Gaining Weight & don't know why?!

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Gaining Weight & don't know why?!

Postby Moobaloo » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:57 pm

Hiya all,

I'm quite sure a lot of you will relate to this, so I'm hoping someone might have some ideas for me!

I've never been particularly skinny, but I'm fairly tall at 5'8" so it's never really been an issue for me and I liked my curves - until now!
Since I stopped working, due to a huge flare at the end of last year, I am clapping weight at a worrying rate. I've put about a stone on and I'm getting really depressed about it. Clothes feel tight/uncomfortable or just don't fit anymore and NOTHING I'm doing seems to shift it.

I know that medications can cause weight gain, but my doctor disagrees and has just put my weight gain down to being less active than before. I am currently taking Tramadol (100mg 4x daily), Amitriptyline (75mg at night), Sertraline (50mg in morning) and have recently had my second Depo contraceptive injection. I am also following the GI Diet, which has been my go-to plan for years whenever my weight starts to creep up, so I'm strictly weighing out any carbs (oats, rice, pasta), have reduced portion sizes and have cut certain foods out completely. I'm veggie & my other half is vegan, so I mostly eat freshly prepared vegan food, prepared with little or no fat. And I'm still clapping the weight on?! :swear1:

I've seen my GP this morning and mentioned getting my thyroid checked again, but she said that my last test was only in September & was totally normal. I've heard that many of us FMS sufferers have thyroid problems, but sometimes the tests our GPs don't pick up on it?? My fingernails are like paper (I take daily multivitamins & minerals, extra B vitamins & Co-Q10) and my skin has been so dry on my hands that they have cracked & bled, despite me trying my best to keep them moisturised.

This morning, I asked to try a different form of contraception and I'm now on the waiting list for the modern coil (the one with hormones), because I have heard that the Depo injection can cause weight gain. I'm also waiting for my appointment for graded exercise therapy from an M.E./Fibro physiotherapist and my doctor offered me a prescription for Orlistat, which I decided to have a think about.

Have any of you tried Orlistat and did it help you? I really don't understand why I am gaining all this weight when I eat healthy, vegetable based meals & am actually weighing food out! I know I am far less active than I used to be, hence why I've been making sure I'm eating smaller portions. I am getting so depressed because of any help or advice would be appreciated!

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Re: Gaining Weight & don't know why?!

Postby sezzaden » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:40 pm

in my opinion and from personal experience i blame the depo injection when i was on this form of contraception i was putting on over 1/2 stone each time orilstat will not help as you have to have excess fat in your diet for it to get rid of i would def advise changing contraception asap
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Re: Gaining Weight & don't know why?!

Postby ruth2013 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:43 pm

Hi there,

Don´t bother with the Orlistat. If you do have a low fat diet which it sounds like you have they will be of no use whatsoever. They are designed for people who have a high fat diet. What orlistat does is only allow a certain amount of fat to be absorbed by the body the rest will just pass through.

Trust me its not pleasant.

I have also come off the Depo after 5 years of use to see if it helped with the Fibro, nothing has changed although I am losing some weight now as my body normalises. I had gained weight with the Depo.

Good Luck with your quest.

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Re: Gaining Weight & don't know why?!

Postby FluppyPuffy » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:46 pm

Lots of us have gained weight since having FM and the general consensus from both sufferers and GPs tends to be it occurs partly due to meds and partly due to not being as active as we were preFM.

It might be worth seeing if there is something like a self referral weight loss scheme active in your area. I know you've said that you eat plenty of freshly prepared meals, reduced serving size etc, but sometimes a few additional tweaks to a diet is sometimes all what is needed to kick start things and speaking to others who have experience with this kind of thing is sometimes all what is needed to get you onto that path.

I've not had the Depo contraceptive jab, but have had a Mirena for a good number of years and wouldn't change to anything else personally. It doesn't suit everyone, but it can make a huge difference to those who it does suit.
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Re: Gaining Weight & don't know why?!

Postby leiada » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:59 pm

hiya im on sertraline n have been now for 12 weeks and ive started to put weight on so i blamed them because i dont eat anymore that i used to but if you worried go see your gp
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Re: Gaining Weight & don't know why?!

