I have finally been diagnosed with Lyme Disease after years of going from doctor to doctor. I finally found one who kept running tests until she found the problem. I had radioactive iodine 4 years ago and have never been right andin fact been worse and worse. I have adrenal fatigue, lyme, yeast, etc. I have gained 40 pounds in the last year. I am on antibiotics and mepron. Will the weight go away as I am treated. I just started antibiotics in mid December.
Congratulations (?!) on getting a diagnosis -- sometimes that's harder than being sick. Well, only sort of.... but points to your doc for figuring it out, and big points to you for sticking with the quest.
I'm not medically trained, but here's what I'd do:
-- Talk to the doc about your thyroid function generally and with regard to Lyme. In ways I don't understand, Lyme mucks with the whole endocrine system, and that includes thyroid. I'm guessing that your thyroid function was wiped out by the RAI therapy -- ? Are you now taking thyroid supplements? I'm not sure how all that works, but I'd definitely talk with the Lyme doc about your thyroid function and history to understand any interplay there.
When I was so sick with Lyme and babesia, I was terribly tired all the time and ate all the time to try to get my energy level up, and at the same time was not getting any exercise, so I ended up gaining a bunch of weight. I know first hand it's not a simple situation.
Another complication was that I also got a serious yeast infection, and I was very bloated, since it wasn't a simple vaginal infection -- it was systemic and pretty bad -- huge gut bloating, brain fog, red eyes, loose teeth. My Lyme doc didn't catch it soon enough, but when finally I was put on major doses of oral antifungal meds (diflucan), it started to work.
At the same time, I was scared enough by the yeast infection that I completely turned my diet upside down and began to eat only 'greens and proteins' -- meaning no bread or pasta or rice, no fruit, no sugar, no alcohol, no vinegar, and no dairy. Literally just non-starchy vegetables (zucchini, carrots, onions, garlic, etc), olive oil, salt, and eggs and chicken. No preservatives at all; all fresh.
Sounds horrid, I know, but I was scared enough to go cold turkey that way. And you'd be surprised how sweet a carrot can taste. Heh.
The first two weeks I felt worse, which was the die off of the yeast. After that, I got better steadily. I was also taking the antifungal meds still. I went way overboard on the dietary side, but I was very motivated.
As a result, not only did the yeast get booted, but I also lost all the extra weight I had gained from bloat and over-eating to get energy. That was about 2 or 3 years ago, and I am now holding at my pre-illness weight of 120, after losing down from 180 lbs. (yes, 33% weight loss!) I currently eat fruit and vegetables, rice and quinoa (a grain), and eggs and fish and poultry. I stay away from wheat and dairy, because I may have genetic problems with those, given my family history, and I just don't like the taste of red meat anymore.
I eat all I want, I'm never hungry, and I feel really really good. I don't know how much of this applies to your situation. I made it up as I went along, so thought I'd share my experience for what it's worth.
-- Back to your question: will the weight go away when the Lyme is treated?
Some of the weight gain may be due to your thyroid situation (I was on thyroid meds for a while, but whether it was due to dietary deficiency or to Lyme, I don't know.) I'd talk with your doc about that aspect to be sure it's under control, and also to factor in the effects of Lyme on thyroid function, because they are real.
Be sure your doc is taking your yeast infection seriously -- too many docs blow it off as a simple vaginal infection, when it can be systemic. If so, it causes bloat and resulting weight gain.
I'd keep after the doc to check your endocrine levels until things stabilize so that you have an appropriate level of thyroid hormones in your system ... and also be sure that you have appropriate supplementation with T3 and T4 as needed. Some docs supplement only with T4, but if your body can't break down that molecule as it should, then you can still be deficient, because T3 is the form needed. This is relatively new to the medical world, and some traditional docs still assume that treating only with T4 is sufficient.
There's also the issue of whether synthetic thyroid meds are as good as Armour brand thyroid supps, which are made from ground up animal thyroid and work better for some people than the synthetics. Sometimes people need to find a naturopathic MD to get a prescription for Armour, but sometimes more mainstream docs will be friendly in that regard. It's a murky area, but very worth pursuing if synthetic thyroid supps aren't making you feel really good. I was taking the synthetic ones, and they worked fine for me, but everyone is different that way. I stopped taking the thyroid supps once I had enough dietary sources of iodine coming in.
Also consider hormone replacement therapy (HRT) at a certain point ... it can make a big difference, even if taken only for a transitional time.
Ummm, and taking vitamins and supplements played a big role in getting me well again. My Lyme doc could have cared less, but my other doc cared a lot and got me set up properly that way. It does make a difference for me!
I'm sorry to make this a complicated answer to a simple question, but you may be dealing with a bunch of different things as I was, and fixing it all is like peeling an onion, as one of my very wise docs said. Finding the right doc to help you through all this can be the most important thing -- it was for me.
Above all, don't give up! Getting well again is worth all the hassle. You gotta trust me on this one.
I have been without my home computer and just saw your answer. Thank you so much. My doctor does believe in vitamin supplements and ivs. She also said I have a bunch of immune infections one of them being yeast also epstein barr and some others I don't remember. She is switching me back to Armour whch my old md took me off. She said I have had Lyme untreated for a while and that probably came before my Thyroid problem. I went to 2 endos who told me nothing was wrong with me--one suggested a psychiatrist and the other had her nurse call to say there was nothing wrong with me and I should find another md. My doctor gave me the yeast diet and I'm embarrassed to say I didn't feel like I had the willpower to follow it. I have always exercised and watched my weight but not that extreme, but your answer motivated me and has given me new hope. Thank you.
Good to hear from you, and esp. that you have a thoughtful doc.
