Why am I gaining so much weight?

I am careful, for the most part, what I eat, exercise regularly, and lead an active a life as Parkinsons allows me, but still I gain weight. I take Stalevo, Requip and half Sinemet daily. I ask this because it seems that people also taking these meds have the opposite problem - they are losing weight.

My grandchildren are being Christened tomorrow and I bought a dress, returned it bought another and so it went on. I usually live in trousers which hide a multitude of sins!! Either dress sizes have gone smaller, or I have to admit it, I have gone larger. I just don't understand why people taking the same meds should have opposite weight problems. Anyone have any ideas?

27 Replies

  • My neuro told me that Stalevo accounts for my gain in weight. Blessings Tony x

  • Sue,

    Until I reduced Requip by half from 16mg to 8mg daily I piled on weight by binge eating. I've now lost & kept off 21lbs. I can't comment on Stalevo as I haven't tried it.

    God bless you & yours, especially at the christening,


  • Angela

    Good for you. I don't binge eat, but do have the occasional piece of chocolate!!

    God bless you and yours. Our daughter, who is a Godmother is not well today so don't know whether she will make. It never rains, but it pours, but is sunny here today.


  • I too am having trouble with gaining weight. I take Requip, Stalevo, Madopar and Fluoxetine.,

  • Sue, Having read responses from compucure and christinemc, I would suspect the Stalevo. I take Requip and Sinemet, as you do minus the Stalevo, and have no problem with weight gain. Of course, (as you have heard a thousand times), everyone is different.

    Enjoy the Christening,


  • I also have gained so much weight 6st in fact and going up and all they can say is you are not exercising enough and I was sent to a phsycologist because I kept complaining about weight gain. I take Mirapexin, and 2 lots of Sinemet quite a high dosage. I just feel disgusted with my fat body. What can we do?

  • I only wish I knew the answer. All I know is that I hate the way I look now and don't know how to change it. I think I will have to go to Weight Watchers after Christmas, but if it is due to the meds, I don't suppose that is the answer.All I know that the scales and glimpses of myself in a mirror can't both be wrong.

  • hi girls i have gained 35 pounds this past year,doc says its also from undergoing dbs,it is also im sure due to my belief that ben and jerrys might not b the cure but does help me feel better,it is what i is ,im becoming a very vreative dresser the queen of concealing,happy hlidays and dont b 2 hard on yourself

  • My husband has always been on overweight but, when he s tarted feeling unwell from the Parkinson's he lost quite a lot . Since taking Sinemet he has put it back on and more , .

    His appetite is smaller these days , but of course he is more immobile .

  • I take Stalevo and requip .i am constantly fighting a weight gain. It was easier when I did not take the Requip. I believe it makes me very hungry. I walk an hour every morning.

  • Some steroids are notorious for weight gain as a side effect but I don't think PD drugs are of that class.

    I suppose a PWP being more stiff and generally slowed may not use as much energy as would otherwise be the case. Those of us who have very significant tremor are likely to use more energy than a "tremorless" PWP or a person not afflicted by PD.

    Many PD people seem to complain of constipation. I don't know if hat may have an effect.

    Naturally if moving around is so much more difficult than it should be the tendency is going to be that you end up moving less than is ideal.

    It is entirely possible that a PWP is going to snack more, have bigger portions or perhaps switch to more fattening foods, i.e. carbohydrates (bread, potatoes and pasta, sugar) and not be aware or choose subconsciously to ignore this factor Fatty foods are not so fattening after all it seems and this is due to the fact that being more satisfying you eat less.

    Naturally and this is part of my problem, having PD is something that to some degree is bound to piss you off and so you end up eating food that your body doesn't need even if your mind does. So you may eat more just to brighten up what may otherwise be a boring or worrying time. As a kind of anti-depressant.

    All things considered you put on weight if you eat more than you need. And even if your weight gain is due to a drug's side effect (there might be some exceptions here) then you will need to eat less to compensate. There's no getting away from this if you have too much weight you need to eat less. The huge sums of money people spend on products meant to help loose weight and in the end all that is required is to eat less food.

    The other side of the equation is exercise. If you are able to do more then that's great. If not then the only anti-weight gain weapon in your armory is to eat even less.

    But what can help you to eat less?

    Two things and for those of you that have already heard all this stuff I am sorry for being a boring old fart:-

    1. Sometimes your gut sends a message to the brain that is interpreted as "you are hungry" when in fact the message is "you are thirsty". So for those times when the wrong message is sent or received wrongly, the first thing is to have a drink - preferably just water, Then wait a while, say 20 minutes and if still hungry then ok go and eat something.

    2. And I believe this is the most significant single factor in the problem of overeating, you need to eat much more slowly. When you have had a meal and your body has had enough, there is a 20 minute delay before the brain gets the message that you have had enough.

    Now 20 minutes is more than enough time to overeat hugely, but if you eat much more slowly then the opportunity to eat more than you need is much reduced. Oh and if you are eating slowly you can put less food on the plate too.

    As evidence of this I offer the following. If you ever have a meal that is interrupted, when you go back to finish it, if that interruption was quite a while you may well find that you have largely lost your appetite, This is due to that delayed "I am Full" message getting through to the grey matter at a more reasonable time. Your plate had too much food on it what you ate up to that interruption was enough.

