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Weight gain from meds

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butterflykisses

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Has anyone struggled with weight gain from medication? I’m currently on lamictal, seroquel (but switching to abilify). Since my last manic episode in February, I gained 30 lb but I needed to because I was anorexic. That weight gain was just from re-feeding. Since then, I’ve noticed a little more belly fat than normal and I’m getting a little nervous. What can I do to make sure I maintain and not gain anymore? I’ve started working out again and I’m eating well. I’m not sure if there’s anything else I can do. What do you think the most effective exercise is?
 
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Comorbidity

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Cardio vascular exercise, with some weights, not a lot, just enough to tone up a bit and put a little more muscle on.

The toning and gaining a little more tone and muscle, not trying to bulk up, just aiming for a sporty type of physique really helps, because the muscle helps to burn more calories when you're doing cardio vascular

Try not to overdo it, just build up steadily, doing what you feel you can when you feel you can, and then maybe trying to do a little more if that activity makes you feel a little better. Keep an awareness of your condition, IE, you could get the fatigue or the nothingness at any point, so don't make what you do too excessive so you're not putting yourself in the situation in which if you have a swing that produces either of these 2 things, you're going to exasperate that swing by beating yourself up for not being able to do anything near to the routine you've built up to, especially if you know you're prone to such behaviour
 
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butterflykisses

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Cardio vascular exercise, with some weights, not a lot, just enough to tone up a bit and put a little more muscle on.

The toning and gaining a little more tone and muscle, not trying to bulk up, just aiming for a sporty type of physique really helps, because the muscle helps to burn more calories when you're doing cardio vascular

Try not to overdo it, just build up steadily, doing what you feel you can when you feel you can, and then maybe trying to do a little more if that activity makes you feel a little better. Keep an awareness of your condition, IE, you could get the fatigue or the nothingness at any point, so don't make what you do too excessive so you're not putting yourself in the situation in which if you have a swing that produces either of these 2 things, you're going to exasperate that swing by beating yourself up for not being able to do anything near to the routine you've built up to, especially if you know you're prone to such behaviour
Thanks that’s helpful. I’ve been getting back into exercise in the mornings, but I’m going to start changing them up a bit to be more cardio. I’ve been slowly easing back into it with some strength training and stretching type workouts. At this point. I think I’m recovered enough to not be obsessed with exercise.
 
Tawny

Tawny

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Diet is so imoportant. Try to fill up on carrots, tomatoes, apples, celery, peppers those sorts of foods. Quetiapine may be the one causing weight gain although after years on Lamictal, i notice a small belly and i am quite slim. I have noticed the belly is the most common bit of weight gain on slimmer people, like it is unavoidable.

You could ask about why you are taking two anti psychotics as maybe your doctor will think it possible for you to just have the abilify.
 
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keith74

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There are some really good suggestions here regarding diet and exercise. Many antispychotics do have a side effect of weight gain. Both olanazapine and quetiapine (seroquel) gave my wife carb/sugar cravings that would lead to binging and subsequently some weight gain. However (in my wife's case), the cravings tended to go away after a period of time as she adjusts to the new med or dose. But others may never lose those cravings. In any case her weight gain wasn't too bad as she tends to have a naturally healthy diet. The key was to remove all bad foods/snacks in your home. She had health snacks ready to be eaten instead like carrot sticks, celery with hummus, etc. She also upped her exercise routine. A lot of walking, some jogging and aerobics. She also does yoga and pilates.

Switching from seroquel to abilify should help. Abilify seems to cause less weight gain than the other antipsychotics.
 
Wishbone

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To be fair, as Keith says, once you've switched from Seroquel to Abilify the weight should start coming off again as it's likely the former that led to you gaining some anyway.
 
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Traveler5

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You could ask about why you are taking two anti psychotics as maybe your doctor will think it possible for you to just have the abilify.
Butterflykisses is just taking one anti psychotic -- Lamictal is not an antipsychotic.
 
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Tawny is right. I've gained about 25 pounds from taking Risperidone and it's all belly fat. I look like a pregnant sow.
 
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butterflykisses

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Butterflykisses is just taking one anti psychotic -- Lamictal is not an antipsychotic.
I’m taking abilify and seroquel, which may be both antipsychotics. I’m coming off of seroquel as it causes horrible dizziness and nausea. So I’m adding abilify instead.
 
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butterflykisses

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Diet is so imoportant. Try to fill up on carrots, tomatoes, apples, celery, peppers those sorts of foods. Quetiapine may be the one causing weight gain although after years on Lamictal, i notice a small belly and i am quite slim. I have noticed the belly is the most common bit of weight gain on slimmer people, like it is unavoidable.

You could ask about why you are taking two anti psychotics as maybe your doctor will think it possible for you to just have the abilify.
I’m getting off of seroquel and adding abilify instead. Seroquel causes terrible dizziness and nausea every morning.
 
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butterflykisses

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I’m getting off of seroquel and adding abilify instead. Seroquel causes terrible dizziness and nausea every morning.
Diet is so imoportant. Try to fill up on carrots, tomatoes, apples, celery, peppers those sorts of foods. Quetiapine may be the one causing weight gain although after years on Lamictal, i notice a small belly and i am quite slim. I have noticed the belly is the most common bit of weight gain on slimmer people, like it is unavoidable.

You could ask about why you are taking two anti psychotics as maybe your doctor will think it possible for you to just have the abilify.
I’m also a naturally slim person and it’s not much weight. I don’t think it’s noticeable to most people, except for when I gained a lot from my recovery and eating enough. I just hope I can’t maintain this weight as much as possible.
 
Buff Schmoltler

Buff Schmoltler

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High intensity interval exercise. Do an easy warm up, then do something extremely strenuous for 0.5 to 3 minutes, rest or do something light for about the same amount of time, then repeat, alternating strenuous and nonstrenuous, for up to 50 minutes. Then cool down.

(For example,
walk 5 minutes;
sprint 2 min, walk 2 min, repeat 10x;
walk 5 minutes.)

This will not burn fat so much as habituate the body to conditions for which fat storage is not an advantageous adaptation, and the brain will learn to tell the endocrine system to produce more useful hormones that don’t store fat there.

Try to let weight change be slow. Gain or loss of up to 0.5 lb/week is the optimal maximum. Belly fat is designed to be burned as energy, so if there are not massive fluctuations it will not be as useful for the body to keep. It is possible to gain total bodyweight and lose belly fat at the same time. The body will tend to change total weight on its own in a manner and rate that it sees fit.

If I had to choose a third most useful measure, I would probably say getting 8 or more hours of sleep each night.
 
Keesha

Keesha

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Yes I gained a huge amount by going on medication but now I’ve started losing weight by eating a low carb diet and exercising.

- walking everyday is the easiest form of exercise
- swimming is easy on the joints
- yoga
- pilates

Starting is the most difficult part but once you do you’ll feel so much better. I least I think you will.
 
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