Postby Tinabond007 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:10 pm

Hi I have fm and they discovered that I have an under active thyroid, it does associate with fm. It is awful I can't stop piling on the weight, nothing fits me and I am too ill to go on my treadmill which I'm currently trying to sell. It has taken me along time to advertise it to sell as I really thought I would feel well enough to get back on it, I have had to realise I will never be well enough. It's so hard to come to terms with all this and pain, I do sympathise with you, hope anyone else has a few tips of losing weight without excersise.
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Re: Gaining Weight & don't know why?!

Postby moomoos » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:22 pm


I've put on weight since the FM got bad.

I had been on the Depo for a lot of years and put no weight on at all with that. I have always weighed 8st 3lbs and 5' 5" and so was very slim and used to being a size 8 or 10. In the last year I have put so much weight on. I dont have drugs for the FM, just my usual Citalopram which I've been taking for the last 10 years, so no weight gain with that either.

I know weigh 9st 8lbs and none of my clothes fit me and I'm just not used to weighing so much and it makes me feel down. I dont eat any more than I used to either.
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Re: Gaining Weight & don't know why?!

Postby mad-woman » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:49 pm

hi, i also have been putting on weight, since xmas i have gone from 9 1/2 TO nearly 11 stone and am getting fed up with it.i an taking prgabalin and blame that,
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Re: Gaining Weight & don't know why?!

Postby clsmbenn » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:11 pm

think the depo affects people differently

i have gained weight with it and hardly eat anything at all, cos the pain i am in prevents me from preparing foods unless my hubby or kids are about then they help me

i even saw a dietitian and she said my diet was very good, so we have put it down to the depo.

the problem i have is that nothing else help towards the monthlys and if i dont get it, i get absolute chronic pain in my back. it is so bad i cant move which is no good for the kids.

hope u get sorted and figure out why, it can be very depressing gaining weight, i know that feeling really well, but when u aint as active as u once were that contributes to alot of things as well.

we end up in a vicious circle and no one seem to understand why. :banghead: :banghead:

gentle hugs to u all x
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Re: Gaining Weight & don't know why?!

Postby Cfldjamie » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:35 pm

I know how you feel.
Since being diagnosed in Sept 2010, my weight's crept up by nearly 3 stone.
I do also have Thyroid trouble which may be a contributing factor, but feel sure it's more to do with my Fibromyalgia.
I have tried diets, but lost very little by the end of them. So fed up of my large stomach.

Doctors been of little help, and very unsupportive. Plus my GP of nearly 35yrs retires this week. Hope is replacement will be more understanding, instead of just being told that with Fibro I am more inactive and therefore the pounds are bound to pile on :(

Also noticed that the side effects leaflet for both; Citalopram, Amitriptyline and Levothyroxine all say they cause weight gain.

Fighting a losing battle, and seriously need help with weight loss! :cry:
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Re: Gaining Weight & don't know why?!

Postby Iceskatemum » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:40 pm

You have my sympathy....... I am totally fed up with doctors that take one look at you and immediately tell you to loose weight and all your problems will magically disappear. My OH can't understand why or how I have been putting on the weight over the last few years.

I originally put on weight due to hormone injections and so would add to what others have said it could be due to your contraceptive.

I also would agree if we are not as active then even a small amount over what the body needs is going to be stored as fat. So if very inactive you could really only need 1000 calories a day instead of the RDA which I think is nearer 1400.

Then there is all our meds , nearly everyone of my meds says it may cause weight gain .

As for thyroid the parameters that the NHS use as normal in my opinion are possibly not as sensative as in some other countries You can be told your thyroid is within normal limits but if you are particularly sensitive it can mean that you are not producing quite enough. One way to show this is looking for the T3 or T4 test ,(sory can't remember which ) this highlights how much the body has to work to produce the level of thyroid hormone that you rbody needs .

In my case it was like an engine having to work especially hard to produce the lower end of the scale . when I discussed it with the Rheumatologist when I was getting dx he agreed to ask my GP for me to be given on a small dose . While I may not be loosing weight I do have better skin & nails etc.

I really feel for you , I am now hovering around the 18/20 size which I may not like but last November was way up in the 22/24 which I found very difficult emotionally and physically.

I think there is a lot of support out there in the NHS for people with smoking & drinking problems but as yet in my area I have yet to see significant support for those of us with weight issues .

Just to show there is a light side ....a few years ago I was in hospital for over a week on a drip due to horrendous pain around my kidneys. Although I was in pain my family tried to make light of it by saying it was like a visit to a fat camp and just think of all the weight I would loose.....came out and just to shut them up went on the scales ....I had put on nearly half a stone!!

