Weight Gain and Fibromyalgia

I have a good protein, vegetable and fruit diet which gives me the energy I need, but for the past few months I've gained over 2 stone in weight.

Only yesterday I read that many fibro sufferers experience this.

I can handle the pain and discomfort and other symptoms we all have to endure but weight gain (most just around the middle) is unbearable.

Apart from 2 hours of exercise I get daily (with my dogs) and living alone, meaning I have to do everything for myself, is there anyone out there that has conquered the weight gain part? If so, can you offer any advice please?


31 Replies

  • Hi

    Sadly this has happened to many of us here and it is true that certain medications can enhance appetite and make us eat more.

    I remarked to my rheumatologist about my weight gain, (more than a few stone over the last six years or so) and he recognised my struggle and believed me when I said I don't drink fizzy or alcoholic drinks, eat chocolate or cream cakes, (except on special occasions) and eat good nutritious food.

    He said the only way to lose weight is to eat the same but less of it, pretty obvious really, but hard to put in practice when you are hungry!

    I will be interested in the replies you receive.


  • I only eat small portions of food and because its mostly protein, I don't get hungry, nor do I crave sweet stuff. But, even the smallest portion leaves me feeling bloated and I've gained 1.66 kilos in 2 weeks. I just don't know how??!!

  • I also had weight gain due to meds. Slimming world helped me. Good luck.

    Extremely soft hugggggggzzzzzzz

  • Thank you. It might come to that, if I can't get this under control.

  • Hi Gemgem....weight gain? Yes!! Meds?? Sweet tooth??? xx

  • I only use Matrifen patches (and not all the time, due to side effects) but no, I don't have a sweet tooth and am really strict about my diet and have two big dogs to exercise, which is why I'm confused/angry about getting bigger!!

  • Hi, a few years ago I lost 6 1/2 stone in 6 months. I did it by strictly counting calories. This doesn't sound fun but I decided to work out how I could eat the MAXIMUM volume of food for my daily calorie allowance. This mainly ended up buying those calorie controlled meals but always having a load of vegetables to bulk it up. Some days I finished my tea and felt stuffed! This logic worked for me because I knew I would steuggle to eat less so turned my love of big portions into an advantage. Also, I managed to have a starter, often muscles , very low cal, main meal, and dessert such as yoghurt etc, this structure of feeling like I was eating normally seemed to help. Regular 100-150 calorie snacks during the day was good too. I did go to the gym at the same time, just on a cross-trainer, as this burnt the most amount of calories per hour. I didn't do anything strenuous , just a little bit more effort than walking. This low effort is because I feel like I've done a workout before I step on the machine!

    My problem now though is that when I wake up in the night I munch on crisps, biscuits ,chocolate etc falsely thinking it will help me get back to sleep. I'm not as heavy as I used to be but am fed up spoiling my diet by the eating in the night. Good Luck.

  • I wish I could cross train. My arms and legs won't go that far, but walking the dogs for two hours a day is pretty good I think, for my age and condition. I never snack, nor do I eat crisps, biscuits or sweets but I know the amount of calories I have, wouldn't exceed what I meant to have, probably the opposite.

    I don't sleep very well though.

  • Hi, it seems unusual to put on weight if you are following the rules. When I lost all the weight it was scientific. I jotted down the calories in everything I ate, noted the calories I burned at the gym and the amount of weight I lost was more or less equal to the weight watchers figure of 3,500 calories equaling 1 pound in weight. ( though as my weight got significantly lower this calculation was a bit less accurate.)

    My cross-trainer effort, I sometimes wonder if it is really any more effort than going for a walk. I got a bit of stick from the gym staff at first for being so "lazy" but they understand why now. Cheaper to go for a walk but don't like the cold at the moment!

    I've always thought my meds contributed to weight gain but I'm not on them at the minute, hope I find it easier to eat less snacks and extras.

  • Hi Gemma

    Are you taking any medication for your Fibro?

    If so that could well be a contributing for weight gain.

    Also I don't know how old you are but after the menopause trying to shift weight from the tummy area is incredibly hard and something not many women know about.

