Author Topic: Weight Gain or Weight Loss During Withdrawal Support Group  (Read 9120 times)

[Buddie]

Weight Gain or Weight Loss During Withdrawal Support Group
« on: September 02, 2010, 10:20:34 am »
Hi.  I've read on a few threads that many buddies are being impacted by weight gain or weight loss during withdrawal and could use some support whether still withdrawing from a taper or post benzo taper.

 I've had this problem in the last year myself.  During taper, I lost weight just from a revved up system. At the end of my taper and post taper, I gained weight and a few months later was surprised to see that my blood pressure was the highest it ever was and I had a minor panic incident with palpitations.  My doctor advised a beta blocker but I elected to exercise and eat healthier.   I was able thus far to reduce the blood pressure after a couple weeks of watching my lifestyle but I still have some further work to do with my health.  It seems that many folks may be suffering a variety of side effects that they may attribute to benzo withdrawal but may also be related to the weight they have rapidly lost or gained.  For example, excess insulin can cause heart problems, hypoglycemia, over active adrenal glands and anxiety, chronic fatigue, depression, inflammation and increase in blood pressure as mentioned above to name just some factors.  Also, one can have more anxiety from eating too many sugary foods or consuming too much caffeine or chocolate that has caffeine in it.  Do any of you out there experience these symptoms?

 After reading more on the subject of adrenal burnout in some nutrition and diet books, I came across a chapter about insulin resistance and pre diabetes, supposedly millions of people have insulin resistance and don't even know it, despite maybe having a normal fasting glucose test at the annual check up at the doctor.   I now suspect that the anxiety I had before benzos and now after benzos may be related to this insulin problem I've struggled with most of my life.  Sugar and caffeine really rev my system up.  I've been trying to reduce sugar and refined white flour from my diet the last three weeks and find myself feeling better at times but also depressed.  Yet the anxiety seems to be less than it was on most days, but sometimes it has returned on busy mornings.  I'm wondering if anyone has experienced more anxiety or blues either during withdrawal or post benzo relating to weight gain or loss?    In other words, has anyone gained weight or lost weight during tapering or after the taper and how has it impacted you?  Any advice?  
Thanks,

[...] (and sugary treats no more :laugh:)
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 11:34:27 am by [Buddie] »
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[Buddie]

Re: Weight Gain and Withdrawal Support
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2010, 06:17:16 pm »
Hi V!
You have hit upon some good points as the human body is so interconnected! Weight gain has not been a major issue for me, however, the dietary changes that you are making (plus lifestyle changes like excercise) are going to have a really positive impact on your health and well being!
When I was in my 20's I suffered through some severe anxiety problems... part of my problem was my diet. I was a manager at a pizza restaurant, and I regularly ate my meals there. Also, I drank soda regularly and ate lots of other fast food at other places. Although I had grown up quite thin, I suddenly found myself becoming over weight. I soon went from weighing 165 lbs to about 215 or 220. Also, the smoke filled environments I frequented didn't help my health either and neither did the beer drinking. I remember that eventually I ended up working at a job that required a lot of physical labor. This really helped me to scale my weight back down to what it used to be. Also, I stopped eating fast food as much and started to learn to cook recipies at home. After making these kinds of lifestyle changes (plus a few others), I found myself feeling so much better than I had before when I was overweight and not eating as well. Although weight has not been an issue for me during benzo w/d, I can certainly understand how these kinds of issues can impact someone during and post taper.
Also, nutrition is a huge importance to my wife's side of the family. There are some health issues that run there such as hypoglycemia, collitus, lactose intollerance and stomach ulcers. My in-laws have studied nutrition for many years and they have been on a low blood sugar rotation diet regularly. My mother-in-law in particular has been advising me about dietary changes that can help during the course of my w/d. Most of these you have listed and I will say that the conclusions you have reached about refined sugars, glycemic effects on the blood stream, insulin resistance, depression, etc, are very much the same as coming from what my in-laws have learned and practiced over the years. In fact, I will say that often times, when I was (or still am), hit with certain symptoms, my mother in law will usually try to jog my memory as to what have I been eating the last few days and to try to avoid certain kinds of foods to see if I notice any improvements. One thing I have learned is to not overload my stomach with food before going to bed, if I expect to get a good nights sleep! Also, I don't drink any coffee after 12:00, because I know that if I do, I may be to wired to get to sleep at night. As of now, my biggest vice is probably coffee with sugar added. I do notice a pick me up after drinking 2 cups and then later a crash afterwards. I would probably do so much better in the long run, if I would stop using coffee and sugar. Right now, I'm finishing up a remeron taper, so I don't want to do any other tapering from caffeine until my body can free itself completely from medication. Also, the physical excerecise (walking and excercise bike) has been a real plus in getting me through life both pre and post benzo and I highly recommend it! Getting the blood flowing to the brain and through the body helps to create well being and stamina and is one of the best mood inhancers I know!
Great post, V, and I hope that more members will comment and provide some feedback!
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Weight Gain and Withdrawal Support
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2010, 06:55:49 pm »
Hi, I gained 20 lbs in January.  Four weeks.  At that time, my cortisol took a dive, thyroid too.  These self corrected, but the weight is still there.  Doesnt matter what I eat.  Could be nothing but rabbitt food, or a ton of twinkies.  No doc is willing to put the pieces together.  I dont know how.  I can tell you I have been a skinny minny for years. Excercise is great, but for me, not possible.  I can barely walk, due to burning pain, and throbbing pain in my legs.  Seems to start from the bone.  Excruciating.  I have gone from  a runner to a cripple.  Good luck you guys.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Weight Gain and Withdrawal Support
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2010, 11:00:14 am »
Hi Star.  Is it possible to lift some light hand weights a couple times a week? By doing so, you might get your metabolism up enough to lose the pounds.  Check out the book "Protein Power".  Maybe it'll help.  Of course, always consult with your doctor before beginning an exercise program...  The thyroid is tricky.  Sounds like you have some overactive adrenal system?  Sorry to hear about your leg pain.  I hope you find some answers.

