Weight gain and sinemet

It is very hard to get doctors to take this problem seriously. As soon as I started on sinemet I started packing the pounds on, mainly in my mid-section. I understand this is not uncommon for PwP 60 years and upward (weight LOSS is more common for younger parkies). Have you dealt with this problem? What works for you?

Before you suggest diet and exercise, let me say I never eat more than 1,000 calories a day, I box three times a week and get other forms of exercise. It's depressing to just watch the numbers on the scale rise and not be able to do anything about it. Today when I came home from my neuro appointment I saw I had split a seam in my pants -- and those were my "fat pants!"

23 Replies

  • It sounds like you are doing everything you should be to maintain your weight, I also take the same medicine you are, I was not watching my food intake, I was told to go on the south beach diet. No sweets and no coke.

    I have not begun a exercise program yet, and have been dropping weight.

    May-be you need a little change so you can get your metabolism reset.

    Maybe as simple as changing the time you eat or workout.

    Just a thought, I would be asking if there was any other drug that could be used if the weight continues.

  • When I first started taking Sinemet, the pharmacist's instructions on the bottle stated that it should be taken with food, and I was taking it at mealtimes, with no effect. I explained this to a nurse, and suggested that I may have essential tremor instead of PD. She told me to try taking it about one hour before meals, and it worked like a magic wand, and my right hand tremor stopped. This confirmed my diagnosis of PD, as if you don't have PD, it has no effect at all. When I changed to Sinemet CR or controlled release, the instructions said that it should be taken with food, and I began to gain weight due to snacks with the Sinemet CR tablet. I looked Sinemet CR up online and discovered that the manufacturer states that it can be taken with or without food. All you need with the Sinemet CR is a sip of water, and you begin to lose weight again, or at least stabilise. That has been my experience, but everybody is different. I believe that a high nutrient breakfast is a must, also. Don't worry about full fat cheese or butter, as both are really good for you. Try a Greek style plain yogurt with fruit for lunch, because the yogurt has been drained, it has extra protein.

  • PD man, thanks -- it's water for me from now on. I must say "breakfast" for me is usually coffee. :-(

  • Please have a good breakfast. Calories still matter, but if you cut calories too much, the body can go into survival mode, and save as much fat as possible for the hard times ahead, or even make new fat cells. Also Sinemet can block B vitamins, which is why I have a multi-B vitamin last thing at night, and a lack of B vitamins can lead to dementia. Eating real food, and cutting out refined sugar makes more sense to me than concentrating on calorie reduction. Have a look at Dr Michael Mosley's videos on youtube, or at one of his books. I hope that your breakfast coffee is a milk based coffee. With your exercise program, you may lose weight just by eating good, real foods, and not worry about counting calories. My comments are meant in a kind way as I am trying to help, please do not take my remarks the wrong way.

  • No offense taken, PD Man! Much appreciated. I'm heading over to YouTube now to check out Dr. Mosley! Fellow emailer Tamarisk also suggested him. Thanks to all for sharing your knowledge.

  • PD man ...I'm wondering what vitamin b you prefer and how much. ?? My melatonin tabs have vitamin b 6.. 10 mg . I take 2 every night. Is 20 mg enough do you think?

  • Beverly2017, I use Cenovis MEGA B and have just checked the ingredients:

    Vitamin B1 (Thiamine Nitrate) 50mg Vitamin B2 (Riboflavine) 25mg Vitamin B3 (Nicotinamide) 50mg Vitamin B5 (Calcium Pantothenate) 50mg Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride) 50mg Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) 50mcg Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) 100mg Biotin 50mcg Folic Acid 200mcg Inositol 50mcg Choline Bitartrate 50mcg

    I take one MEGA B tablet every night, and my vitamin B levels stay high all the time, even though the excess is supposed to come out in urine. My GP freaked out one day because my B12 was so high, and sent me to a Haematologist for a check up, and she more or less laughed it off. B12 is so important that the body stores a four year supply. I live in Sydney, Australia and all supplements here are expensive, in the US any similar products would be much cheaper. I also take curcumin and olive leaf extract and a few others, and my tremor is controlled 99% of the time, except late at night when I am in bed. I do not take my Sinemet CR after about 6-7p.m. by choice, just to see how I am without it. Everybody is different, you have to learn how much of what works well for you.