Maybe if you promise yourself that you will go a week at a time on the diet, it won't seem so overwhelming. 1 week vs a year or even forever? Yeah, I can do a week. And then at the end of that week, sign on for another week. At some point, when the yeast is kicked, you can start to add back things and see what the effect is. The yeast causes cravings, which will go away pretty soon.
One day (or week) at a time! Thanks for your message. Keep us posted --
Your story sounds so familiar to mine. If you get a chance, check out my journal. I have had RAI for my Graves Disease. I also have Lyme, Bartonella, and Babesia. I have noticed weight gain in myself as well, and I normally have always had a hard time putting on weight... NOT ANYMORE!! :( When you are used to a certain weight and all of a sudden your body changes shape on you, its hard to get used too. I think I am going to try Jackie's approach, it sounds better than what I have tried to come up with.
I am going to try also. I have always weighed less than 120 and now I am up over 165. My doctor is very concerned and said she will keep digging but thinks right now there is so much going on that affects weight that maybe that is the problem. I called her office yesterday for another copy of the foods to avoid and what to eat for yeast infections. She said she was happy to hear I was going to try it.
Don't beat yourself up about it -- you've got a big enough load to deal with already. By the time my otherwise savvy docs figured out I had a massive yeast infection, I was bloated, my gut was distended (swollen), my teeth were loose, my eyes were constantly red ... it was ugly. I even had a colonoscopy because they couldn't figure out what was up ... but that wasn't useful in the diagnosis and they didn't realize it.
Some of my docs tried to send me away with meds appropriate for a mild, limited v*ginal yeast infection, but this was throughout my body. It took high doses of oral Diflucan for an extended period of time to get it under control.
===>>> I'm NOT saying you have it this bad, but the docs too often think a yeast infection = the sniffles, while it can be more serious -- so press them on the point with a full description of your symptoms to be sure you get the proper level of treatment, ok?
This post is really hitting home with me, too. I have gained a lot of weight in the past few years. Part of it is definitely because I am exhausted and not as active as I used to be. But I have the constantly red eyes and I never knew that was a sign of a yeast infection. I have done the meat and veggie diet before and I do feel a lot better when I do it. I eat red meat also, but elk and bison almost exclusively. I fell off the wagon at Christmas time after I got talked into making fudge to get me out of my Scrooge mood. It worked, but I have been craving sugar again ever since. :(
Now if I can just get my activity level up to a reasonable level at the same time that I am eating right, maybe I will get somewhere! I am so anxious for April 25 to get here. I just want to get started on feeling better!!
Just to add to Jackie's great response...I recently got a Fitbit - you wear it on your wrist and it tracks calories burned, steps, pulse and sleep. I found out that my resting pulse is in the 50's - quite slow and that I burn only about 1700 calories per day (not able to exercise right now). So, I can track my calories in on *********** (also could use MyFitnessPal) which I thought would be so annoying but it is actually quite freeing and satisfying ironically! I go only 100-200 calories below what I am burning and am slowly losing weight - 14 pounds so far after a 40 pound weight gain in 1 year. I also do not eat grains except for rice pasta and lots of vegies. Whenever I try to lose weight faster, my Lyme symptoms worsen - I lose my ability to speak and become quite dizzy. Good luck on your journey. Blimey that Lymey!
I WAS RECENTLY DIAGNOSED WITH LYMES AND IN THE LAST 41/2 YEARS I HAVE GAINED OVER 80 LBS. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THIN, NORMAL WEIGHT 125. I AM MISERABLE, HATE IT. WASNT EVEN THIS BIG WHEN I WAS PREGNANT AND I WAS HUGH. I DONT WANT TO LEAVE MY HOUSE, I REFUSE TO BUY FAT CLOTHES, MY BOYFRIEND CAN BE CRITICAL AT TIMES. MY DIET ***** IM NOT GONNA LIE, I REALLY DONT EAT ALOT BUT ITS HARD FOR ME TO EAT HEALTHY AND I ABSOLUTELY HAVE NO DESIRE TO EXERCISE. ANY SUGGESTIONS ARE GREATLY APPRECIATED. IF I DONT LOSE WEIGHT SOON IM GONNA CRAWL IN A WHOLE. I DONT EVEN LIKE TO LEAVE MY HOUSE, IM EXTREMELY EMBARRASSED. I USED TO BE ABLE TO LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT EVEN TRYING AND EAT WHATEVER I WANTED. I ALSO HAD A HYSTERECTOMY 41/2 YRS AGO WHICH I THINK HAS CONTRIBUTED TO MY WEIGHT PROBLEM. MY STOMACH IS HUGH. I CAN WATCH IT LITERALLY BLOW UP. MY MIND SET WOULD BE SO MUCH BETTER IF I COULD JUST START LOSING SOME WEIGHT. PLEASE HELP. JILLISAILY
Getting Lyme and going through menopause at the same time is lousy, but it is what it is. To take one burden off you, if your doc okays it, then consider taking HRT at least till the Lyme aspects are gotten rid of. Lyme can mess with the whole endocrine/hormonal system, so it's not you -- it's the bugz. --- Once you are past Lyme and are well again, things will sort out ... It was a coincidence that I got Lyme about the same time I went through menopause, so it's hard to which thing was running the show ... but really it doesn't matter which one, and the important thing is to have a doc who doesn't just focus on one thing like Lyme without considering your other potential ailments, including menopause, for example. ----- Also, Lyme is known to mess with the whole endocrine system, so even if you aren't headed into menopause, your hormones can be off, and that can easily cause weight to go up and cause other effects that are hard to separate from the effects of Lyme. --- Good wishes, and let us know how you do!
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