Thanks Pange for your reply. Sounds like you are well aware like me about over carbing it and the soda too, the super sizing... uggh.  Fortunately, I learned over ten years ago that my system did not agree with beer. I recently read that some people get addicted to beer not necessarily because of the alcohol but because of certain carbs/grains in the beer.   I also noticed a long time ago that my reflux came back when I drank too much soda or even small amounts so I've eliminated soda from my life now.  I agree not to overload the body with food before bed, another no no for gastro trouble.  I try not to eat two hours before sleep too.  I also agree it makes sense not to add the coffee taper right now but maybe you will find a way to replace it later on maybe with green tea which has many antioxidant properties.  Also, you might look into stevia if you can't or don't wish to eliminate the sugar?  I think it is a sweetener you can get at a health food store that could be better than the sugar.  Also, I've been reading that its not just about weight but tone.  One can be thin but have pre diabetes and/or insulin problems too, although being skinny is not my current problem :laugh:.

Hey Mike.  I hear ya about the bread.  It sure tastes good especially hot french bread at a restaurant. Unfortunately, after a sugar high, for me anyway, I come crashing down with fatigue after a meal.  I'm not eating much bread right now but if I do, it's got lots of fiber and whole grain, will see how it goes with Labor Day weekend with the usual bbq type issues...

