Author Topic: GOOD BYE BENZO BELLY!  (Read 3094 times)

[Buddie]

Re: GOOD BYE BENZO BELLY!
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2012, 01:42:53 pm »
Quote
[...] -- I'm 55 and have been living in stretchy clothes through this ordeal; I lost around 13 pounds and dropped below what I consider my safe weight -- but still couldn't zip my jeans because of the benzo bloat.  My weight is finally slowly coming back up.  This morning I almost hit my safe weight.  AND the benzo bloat is getting better.  I was able to wear my jeans the other day!!  It does get better, everything does get better eventually - even for us oldies but goodies!!

Thanks Hope! You too have given me some hope.  :) What on earth would cause belly bloat?

[...]
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: GOOD BYE BENZO BELLY!
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2012, 02:02:11 pm »
Hi all. [...] I am so glad that you are feeling better.
[...]
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: GOOD BYE BENZO BELLY!
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2012, 02:51:25 pm »
Quote
[...] -- I'm 55 and have been living in stretchy clothes through this ordeal; I lost around 13 pounds and dropped below what I consider my safe weight -- but still couldn't zip my jeans because of the benzo bloat.  My weight is finally slowly coming back up.  This morning I almost hit my safe weight.  AND the benzo bloat is getting better.  I was able to wear my jeans the other day!!  It does get better, everything does get better eventually - even for us oldies but goodies!!

Thanks Hope! You too have given me some hope.  :) What on earth would cause belly bloat?

[...]

I think it is because the gabas through our guts are also involved.  For me I'm not digesting foods as I used to.  I can't have any dairy or onions now.  I get very sick.  I haven't had normal poos (sorry) during this "recovery".  Usually frequent, urgent and loose BM.  This has been getting better the past several weeks. 
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: GOOD BYE BENZO BELLY!
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2012, 08:07:27 pm »




[...]: That is the most encouraging post I've read in ages. Thank you so much for sharing.

I have been blaming my revolting gut on age, but maybe there is some hope for me yet.
I too gained weight slowly over the many years on Xanax but could find no medical evidence which would support blaming it. When I crossed to Valium, at the start of my taper, I was so nauseous that I lost quite a few kg. If I feel a bit better I eat a more normal diet and put weight on. At the moment I am feeling bad so have lost a couple of kg. Can't say I eat heaps but then my exercise level is low.

I notice from your signature that you steadily cut the Valium without changing to tiny cuts. You kept up an impressive pace which I was determined to do but have found impossible. Did you suffer badly with the last few mgs? I cut to 1mg yesterday and am pretty non functional today. I am determined to finish with this drug that doesn't make me feel good but has me in its grip.

I am wondering how old you are (don't tell me  ;) ). Would you think someone in their 50s would have a chance of getting rid of the ugly belly?

Good luck with your future recovery. Buy a whole new wardrobe! I am going to copy your outfit for our cooling weather here in Oz. It's a good combo! Just need a  cardigan. Have the rest!  :)

Once again, thank you for brightening my dull afternoon!

[...]


[/quote]

Dear [...],
I am so happy to learn that this post encouraged you because that was my intent. My 12 years on Klonapin were hellish in so many ways-- I was ALWAYS sick! and I thought it was just a progression of an autoimmune disease. I was also sick most EVERY DAY of my taper, so it is my hope to encourage people on this journey because I know how difficult it is.

I am just a bit younger than you so of course I think you can lose that benzo belly. It is such a weird thing to have that. I had gained a lot of weight on Klonapin and lost most of it about 4 years ago when I had to prepare for spinal surgery. Then after my surgery I was put on opiates and with the combination of that and the Klonapin felt worse than I ever did in my life. I gained weight even though my eating habits had not changed. I finished my Klonapin taper in November and had definitely gained weight but I was too discouraged to weigh myself. I could tell that slowly that benzo belly was decreasing on its own. About 3 weeks ago I started Weight Watchers to lose the last bit of weight and that helped a little but it is mainly being off the benzos that did it. I didn't even realize it because I am still not out and about tons but I wanted to look nice this weekend for something and couldn't believe that everything fit again!!

The uniform of the leggings, cami and sweater is a good one because it feels like you are wearing your jams but you look much nicer, which is important to me.

AH, the impressive pace of my Valium taper was anything but... I was definitely sick all day, every day to the point of barely functioning. IT WAS TERRIBLE and yes, the lower I got the worse it felt! But, necessary for me because I had no choice but to continue the pain meds and the combination was causing me great distress. Now, I am tapering off the opiates which is hard, but a cake walk compared to the Benzo withdrawal.

I could not have tolerated a slower pace of tapering for my own psychological well being-- I needed to be done! It is such a personal decision... but for me, I felt pretty sick anyway, even if I wasn't tapering, so I knew that I would not feel well until I was off of it. From what I understand of the Ashton method, she doesn't really advocate dragging it out too much. If I had no symptoms at all, I would have loved to micro-taper but for me, the only way out was through.  And then, I really didn't feel any better at all for a good couple months and it is still a climb, but much improved.

