gain, fluid retention, cataracts, and so forth.
The only way I know to deal with this is to keep my mind busy and that for me is in writing. I'm not depressed. I try hard to eat healthy and b be as active as possible. I know I have to be more careful with my diet than most people, so I have eliminated all dairy products, processed meat and try to find organic meat when possible and I make healthier choices. I was delighted when I found out dark chocolate was actually good for you as that is my weakness.
The support of family and friends help tremendously as well. Over the holidays this year I'm going to try and not gain any weight!
© 2010 Pamela Oglesby
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