Best wishes,

V (and pizza and buns no more :laugh:)
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 12:15:23 pm by [Buddie] »
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Weight Gain and Withdrawal Support
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2010, 04:17:08 pm »
Hi again V!
You had asked a question about our diet in my blog so I wanted to answer that here.
My wife tries to avoid prepared foods as much as possible. Of course, we sometimes buy things like canned spaghetti sauce, etc, (especially when we're trying to make food stretch for the week), but she always reads food labels. She tries to buy brands that have the least amount of chemicals and additives as possible. I've heard a rule said that if you can't pronounce what's on the can, it's probably not good for you! A big one that my wife avoids is high fructose corn syrup. I have heard that that product was dumped on the market back in the late 60's (right at the time I was a toddler), and was a cheap substitute for a food preservative/sweetner. Unfortunatley, it is not good for the body because it is highly concentrated. It is put in almost every prepared food including snacks and this probably accounts for the increase in obesity in children (together with an increase in TV watching/computer usage/lack of excercising) that has come about over the last 40 years.
Another one that my wife tries to avoid is nitatres. Sometimes we buy hot dogs but we always try to find the beef ones that are nitrate free. A local market we have hear called Fred Meyer usually has some good deals on products like these.
My wife will prepare most of the foods we eat from scratch (she was fortunate to be at home for many years until recently so she had more time to do this), and she will use whole grain flours in cooking. She also avoids refined products and cereals that are fortified rather than offering the vitamins/minerals from the whole grains. Barbaras and Cascade Farms are 2 brands that offer some good tasting cereals that are whole grain and organic.
We also have our own garden and during the summer we get yummy blueberries, tomatoes, and rasberries. This year was a great year for growing lettuce and spinach! When shopping for lettuce at the store, my wife will buy the ones that have the most colors. She usually doesn't buy the iceberg unless we're using it for a special recipie or condiment.
My wife had a really good start in life with nutrition because her parents we're so knowledgeble about it. There are of course changes that we may have to make to our diets as we get older. We still buy table sugar. My wife buy the kinds that are least processed. This type of sugar is called evaporated organic cane juice. Perhaps we are getting some minerals from that, but it's still concentrated sugar. Also, I'm still a coffe drinker and I've noticed my coffee consumption going up a bit since withdrawing from the remeron. I drink about a 3/4 glass of dry red wine in the evenings. I don't usually have any problems drinking a red wine like that even during w/d. There was a time though when my A/D medication was out of balance with the benzo I was taking and I didn't dare drink anything. This went on for about 4 months and unfortunatley coincided with the holiday season. I simply had no desire to even want to consume alcohol at that time.
Anyway, that's our diet in a nutshell. A big thumbs up to you, V, for being so diet/excercise conscious and taking the time to start this thread! :thumbsup:
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Weight Gain and Withdrawal Support
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2010, 08:33:34 pm »
Hey Pange.  Thanks for the info about your diet and your wife's diet.  I have been reading about the poisonous trans fats and HFCS (High fructose corn syrup) recently.  Yes, we must try to limit or eliminate those as much as possible, but so tough to do if one is still eating packaged processed foods in America.    That is so cool that you grow your own fruits and vegetables.  I try to buy fresh and local here at a farmers market and fresh market.  Sometimes we get really good produce, other times not so much.  I noticed that the organic celery at Whole Foods was not very tasty the last time we got it there though.  Those blueberries and raspberries you grow are full of phytonutrients and antioxidents as well as fiber :thumbsup:.  They say a glass of red wine can be heart healthy too so enjoy!   I am currently abstaining again but look forward to the day that I can have a taste.  I've got about 15 pounds to lose before I do ;).  By the way, I recently read that low fat, non fat and even sugar free cookies can be just as bad as the regular ones.  The white flour that they are made from will spike your blood sugar and send it through the roof, not to mention partially hydrogenated oils, uggh. Ah, to live is to learn.  

Have a great Labor Day weeekend,

[...] (and cookies of all kinds no more ;))
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 11:45:05 am by [Buddie] »
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Weight Gain and Withdrawal Support
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2010, 08:52:05 pm »
I've gained 52 lbs in the past 6 months.... I've got an EPIC benzo belly.  :o
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Weight Gain and Withdrawal Support
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2010, 09:11:28 pm »
Benzo belly bloating is pretty common [...].  I feel your pain.  Before I started this diet 3 weeks ago, I looked like I could be with child ;D.  Still have a small bowling ball to contend with :idiot:.  Maybe it's more like a volleyball or even a junior soccer ball :laugh:.

V
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 11:47:13 am by [Buddie] »
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Weight Gain and Withdrawal Support
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2010, 12:47:44 am »
I've gained a lot of weight since starting my taper in February and i would like to know if this is a usual side effect of withdrawal. 

I know I'm not moving around as much as I used to because I have so much pain, also agoraphobia that makes it harder to get myself out of the house.  That probably accounts for a lot of it.  I eat a pretty good diet.

Anyway, I'd like to know more about this--I hear people talk about Benzo Belly so I think it must be kind of common--but it's crazy, I haven't gained this much weight this fast since I was pregnant!  I can't help thinking it must be at least partly the withdrawal.

Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Weight Gain and Withdrawal Support
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2010, 08:33:37 pm »
Hi [...].  I have also read about benzo belly during withdrawal.  It seems to not be uncommon.  I don't know the reason for it but can speculate.  If withdrawal makes one depressed at times, this can either curb or increase appetite.  It seems that stress causes a release in stress hormones (cortisol and adrenalin) which then can impact appetite and other functions.  Yes, agoraphobia can keep one indoors and maybe more of a sedentary life.  If you can afford to get some kind of exercise bike or treadmill to do at home, maybe that could help?  How far are you on your taper and what benzo and how much now?  Do you know how to make your signature at the bottom of your posts?  It would helpful to see where you are in your taper.  Well, glad you are eating a good diet.  Healthy foods can only help and eating a lot of sugary junk food can lead to ill health in my view.  Also, if one is taking an anti depressants, these can also cause one to gain weight.

Best wishes,
[...] (no more)
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.