Dysautonomia (Autonomic Dysfunction) Community
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Avatar universal

Weight Control

I have another question.  Do any of you have trouble with gaining weight or not being able to lose it.  I have gained about 15 lbs in the past 6 months and can't seem to lose but a few lbs and then put it back on.  I don't eat very much during the day.  Most of the time I will skip supper or only eat a very little bit.  I eat a small breakfast and a medium lunch.  The drs put me on lyrica for a while and that probably contributed to the weight, but I am off of it now.  I walk a lot during the day and try to do some other mild exercise, but can't handle alot.  I am soooooo wore out by the time I get off work.

Any suggestions?  I know there are several people here who can't seem to put weight on.  I stay sick to my stomach a lot, also.  I would think that would make me lose weight.  I don't know.  I am starting to get very concerned about it.
That is probably one of the last things for me to be "worried" about, but I have a fear of being overweight like my mother and sister.  I want to be as healthy as I can at the time.

Thanks y'all for your support.
18 Responses
Avatar universal
Since my 'crash' I have lost about 28lbs, most of that was for the first 2 months when I was severely ill.  Whether being a newly diagnosed coeliac has anything to do with this I am unsure.  Before, I did find it hard to loose weight, it just wouldn't come off  and now my weight is stable.  But I have found that even on a week when I do eat some junk I still stay the same weight.  I have fluctuations around my monthly cycle but I think this is normal.
881165 tn?1265988188
Yes, I put on a lot of weight.  Some probably due to being on Florinef, but even when I was only passing out occassionally, and still more active than the average person, all of a sudden I had to cut my calorie intake at least in half to keep from gaining.  Now that I've cut back on activity to keep from passing out, it has only gotten worse.  My body seems to have picked a certain weight and it won't budge from there no matter what I eat.  I've been to dieticians and physical therapy, and yet the weight stays where it is.  Strangely, if I eat more than normal for a week, it doesn't go up either...
Avatar universal
I have noticed that mine hasn't gone up lately either.  I mean it will increase by a couple of pounds every now and then, but that can be from retaining fluids.  I will lose those couple by the next day.  
I am currently at 150 lbs and am 5'5" tall.  I have thought about going to a dietician and just don't know if that will help.  I guess that is why I am asking for the advice.  
At least I know now that it is not unusual.

612876 tn?1355518095
I have to restrict my daily calorie intake to an almost laughably low level to keep my weight maintained.  I've had bouts of weight gain since having dysautonomia, always seeming to be associated with meds, but it comes on VERY easy and getting it off is another story.  And it seems that at this point my body only requires 500-1000 calories a day to stay at a steady weight, with most days erring on the side of 500; I can afford a couple 1000 calorie day "splurges" a week for eating out but the other 5 days of the week I really do eat about 500 a day.  I'm only 5'3" and this keeps me below 130 and at a size S where my clothes fit.  

I'm hoping the added activity from cardiac rehab will help.  Before this, I haven't really been able to exercise much.
Avatar universal
This sounds like something I need to do.  How do you plan your meals and things?  We eat a lot of steaks and ground meat here.  We live on a farm and butcher our own calves for meat.  It is hard to eat somedays on something you know you don't need when you cook for others.  Thanks
612876 tn?1355518095
Well, I might be the wrong person to ask for dietary advice then.  I stopped eating red meat over 20 years ago.  :-p  I eat all the texturized vegetable protein and soy "fake meat" stuff, which I think is denser in protein and less dense in calories and fat than real meat, but that's been my eating habits since LONG before I got sick.  I did have to cut out the breaded stuff like the "chicken" nuggets and go with the unbreaded patties; I generally stick with only high-fiber carbs whenever possible and keep carbs to a low proportion of my calorie intake.  