Sometimes you just can't win .

Good luck and hope you find something that helps
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Gaining Weight & don't know why?!

Postby caterpillar » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:03 am

I've been doing a lot of Internet research into weight gain recently as I have been eating well and exercising for months now with no results.

There's a lot of information out there suggesting that on average we gain 30lbs during the first year or two of fibro.

Advice is to follow a high protein diet. I try to do this as much as possible and I do feel so much better... Something to do with carbohydrates and our blood sugars. Personally I've noticed if I eat something carb-high like porridge or a jacket potato I can be starving hungry 20 mins later which is ridiculous but it's all down to insulin and blood sugars.

Lots of free info out there, also google Dr Pellegrino, lots of fibro and diet advice from him.
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Re: Gaining Weight & don't know why?!

Postby Moobaloo » Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:36 pm

Thanks for all your replies,

It's crap that so many of us are finding we have similar problems. My GP was fairly supportive, but I didn't really appreciate her offering to put me on Orlistat, because I'm not obese and don't sit here eating all bloody day! I try to take my dog out for at least one of her walks every day and do some housework every day, so I am not completely sedentary, though obviously I am far less active than I used to be. I used to walk to work & back, be on my feet all day at work and at one point I was doing a weekly dance class & trying to do some aerobics a few times a week. I had to give up a lot of that just to cope with still working, because I was just in so much pain & utterly exhausted by work, I had no energy or motivation to do any extra activities.

I'm definitely coming off Depo & will have a Mirena fitted to see if that makes a difference to my weight. In the meantime, I am going to stick to the GI Diet and keep a food & exercise diary. I've also looked into getting my thyroid function tested privately, in case there's no change when I come off Depo. There's quite a lot of info online about connections between fibro & hypothyroidism, so I think it's worth exploring if all else fails. I did a thyroid checklist of symptoms & I have rather a lot of them, as most of us with fibro probably will have!

I'm not particularly looking to blame someone/something else for my weight gain, but I just don't understand how I can continue to put weight on even when I've reduced portions & am following a diet that previously worked for me on numerous occasions. I got really upset about it last night and my other half looked shocked and told me that it didn't matter to him that I'd put weight on - but it matters to ME! It upsets ME & I don't expect that weight gain helps fibro symptoms any either. *sigh* I love him very much and it's lovely that he said that it doesn't matter to him, but sometimes I don't think people get it.

Anyway, thank you so much for all your replies.
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Re: Gaining Weight & don't know why?!

Postby chookie » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:30 pm

Once I got to the age of 37 last year I seemed to have just got bigger overnight. I went up from an 8, to a 10 and now a size 12... and sometimes I reckon a nice roomy 14 would be great on some days :lol: The sizes just crept up on me one month after the next. I blame it on medication, eating more carbs for the lack of energy and PMT... and the FM/ME too.

I can't exercise that much due to having reduced lung capacity from having pneumonia/bronchitis, the FM/ME so that's a finger pointing at those too :nono:
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Re: Gaining Weight & don't know why?!

Postby LouLou » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:01 pm

Hi moobaloo

I'm another one in the same boat. Pre FM was was very active and went to the gym 3-4 times a week for 2 hours at a time. Now just typing that makes me hurt lol. I had to stop that but I do still try and be as active as I can without pushing things.

I noticed I too had started to put on weight when my GP but me on mirtazapine and pregablin. My diet has always been really varied and healthy and I definitely didn't eat the amount of food that would justify the weight I put on. I told my GP I wasn't happy and he took me off them so now I am just on tramadol and co codamol. The weight I gained is now slowly dropping off and I'm feeling a bit better in myself.

The only exercise I can do now is going for walks when the Doglet walks me and some stretches and sit ups every day for 10 minutes. I also made a few small teaks to my diest like Fluppy said, things like switching to Brown bread/pasta/rice, grilling everything, having chips just once a week, only having a pudding on a Sunday (that one kills me as cake is my weakness lol)

I know how frustrating it can be to see yourself change like that for no apparent reason. Unfortunately like the others have said weight gain is a very common side affect from most of the painkillers we are all on.

Good luck with the diary and the other changes you are going to be making I really hope you find something that works fo ryou.

Take Care xx
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