    As Fibro sufferers, especially with those with ME like me, mean moving around can be extremely tiring and difficult.

    Unfortunately the more you stress about it, the more likely it is that your Fibro will flare.

    I am guessing you have tried the simple things like cutting out sugar?

    Try not to get too down about it. You are defintely not alone!

    Wishing you less pain and more peace

    Lu xx

  • Hi, I'm almost 60. Went through the menopause 10 years ago without a hitch. Was a size 8/10 (approximately 8 and a half stone). In 2013 I lost mum and had falls, damaging my knees (PTSD) then had pneumonia 6 months later when I gained 3 stone due to inactivity. I lost that by last Christmas, then this year, Fibromyalgia has been diagnosed, my diet hasn't changed, nor my exercise regime, I'm on occasional Matrifen patches (they work really well but after a couple of days I get raging headaches so I take them off) and won't take anything else except homeopathy, which don't cause side effects, nor make you hungry.

    I don't crave sweet stuff, don't drink alcohol nor fizzy drinks. I'm really quite boring but very healthy (on the inside) just bloated and getting heavier!

    I've never taken steroids and my hands and feet don't swell.

    I get tired during the day and have to STOP everything, but I always take the dogs out for a good walk morning and night and often I have a broken sleep.

    I limit myself to 2 cups of coffee a day but the rest of the time drink mainly coconut water. I don't have large portions of food since I worked in catering and know about portion control. I never eat fried food, dislike crisps, cakes, biscuits and stodge and never snack. See, I told you I was boring.

    Gemma x

  • Hi Gemma

    It sounds as though you are doing all the right things.

    I am so sorry about your mum.

    Have you had a word with your GP about how much the the weight is getting you down?

    It may be worth mentioning to see if they have any ideas for you.

    I've had several bouts of pneumonia the last couple of years.

    I don't think doctors explain just how long it can take to get over pneumonia.

    I have been told that the older we are it can even take up to a year to get over it.

    I wish there was something more that I could say to help you.

    Lu xx

  • Thanks Lu, yes I mentioned to the GP who calmly said, "well you're only just overweight!!!!" I told her I'm nearly three stone over the weight I'd like to be and that isn't thin! She doesn't seem to think I have a problem but my waist has gone from a size 29 to a size 38 in a very short space of time, which is bad for my heart and there is a lot of heart disease and strokes in the family. Mum and nan had strokes and died. Dad was dead at 53, along with two cousins at 50.

    I had pneumonia twice. The first time took 6 months (I was in my early 40's,) then year before last. The doctor did, to be fair, tell me I was looking at around 9 months to a year for a full recovery and he was right, although its left me with a crackle and wheeze.

    I shouldn't be moaning at all, but for this tractor tyre around my waist. I don't want to be thin, I just want to be comfortable. I'll keep working on it and keep you posted, but appreciate all you've said.


  • Hi Gemma

    I do understand what you mean about being uncomfortable literally with weight.

    Can you see a different GP who may take you more seriously ?

    Try to remember you are doing your best and you have a genuine illness. I think sometimes that can get forgotten amongst all the other symptoms we have.

    Take care of yourself.

    Gentle hugs Lu xx

  • Thanks again, I really think, that reminder helps more than anything. I always put me last and strive to be 'better', sometimes forgetting me along the way. I'll see another doctor on Monday and try to make her understand that the frustration is only making things worse.

    I really appreciate what you've said. Thank you.


  • Are you willing to take an appetite suppressant? Your GP prescribe this. You've expressed health concerns about your increased weight and waist. Why not give this a try? It has helped me. I am on topamax/topiramate. After a year I tested it to see if it's still helping me and it is. Some people can't tolerate it but there are many drugs to choose from. Now that I've lost weight I have dropped several other drugs and am much healthier all around. I've also had weight loss surgery but I needed the topiramate also to be successful. I couldn't have lost 70 lbs. without both the topiramate and the surgery. Since you seem to have done everything else possible, you might want to give it some thought.

