You may have heard or faced a lot of side effects of Gabapentin. But have you ever thought about weight gain as a side effect of Gabapentin? It is rare in cases, certain people might have experienced this, or some may have not. But it is one of the challenging tasks to lose weight. Yes, challenging but not impossible. Here in this article, you will find your answer to how to avoid weight gain on Gabapentin. We have discussed everything in detail which will help you to keep control of your weight gain.
You all somehow know that Gabapentin is a prescribed medicine intended to treat nerve pain from shingles, partial seizures, and restless leg syndrome. It works by balancing the disturbed chemical messengers present in the brain and nerves.
- You may gain 5 pounds after using the medicine for 6 weeks.
- Weight gain occurred till 3% is shown in people suffering from partial seizures, who are older than 12 years of age.
- 2% of weight gain occurred in shingles patients who are taking gabapentin.
It is restricted to selling or buying Gabapentin without permission. So talk with your doctor then proceed to use this medicine. Every possible thing has a reason behind it. Exactly, in the same way, we need to know the reasons behind gaining weight on Gabapentin before discussing how to avoid it. Read the following to know the possible reasons.
How Gabapentin Could be a Reason Behind Weight Gain?
- There are many possible reasons that we have mentioned below. Read them carefully.
Sometimes you take extra or lower doses which have not been prescribed by the doctor. This process of unbalanced doses is one of the main reasons behind weight gain.
- For example, your doctor has suggested you take Gabapentin 100 mg or 300 mg but rather taking than you are using Gabapentin 800 mg or the higher dose of Gabapentin, the automatically excessive dose will cause side effects like weight gain.
- Never try to take extra doses without a doctor’s recommendation to avoid weight gain.
- Gabapentin is a cause of weight gain because of increased appetite. You may feel hungry most of the time.
- In certain cases, weight gain may be seen due to another side effect of Gabapentin called fluid retention.
- Not getting enough exercise also could be another reason.
Procedure to Avoid Gaining Weight While on Gabapentin Medication:
We have two different solutions for you that you can apply in your daily life to keep your body healthy and fit. The first is to talk with your doctors and take appropriate suggestions and the second one is to take care of your health by taking small steps on your own. You can follow any of the following but if you are doing both things to maintain weight gain then it would be better and easy to get results soon. Here are all the points are written below. But Before that you can check the below infographic to get a little idea;
Solution 1: Talk with your Doctor
If you are experiencing weight gain after using Gabapentin, do not stop taking it instantly without asking your doctor. Talk with him/her, tell him your problems, and ask him should I stop taking the medicine or not. He will suggest you the best for your health. Discuss the following points with your doctor.
Step 1: Tell your Doctor to Minimise your Continuing Doses
Sometimes lowing the dose of medicine may balance the symptoms and make you feel relief. But you should not reduce the doses without talking to your doctor, or it may worsen the situation. Never stop taking Gabapentin immediately without permission. Talk to your doctor, share your problem, and he/she will tell you what should you do.
Step 2: Ask your Doctor about Alternative Medicines
If you are experiencing that Gabapentin has become difficult to maintain weight and causing weight gain, then you can ask your doctor for alternatives. You can also try other medicines like; Oxycontin, Hydrocodone, Elavil, Lidoderm, and Vicodin in exchange for Gabapentin. But remember do not switch your medication without doctors’ recommendation. Always talk with your doctor before making a decision.
If it is not possible to change the medicine, then ask what you should do to stay fit and healthy.
Solution 2: Take a Step for Yourself
As we all know own self-care is more important and as well as effective to maintain our body. We need to take care of certain things to keep our bodies healthy. Small small things create a big impact on our day-to-day life. Follow the tips given below to control weight gain naturally.
Drink Sufficient Water :
Water helps our body to maintain and lose weight. It is very important to drink water before eating anything. It helps to control portions and maintain a balance in the body. Sometimes, in the middle of the night when we feel hungry that is actually a symptom of thirst. Without having snacks or anything drinking water is the best option. Always drink water before a meal and 15 min after a meal to keep your body moisturize which is the ultimate solution to weight loss.
Focus on Diet Food:
Some medications like gabapentin, corticosteroids, and some antidepressants increase the appetite and make us feel hungry most of the time which may result to eat more than regular basis. If you are eating habits become unbalanced then your body will gain weight. So you have to do proper exercise and need to adjust your eating habits to balance your weight.
You can also take help from a dietitian about what should you eat and what not. So you can keep control of unhealthy foods. It will make you avoid overeating. Just limit your food portion it will automatically lead to losing weight.
Eat more Protein :
- Eat protein on a regular basis to lose weight, make it a habit it will automatically maintain a good relationship with food.
- Protein reduces appetite, keeps you fuller longer, boosts metabolism, and regulates hormones that help in weight maintenance.
- Some hormones also regulate our satisfaction from eating. They increase our hunger which makes us eat more, so having more protein increases appetite-reducing hormones like; cholecystokinin, GLP-1, and peptide YY.
- It also helps to burn calories for a longer period even if you are sleeping.
- It is also shown that a protein diet helps to burn 260 calories per day, which gives the best result.
Do Regular Exercise :
Sometimes Gabapentin makes our body tired, and we often feel difficult to find the energy and motivation to do some work. It is badly needed to do some exercise and be active to restrict our body to gain some weight. Exercise alleviates stress and improves mood by releasing endorphins.
If you want to lose weight with Gabapentin you need to exercise at least 30 to 40 min every day. Do regularly, make it a habit to keep our body healthy and fit.
Avoid Consuming Sugar in Large Amounts:
Eating too much sugar is not good for our health, it may increase the chance of diabetes, heart disease and weight gain. Sugar is empty calories, they are not satisfying enough to keep you full for a long time, which may result in eating more, and will help our body to eat more.
Added sugars also help increase our blood sugar levels. These blood sugar levels can cause a condition called hyperglycemia, which causes weight gain, by promoting insulin resistance. And when it occurs, your cells become resistant to its effects and instead store the sugar as fat, causing weight gain.
So always try to eat less sugar and do avoid some foods like; pastries, candy, sugar cereals, sodas, and juices. You can have them once in a while but constant eating is unhealthy for our body.
Lack of sleep can cause weight gain. It is shown in research that lack of sleep inhibits the brain’s frontal lobe, and affects our impulse control and decision making. So less sleep can lead to making poor decisions like eating by ordering food from outside.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body spikes your cortisol levels. This is a stress hormone that tells your body to conserve energy. When your cortisol levels are spiked, this also means that you’re more likely to hold onto fat.
So try to sleep well atlas for 7-8 hrs per day to may your body and mind fit.
Do not Drink Alcohol:
Mixing alcohol with medicines is dangerous for health, same with Gabapentin. Most alcohol contains carbohydrates and empty calories which increase your sugar level and appetite, ultimately resulting in weight gain.
Do not drink alcohol while you are on your medication with Gabapentin.
So these above points will help you to weight gain on Gabapentin. Try to eat low calory foods like fruits and vegetables and avoid more calory foods like pastries, candy, and chips. Do exercise daily and maintain your diet.
Other Side Effects Of Gabapentin:
Weight gain is one of the side effects of Gabapentin. Sometimes side effects are severe and in some cases it is common. Excessive use may cause addiction and death. Avoid using this medicine inappropriately. Some other common side effects are;
- Coordination difficulties
- Speaking difficulties
- Double vision
In case you are experiencing any of these side effects immediately contact your doctor, and tell them your symptoms.
Now you may get all your problems solved after reading this article. We have tried our best to help you to know how to avoid weight gain. Try to do all of the above-mentioned suggestions for a good result.