You'll get better, too! We all will  :)

LOVE, :smitten:
[...]
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: GOOD BYE BENZO BELLY!
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2012, 08:08:52 pm »
Hi all. [...] I am so glad that you are feeling better.
[...]

HEY FRIEND!
How are YOU?!
L, :smitten:
C
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: GOOD BYE BENZO BELLY!
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2012, 08:40:09 pm »
Nice to hear this belly will disappear. I haven't put on much weight but my belly has really 'grown' since I began my taper.  >:(  :tickedoff: Now I know I don't have to blame myself.

Thank you for sharing. :)

Camille
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: GOOD BYE BENZO BELLY!
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2012, 11:49:41 pm »
[...] (such a pretty name!):

Thanks for sharing that medical history. It was very interesting for me as there are some similarities with my history. I never had any anxiety problems et until I developed strange lethargy and illness 19 years ago. After much testing, which provoked anxiety and depression, I was diagnosed by a specialist as having fibromyalgia. This began a long search for solutions entailing taking huge numbers of supplements etc

I had started taking Xanax 18 months into this mess as I was crippled with anxiety and with a family of 4 children to raise, simply HAD to function. The once outgoing person had turned into  someone who could not even go to a dinner or party. I used to be the one who was HOSTING them. I knew Xanax was addictive but I guess I thought along the lines of smoking which I easily beat many years before. Once I was dependent doctors would tell me I would be on it for life.

I too had a huge operation - mine was for endometrial cancer. Somewhere along the line I started using Panadeine Forte (500mg paracetamol 30mg codeine) which I had for migraines, every morning for fibro pain. I started with one tablet but that went to two and then sometimes I would need it at night for severe leg muscle pain which prevented my sleeping. Never came near the recommended maximum dose but still dependent I discovered one day when I just decided to quit it as it had lost its power. I now take 1 tablet in the morning and 1 at night.

This is something else I want to quit but the psychiatrist who is helping me through this benzo withdrawal has told me not to try cutting back until the Valium is done with. He says we don't want to confuse withdrawal symptoms.

Quote
Now, I am tapering off the opiates which is hard, but a cake walk compared to the Benzo withdrawal.

I am pleased to hear this. I have looked for instructions on how to do this but have not found any good advice yet. Codeine definitely has a feel good effect on me - something I found amusing when I only used it occasionally because it just made me sleep! Do you think the combination of the Klonopin and the opiate were making you gain weight? I don't really eat that much because I feel so crap but it is hard to lose weight. As soon as I eat normally it goes back on. I think I ate heaps more when I was at my correct weight all those years ago.

I was wondering if I got my benzo belly from hunching over the computer all day because that's about all I do most days. Not healthy.

I have already had my morning self pity cry. The anniversary of my taper start is coming up in a month. I started at 4-5mg Xanax (80-100mg Valium), peaking at 6mg (120mg Valium - for a short time to deal with my daughter's urgent medical problems).  This was basically halved in 3 days. I have berated my psychiatrist about this speed but now I wonder if it would have taken twice as long, had he gone slower back then. I am already so depressed and sick of it all after 11 months. Never would I have believed how difficult the last 5mgs would be.

I would appreciate any words of wisdom, [...]. Hope you will keep us posted on your success trail. I'll be looking out for you. :)

Best Wishes.

[...] x
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: GOOD BYE BENZO BELLY!
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2012, 11:53:47 pm »
Hi Camille!

Nice to meet you  too. I saw your signature line and was inspired at your regular pace of withdrawal. I have been all over the place. currently stuck at 1.5mg V and feeling awful. I see you were a long term Xanax user in the past.

I shall visit your blog!

[...]  :)
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: GOOD BYE BENZO BELLY!
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2012, 01:23:35 am »
[...] (such a pretty name!):

Thanks for sharing that medical history. It was very interesting for me as there are some similarities with my history. I never had any anxiety problems et until I developed strange lethargy and illness 19 years ago. After much testing, which provoked anxiety and depression, I was diagnosed by a specialist as having fibromyalgia. This began a long search for solutions entailing taking huge numbers of supplements etc

I had started taking Xanax 18 months into this mess as I was crippled with anxiety and with a family of 4 children to raise, simply HAD to function. The once outgoing person had turned into  someone who could not even go to a dinner or party. I used to be the one who was HOSTING them. I knew Xanax was addictive but I guess I thought along the lines of smoking which I easily beat many years before. Once I was dependent doctors would tell me I would be on it for life.

I too had a huge operation - mine was for endometrial cancer. Somewhere along the line I started using Panadeine Forte (500mg paracetamol 30mg codeine) which I had for migraines, every morning for fibro pain. I started with one tablet but that went to two and then sometimes I would need it at night for severe leg muscle pain which prevented my sleeping. Never came near the recommended maximum dose but still dependent I discovered one day when I just decided to quit it as it had lost its power. I now take 1 tablet in the morning and 1 at night.