  • I certainly will, thank you. My biggest problem here is that I really don't like putting more chemicals in my body than I need to. I can easily not eat. Since I don't get hungry, it would be simple. I have lots of will power (though I don't know where on earth it comes from) and will only eat what I should. I never cheat cos that would just be cheating myself. So, I can be my own appetite suppressant. But even the smallest amounts of food are sticking with me. I feel like I'm just a human food store. lol

  • Hi Hun welcome to fibro weight problems. I think that some of the medications given can cause weight gain, I was on HRT and steroids which was a double whammy. At present I am using Yokebe (gluten free) and Slimfast that it in tins and mixed with any kind of milk in a blender.. I only have 1 meal per day with the diet sheets that comes with it, my weight is going down very slowly but it hasn.t gone up!! For excercise I walk each day just around the block or to local shop and I have hydrotherapy once a week. I always feel diet needs to be kick started in a different way, and so I also have melon and banana in between meals (that's allowed) raw carrot, celery when its edible, no spuds just skins, low fat cottage cheese, very little solid cheese as calcium is in the milk I have, and a mighty salad with it- no dressings or salt..

  • Sorry I forgot to say I have recently had my thyroid function tested for under active as that can cause weight gain even on a diet...

  • Do you have the actual results of the thyroid test, because what you're telling us sounds very much like a thyroid issue.

  • No not yet I can't get g.p appt til 8 Dec!! I will let you know

  • I eat small portions twice or three times a day. I think the only thing lacking is sufficient sleep. Mum had an overactive thyroid for years so I've always had regular checks and that's fine. It feels like I'm doing all the right stuff, unless there's something else wrong with me that I'm not aware of. I've just eaten a little slice of cheese with an apple and it feels like I've eaten a three course meal!! Wierd! x

  • Hi

    I don't have Fibro but have PMR and on Steroids and have put 2 stone on ,Have a very healthy diet.

    Stopped eating fruit and now losing weight nothing else in my diet has changed

  • That's interesting. What fruits did you eat and stop eating? I eat an apple every day, some grapes, some days, kiwi fruits, the occasional banana, but every day have fruits of some kind. Maybe its that.

  • Hi gemmagusjessmika, you said that "you mainly drink Coconut water". Check out the Calories in your particular brand, and check that you've not drinking too much.

    Hope you get some answers as to why you're gaining so much weight.

    Take care.

    GP. 😊😊

  • Thank you,

    180 per litre and everything about coconut water is good. 52g of good carbs, no fat. I don't drink gallons, I get through maybe 3 litres in a week, more in summer. I have stopped taking certain foods or drinks, to test if they have an adverse affect, but nothing changes.

  • Hi gemmagusjessmika

    I am so gneuinely sorry to read of your weight gain, and if it is not medication induced then as Ansteynomad says, it could be a thyroid issue? I have out on weight by taking Pregabalin and Prednisolone but I am not a big eater either. Certain foods such as potato and pasta really fill me up very quickly yet I can eat fish and meat in much larger amounts?

    I want to genuinely wish you all the best of luck, and please take care of yourself.

    All my hopes and dreams for you


  • Thanks Ken,

    Carbs, like pasta, bread, potatoes and rice tend to make me hungry shortly after eating, so I don't eat them, haven't for quite some time. I do eat a lot of chicken and tuna, no skin on the chicken either. I'm beginning to get a complex, hearing how boring I am lol.

    I'm getting so much feedback, suggestions and help and really appreciate it all.


  • Good luck my friend :)

  • i sympathise. im very overweight after being on medication for years. not on the 'hungry' meds now but finding it hard to shift the weight.

    Btw im not sure but i think coconut water has quite a lot of sugar? thats probably not whats caused your weight gain but just thought id mention it.

    I dont know what else to suggest as i havent had much success myself. 🙄

    I hope you find a way to get back to your best weight.


  • Hi there, thankyou but coconut water (at least the one I take) has 2.6g of sugar and a lemon has 2.5g (this is based on a 100g serving). I don't know how these facts are worked out, nor who works them out but for me, I take everything in moderation. I just prefer it to coffee and it's better for me.

    I wish it didn't sound like I was being awkward.

    Gemma x

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