There are significant medical conditions that often lead to doctors prescribing solutions that lead to weight gain. In particular, some antidepressants can cause patients to add on the pounds, and prednisone and other steroids can have similar effects. If you are taking one of these kinds of medicines and are struggling with fitness and/or weight loss as a result, this article is designed to help you devise some strategies to cope — and to reverse the effects. Here are a few medicines that cause weight gain and what yo can to do counteract them.
It’s Important to Know What Medicines Can Cause Weight Gain
According to Healthline, the twelve most commonly prescribed antidepressants, including escitalopram (Lexapro), sertraline (Zoloft) and fluoxetine (Prozac) can cause weight gain. About one in eight Americans currently take prescription anti-depressants, which means that there are many people at risk of weight gain.
Steroids that doctors prescribe to help with a variety of inflammatory conditions such as Crohn’s disease, lupus, arthritis, osteoarthritis and IBD can also lead to weight gain. The mechanisms behind the weight gain vary. People who are on steroids tend to gain weight because of alterations in the way their bodies deal with sodium.
The body tends to retain more sodium while on steroids, and redistribution of fat can make you look like you are gaining weight, even when you are not. With respect to antidepressants, the weight gain tends to occur as a result of appetite changes. Just about all things (including experiences beyond food) become more appealing as depression lifts, and that includes foods that are unhealthy. As consumption goes up, so does weight gain.
With these facts in mind, there are some steps that you can take to fight weight gain if you have to take steroids or antidepressants. One has to do with monitoring the amount of sodium that you take in.
Watch Your Sodium Intake
Fast food, canned food, and processed foods are often full of sodium. Choosing fresh vegetables and fruits and other foods that are lower in calories but higher in fiber — and drinking plenty of water — are ways for both steroid and antidepressant patients to avoid weight gain. Adding potassium to your diet is another way to fight this sort of weight loss, because potassium drives the body to push out sodium. Such foods as sweet potatoes, bananas, spinach and avocados are rich in potassium and will also help you keep your blood pressure lower.
Ask Your Doctor About Options
Talk to your doctor and ask about other forms of treatment that would deliver the same benefits — without the additional weight. If you are on steroids, this could involve requesting that you go on the shortest dose possible without losing the effectiveness. For antidepressant patients, asking for bupropion (the active drug in Wellbutrin) could help you avoid gaining weight, as that antidepressant has shown the lowest tendency of pushing weight gain.
Finally, the more activity you have in your life, the more calories you will burn, and weight gain involves consuming more calories than you burn. Talk to your doctor about activities that you can perform safely. Even a daily walk or some light yoga is a good place to begin, and as you become more fit, you can add other levels (after consulting with your doctor) that can help weight loss accelerate.