I guess easiest would be to tell you what I eat in a day.  Yesterday I had a FiberOne yogurt for breakfast, an unbreaded fake chicken patty and 2/3 c. steamed edamame (soybeans)--both doused in salt--for lunch, and V8 squash soup with brown rice--lots more salt--for dinner

Breakfast= 50 cal., 0 g fat, 5 g fiber

Lunch= 80+120=200 cal., 3+5=8 g fat, 5+3=8 g fiber

Dinner= 140+150=290 cal., 2+1=3 g fat, 3+2=5 g fiber

(3-4 L of Powerade Zero/Crystal Light does not alter calorie count)

Day Total= 540 calories, 11 g fat, 18 g fiber

My typical foods include low-cal/low-fat cheese and yogurt, fruit smoothies, fake meat, fresh and frozen veggies, veggie broth/soups, couscous or brown rice in moderation, high-fiber tortillas in lieu of bread (i.e. wraps rather than sandwiches when possible to cut calories), dried fruit/nuts to top salads (in lieu of salad dressing), high-fiber oatmeal (quaker makes it--only comes in individual packets unfortunately), decaf coffee, crystal light, powerade zero, and the miniature individually wrapped 3 musketeers bars (not even the snack size, the *really* mini ones).  I use mustard over catsup because catsup has sugar and, thus, adds unnecessary calories.  I use lemon or lime juice and pepper to flavor steamed veggies rather than melting cheese over them to cut calories there.  I never use salad dressing.  I like the Hungry Girl website/cookbooks because she has some good ideas on substitutions when you feel like eating like a "Fat Kid" ... because sometimes we all do.  :-D  I've done Weight Watchers successfully in the past and use a lot of the things I learned from that to dictate how I grocery shop even though I no longer consider myself on WW, so I guess that helps.  
875426 tn?1325532016
You might have the doctor check your thyroid, to make sure it hasn't gone hypo on you.  Also, skipping meals actually puts your body into "survival" mode (learned this  way back in nursing school), causing your metabolism to slow down and can actually make you gain weight.  You might try eating a small number of nuts before eating your meal, as this can help to cut down on your appetite, I've heard.  I've tried it and I think it may work to some extent oftentimes with the crushed macadamias I eat.
Avatar universal
Thanks.  I knew about the "survival" mode thing, but at times I just can't eat.  I try to make myself eat at least a small amount at every meal.  
I will try this nut thing.  That may be easier than going on a diet similar to Heiferly's.
1096792 tn?1257352689
I agree that cutting calories lower than 1000 for an average healthy adult can be dangerous. When you eat few calories your body begins to store more fat since it doesn't know when it will see more calories (fuel). IF you have trouble exercising because you pass out, you might try doing workouts at home where your family can watch you. Low impact things like leg lifts while laying down, stretching or pressing your knees to your chest while laying down can be effective in maintaining your weight if you eat healthy. I do these things daily and feel an elevated heart rate for the duration, I am laying down so I don't feel afraid of fainting. Nuts are also a good source of calories in a low volume, that is a great idea. Almonds are great for your heart! Ask your doctor what he recommends you can try.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the advice.  It is hard for me to cut calories alot any way.  I am so busy and eat in town alot.....I have asked my doctor, but he don't think I am in danger of gaining too much right now.  He says I look healthy and fine.  I try to do some exercising at home when I have the energy to do it (sometimes I can't hardly move).  I have began losing some weight.  I think I have lost around 5 lbs.  I am mmore worried about putting more and more weight on than losing what I have. Alot of the medicines they have put me on have weight gain as a side effect.  I guess I am just trying to prevent that from happening.  Thanks again and I love almonds.
881165 tn?1265988188
If you're not continuing to gain, I wouldn't worry too much.  It's important to remember that none of us here are normal, healthy people, though.  Metabolism is regulated in part by the autonomic nervous system.  The autonomic nerves signal glands that control your metabolism to secrete their chemicals.  It's understandable that your metabolism would change, and in severe cases, the caloric intake would drop below 1000, or even shoot way up.

If you're still hauling bales and 50 lb sacks of feed regularly, then leg lifts and things of that nature aren't going to help much, because your regular exercise routine already burns so much more than that.  If you get to the point when you're no longer slinging feed, then you need to come up with something to replace it.
Avatar universal
I think that what Heiferly eats all day is what I eat for one meal and more!  

I'm also quite vertically challenged in more ways than one!  I'm 5'2" and I cannot loose any weight, I eath what I think would be considered healthy, try to exercise but even when I was fully working out I never lost any weight, I used to be a size 5 and now I'm size 10-12, I just keep atributing it to having had 3 babies in 2 years (second pregnancy twins) but now that I see that there are others having the same issue I guess it is yet another P.O.T.S gift to me!  great!

I'm happy though, would be nice if I was thiner but as long as I don't become where my weight is an issue to my health then... hey I'm alive and that's what matters more : D

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