    So there I believe is the single most important factor in being fat, i.e. we eat too quickly. This certainly applies to me anyway.

    Since much of this is to do with changing the way you think some people find hynotherapy is helpful and although hypnotherapy can be quite expensive the amount of money you save by not eating un-needed food will easily exceed that spent in the therapy room, unless of course you keep going for more and more appointments. And a good professional hypnotherapist would stop you going to see him unnecessarily.

    Right I've had enough writing for now and you must have had enough of my wibble so for now - that's all folks.

  • I gained 30 pounds on Requip/Mirapex (to say nothing of other awful symptoms) . Lost it when I went off it. Nuf said :)

  • So what are you on now? I'm on requip and sinemet. I realty would like to get off of requip but don't think I could move without it.

  • Begin a food diary! Write down when and how many ounces of what you are eating and drinking. Watch out for the CARBS (my husband loves his crackers all the time). WRITE IT DOWN if you taste while cooking--it will absolutely amaze you as to how much you actually consume. PLAN ahead with healthy low calorie snacks and drink lots of water! I haven't been able to keep my husband as hydrated as he needs to be for muscle tone, but portion control has really helped his waistline.

  • A food journal is essential when trying to lose weight and even maintain. It is amazing how good you think you've been. Weight Watcher's calls them BLT's (bites, licks and tastes). I take Sinemet and Azilect and have gained 25 lbs. I plan to start Weight Watchers after the first of the year having had great success in 2000. MAYBE WE SHOULD START A WEIGHT LOSS SUPPORT GROUP? :-)

  • I was unintentially losing weight from about 2 years before diagnosis until I got my DBS implant.Now in the 2+ years since the implant i'm consistantly gaining undesired weight. What does DBS have to do with it? Beats me, but i have a theory: compulsive behavior as a DBS side effect. I never used to eat sweets, but now I don't seem to be able to resist walking by an oatmeal raisin cookie (etc., etc., etc., without devouring it) ANY OTHER DBS people out there have a similar experience?

  • My husband had a doctor appt. today and he has gained 8 pounds since Nov. The doctor asked him why and Leo didn't know what to say. Maybe the DBS? He had it put in Oct. 1st this year...... I have noticed he is eating so much more..... oh no!!!

  • I was a Mr Mom. At meal time I'd make too much food and then eat too much. One day looked in the mirror and almost fainted because I was so fat. I started eating less. Lost 60 pounds and feel much better. Except for this Parkinsons thing.

  • well i too put on about 2 stone when i was on all the meds but when i was n hosp in france - i was eating a four course meal twice a day including cheese and lost weight ! though since coming outi have put it on agin slihgtly although it has been xmas - so my daughter mims, who is fearsome has decreed that she and i are on a diet from monday - so we shall see what happens ....

  • Hi

    How are you getting on? I have been thinking about you recently so was very glad to see your name. In despairation I have joined Rosemary Conley's on line dieting Course. I decided to go for an on line course as most classes near me are in an evening and I am never good then.

    Keep in touch.


  • well sue being in france there are only online courses i could join ... but have decided not to as i have tried them before and i seem to spend too much time sitting on front of this dam box !!

  • I recently attended a PK conference out in Sturbridge MA. What we eat can have a big affect on how well our medications work. For instance did you know protein actually blocks drugs like Sinemet from being effective it was then suggested you eat your proteins at night. One of the helpful suggestions was look into following the Mediterraneon diet .

    Excercise we had a speaker come to our group who suggested excercise aimed especially for the Pk person. Things like sitting down and pretend your paddling a kayack feel the muscles strectch in your upper torso when its done right . Excercise that maintain flexibilty more than strengh are key for the Pk person.

  • are you from the Sturbridge area? Don't know anybody personally from the area....just wondering....thanks...i like the kayack excercise....

  • I use to live in Worcester now I live in southern NH.

    If you like the kayaking here's another simple one. Standing or sitting get 3-4 inches away from a wall with your back facing the wall, simply reach up and with the back of your hand touch the wall behind you.

  • I am on the Worc line....thanks thats a good one ....now if I would just do it!

  • My neurologist claims it is the Stalevo and Sinemet and since these two drugs have pretty much taken care of my outward symptoms, we are not about to discontinue either. I've just had to cut down on calories and try to increase my activity, which is much better for me anyway. But being overweight for the first time in my life has had a deep psychological impact on me. Hubby has a great sense of humor thankfully, and we laugh and joke about the extra poundage which helps. My mother was morbidly obese and I have been very careful about watching my weight all of my life. Now, not only has PD attacked me, but I have had to begin a fight against fat! Grrrrrrrr. I really should not complain as I am mobile and don't have much pain. lol I really sympathize with all of you experiencing this added girth.

  • Thanks Jenny. I have always claimed that Stalevo and Sinemet are responsible, in part, for my weight gain and are also the main reason wny it is so hard to shift the weight. However, this is the first time that a neurologist has confirmed this.

    I, also, have cut down on calories and increased my exercise. I am determined to follow my on-line diet to the letter, well almost. Parkinsons has robbed me of a lot of things, but I am determined that it will not take my self respect, I want to see me, as I used to be, when I look in a mirror.

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