  • PD man. Great info...thx. what brand is cenovis? I'm in Canada. You sound like u r doing fantastic! I lost alot of weight from taking too many vitamins all at once in am. So I quit them all...feel better and put 15 lbs back on. But now I'm ready to take the right vitamins. There's so much to choose from and I'm not sure what's good for us PDers. Just started melatonin 7 nights ago. Seems to.help. any other ideas? This is such a good site... I just love it. Everyone is so helpful.especially when I just see my nuerologist once a year. Can be lonely and scarey at first

  • Beverley2017, Cenovis is an Australian company that is now part of SANOFI, a French company. It is an Australian vitamin company that originally started about 70 years ago The Mega B tablet is the only Cenovis product that I buy. I take 2 curcumin capsules twice a day with 2 olive leaf extract capsules, morning and night. The curcumin product that I take is mixed with black pepper extract, and it helps to make other supplements and meds much more effective. I have half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder with my breakfast, also bee pollen with breakfast. The full list is in another posting. Morning and night work much better than in the morning only. I have to be careful because I only have one kidney, having lost my right kidney to cancer in 2005. I have not tried melatonin. I also take a magnesium tablet at night to stop leg cramps at night, in bed. When doctors see my full medical history for the first time, they find it hard to believe, that I am doing so well. I have lots of issues as well as PD, but I carry on anyway. We all need to worry less, and to trust in God more.

  • Thankyou for all your suggestions. I live on an island in Canada so it's also tough to.get things but the internet helps. I'll search for the mega b and the rest of your stuff. Thank you.

  • Same here. I take Levadopa/Carbadopa three times daily. I have gained 30 pounds in 3 and a half years before I really took notice. Now I weigh myself every day and stay aware of my food and drink intake and of course we must all have to have a healthy and regular evacuation of the bowels. Very important issue for our health. Just saying.

  • Yes, you're absolutely right. I've been weighing myself every day too. Some days I'd like to hurl that scale right out the window, ha! Do you feel like you've been able to slow the weight gain down?

  • My OH is quite the opposite, he is now only 56k skin and bone, nothing puts weight on.

    I am just reading a new book "the clever guts diet" by Dr Michael Mosley, this might give you some answers, its interesting even if you do not find it helpful.

    I am a sports coach and use the mantra, Nothing changes if nothing changes, you are not eating enough, so body will hold on to all you have as it is scared of starvation, all calories are not equal, dieting as in deprivation does not work long term, diet is in reference to the way you eat, have a look at the Mediterranean way of eating, if you are in the USA which I think you are then you need to make a big change from the norm of that way of eating. I wish you all the luck in achieving your goal.

  • Hi Beckey, I've also gained a lot of weight around my middle since taking Sinemet so can't give you any advice. Unlike you, I seem to be craving high fat in favour of healthier foods. I exercise for 5-7 and a half hours a week but it's not enough to compensate for the extra calories. I've mentioned it at my last two neurology appointments but they don't seem to be concerned and haven't offered any advice. As an aside, my husband just pointed out that he has gained 15 lbs over the same period (he doesn't have PD). Perhaps not surprising since I do all the cooking. Have you changed your diet and are you certain you only eat 1000 calories? Some days I don't dare total my intake. I believe the root cause of my weight gain is psychological possibly as a result of meds. Any help to overcome it would be much appreciated.

  • I slowly lose weight no matter what I eat. I was overweight at diagnosis, so it will be a while before this matters.

  • Same here. After working for two years to lose 60 lbs, my neuro put me on C/L and in five weeks I've gained back 12 lbs already. Same diet and level of exercise. I'm 67, still working (no pension after 41 years). I don't believe it's a lack of willpower. Any suggestions out there?

  • Hi, i have got the same problem after my dbs, in the first year after the operation i took 10 kilos. I always was rather thin and i dont recognize myself in the mirror. For me it is a big problem but not interesting for the doctors apparently..,....

  • Honestly I think weight gain is better than weight loss. Just exercise more. How do you feel?

  • Bloated!

  • I always take my Sinemet 25/100 one hour before eating, never with food. I have the same weight I've had for at least ten years (140 lb). Since I take my Sinemet pill at 6AM, breakfast for me is at 7PM. I think the secret to not gaining any weight is that I always have breakfast and I always have a high fiber breakfast. I like Fiber One cereal which has 14g of fiber. I always have about a half cup of berries or nuts on top of my cereal and have some milk or better yogurt mixed with honey or vanilla on top. If you try this and start adding more fiber throughout the day at meals you should be sure to drink plenty of water during the day because your body may not be used to it. The Fiber One Honey Clusters cereal is good too but only has 10g of fiber. I do take the Sinemet with 3/4 c of water when I get up and then have a 10 oz cup of black coffee. I do admit that I have a roundish stomach as you mentioned but I have not gained weight yet.

  • Are you under a lot of stress, that could be the result of cortisol. Also I have the 90s mentality of avoiding tropical oils. ( they are so very bad for you ) I have found a tablespoon of coconut oil helps.

  • Ah! Interesting. Thanks!

  • Don't lose your smile beckey 😀

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