This is something else I want to quit but the psychiatrist who is helping me through this benzo withdrawal has told me not to try cutting back until the Valium is done with. He says we don't want to confuse withdrawal symptoms.

Quote
Now, I am tapering off the opiates which is hard, but a cake walk compared to the Benzo withdrawal.

I am pleased to hear this. I have looked for instructions on how to do this but have not found any good advice yet. Codeine definitely has a feel good effect on me - something I found amusing when I only used it occasionally because it just made me sleep! Do you think the combination of the Klonopin and the opiate were making you gain weight? I don't really eat that much because I feel so crap but it is hard to lose weight. As soon as I eat normally it goes back on. I think I ate heaps more when I was at my correct weight all those years ago.

I was wondering if I got my benzo belly from hunching over the computer all day because that's about all I do most days. Not healthy.

I have already had my morning self pity cry. The anniversary of my taper start is coming up in a month. I started at 4-5mg Xanax (80-100mg Valium), peaking at 6mg (120mg Valium - for a short time to deal with my daughter's urgent medical problems).  This was basically halved in 3 days. I have berated my psychiatrist about this speed but now I wonder if it would have taken twice as long, had he gone slower back then. I am already so depressed and sick of it all after 11 months. Never would I have believed how difficult the last 5mgs would be.

I would appreciate any words of wisdom, [...]. Hope you will keep us posted on your success trail. I'll be looking out for you. :)

Best Wishes.

[...] x


Yes, we do have some similarities! I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis and prescribed Elavil, which started me on this whole big mess. I was exhausted on this drug which is given for nerve pain and soon after was diagnosed with FMS. It all went downhill from there. I had an unexpected pregnancy and C/T off the Elavil and didn't sleep for days. I had rebound anxiety and depression (even though I had suffered from neither prior to this) and was put on 2 ssri. I had serotonin surge and then was put on Klonapin.( I had a miscarriage at 15 weeks.) I became increasingly sick and put on more and more meds until I ended up in a NP office about 5 years ago for some help. After she got to know me she said I do not understand why you are on AD and I tapered off of them. My health improved tremendously. I had started to taper off the Klonapin when within one year I had 2 cervical disc replacements and had to stay on it so I could sleep. It turns out I had a big issue with my lower spine due to an autoimmune disease called Reiters syndrome and had a big surgery to remove 2 broken bones, disintegrated facet joints, replace 2 discs, fix spondylothesis, and remove scar tissue from my spine. It was painful and I have spent 3 years in a recovery that began with relearning to walk, literally. To couple this with a benzo and opiate taper only added to the hell I was experiencing.

I was tired every minute of every day since I was put on Elavil in 1996. Once I was off the last 1 mg of Valium I am no longer tired. That in itself is a miracle. So many of my symptoms seemed to be as a result of the Elavil and Klonapin and then all the drugs that I was given to counteract the side effects of them. I started this whole process with having a bladder disease and it morphed into a nightmare. I am slowly regaining my health that I had thought was forever gone. I have my Masters' Degree plus and had a very well paying job in a career that I loved and I had to leave it due to my declining health. It is remarkable to me that medications can be so debilitating.


Yes, I definitely think the opiate-benzo combo caused weight gain. They have a synergistic effect and each affect the entire endocrine system.

hmmm... words of wisdom? I don't know that you need any! You seem to have done a wonderful job tapering off your meds. In addition to that you survived cancer-- you are remarkable!
 
With that said,
Reevaluate all that you thought was true about your health as many issues could be a result of being on medication. Also, in regards to tapering: I always knew it would be hard and I would be sick and it was just something I had to do. I was sick all the time, every day for years, unless I took a bit of a break. I only started to feel better once I was done. I would lower my dose even if I didn't feel well because I realized I would never feel well enough to lower it. Many here quote the Ashton manual and I too was thrilled to find it as I had completed most of my taper before I even landed here. One thing that stuck with me is she said at the lower doses do not micro-taper as you are just prolonging your agony. So, I just did it-- ballz to the walls! I called it. I never up-dosed, I never overfocused on individual symptoms, I rarely lost my focus... it all sucked, every bit of it; it was a nightmare and I am still not over it, but the psychological relief that comes from completing your taper is immense.

When I was at 1.5 mg of Valium, I felt awful too! But I expected that I would and I just plowed through. It is like giving birth-- there is a certain point where it hurts like hell and it may get worse but there is no turning back. Like the Nike ad said-- just do it.

LOVE, :smitten:
[...]

PS I am not familiar with your pain medication but I could write a treatise about opiate 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: GOOD BYE BENZO BELLY!
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2012, 01:45:47 am »
"Mum"

Did you do anything in particular to get rid of it - diet, exercise etc?

 :) ;D 8) ::) :angel: :smitten: :yippee: :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 04:15:02 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.