This is extremely common and it's something that I will always respond to.
Yes, medications can definitely cause weight gain. Many anti-depressants do along with neurontin and Lyrica (of course I have to say that everyone is different and not everyone will gain weight).
But research is starting to show that the FM itself--and whatever hormonal imbalance we subsequently have, can cause weight gain. Human growth hormone is often found to be low in people with FM--hgh affects metabolism. HGH is naturally released in our bodies during sleep and exercise. A study was done that showed that even if people with FM did the exact amount and intensity of exercise as someone without FM, their bodies did not produce HGH. And of course, our sleep, especially restorative sleep is interrupted.
And I have myself as evidence. I workout 4-5 days/week. I do spinning classes and indoor rock climbing--both of which burn a lot of calories. I eat well. I'm still young (29). Yet, I do not lose weight or it's very difficult for me to lose weight. (As a side note, I have built up to exercising that much. And it does cause me pain, a lot of pain. But I've chosen to go through it because I want to lose weight and feel healthy.)
Although I've found some anwers to why weight gain is such an issue for FMers, I haven't found many solutions. And of course, we do need to eat well and exercise--there is still personal responsibility. But I believe there's much more to it. All I can tell you is that you're not alone. I hope research will find solutions. It's bad enough to have FM, but then to gain weight!?View Thread
I currently take wellbutrin. I find that it does help me to have a bit more energy and less fogginess. It can interrupt your sleep, though, so I take one dose in the morning and one dose in the early afternoon.
Of course, every med can have side effects and different ones for different people. I don't get the anger issues personally. As with most meds for FM, it can be a trial and error process.View Thread
My sleep problem is also waking up multiple times per night. I fall asleep okay but often for no reason I wake up completely--and often.
I also have had that problem my whole life, but interestingly, I did not have a trauma or suffer abuse as a child like some others mentioned. But I've believed for a long time that my FM is almost purely genetic and that I've had "it" for most of my life.
I honestly don't have problems with anxiety. My mind does not race and keep me up. My body simply does not stay asleep. I wish those doctors that think FM is solely a product of psychological issues would study me because I think I would prove them wrong!
I, right now, take melatonin along with valerian root. I have opted not to take prescription meds because many of them do not work forever and I don't like the side effects of others. But I've had such terrible sleep for the past few weeks, that I may need to have something a little stronger on hand. I also want to try magnesium.
I'm in a bad spell with getting less sleep than usual so right now, I don't have any tricks or advice! I'm not sure what has caused this latest problem, but do we ever see any logic to our symptoms?View Thread
The pain could be the FM. I'm 29 and have had sharp leg pain my whole life. Of course doctors and chiropractors would think sciatica right away, but it never turned out to be. X-rays showed nothing in the area that would cause that pain.
It may be a disc or something too, I'm just giving you one possibility. Whatever's causing it, I hope you can get some relief!View Thread
I have used melatonin with pretty good success. Even though it is a supplement, it still does make me drowsy--similar to benedryl. I did find, though, that I could still be awake if I needed to be. I don't have kids but I understand that as a mother you need to be able to have your faculties if need be. For me, melatonin would have made that possible. The nice thing about it too, is that you can find it in all sorts of doses. I took 9 mgs (which I think is on the higher side) but the pills often come in either 3mgs or 5 mgs and I've even seen smaller dosages.
Of course, you'd need to experiment a little to see how you would do on it. I hope you can figure it out!View Thread
I wasn't diagnosed at the time but I definitely had FM as a teen and I believe even earlier. For me, I think it is completely genetic, since I never had a severe trauma. I also have had sleeping disorders since I can remember.
I also have pain everyday. I believe it's because I did have FM so long without treatment. Some people I know with FM have flares, but otherwise live pretty normally. My flares are just a matter of the pain/fatigue going from bad to worse.
And even though I had a lot of pain as a teenager, it definitely has become worse. I think that has to do with having more pressure of just being an adult. Also, the duration I have dealt with this pain makes it difficult.
I hope you can find some comfort and support in this site.View Thread
I am 28 and have had FM for many years so I know what it's like to be young and plagued with this.
I did not take prescription drugs up until a couple years ago, mostly because I didn't have insurance. During that time, I tried chiropractics, which did help up to a point. I also took a lot of ibuprofen and used topical creams like BenGay. Heat is also very helpful; my favorite source is a microwavable rice bag.
After awhile, though, I needed more help. My husband and I finally had insurance so I could seek medical help. It's taken me awhile to get the right combination of meds but I feel like my quality of life has improved significantly. It's hard, especially when you're young to imagine a life imprisoned by "pills" --something just doesn't seem right about it. But, for me, I've found that I do better with the help of meds.
Something to keep in mind, too, is that the sooner you get your FM treated, the more likely you'll be able to control your symptoms. But, I'm not saying you need to take prescriptions meds. Many people, like Mimi, have found supplements and vitamins to be helpful. My only advice to you is to do something now to get your pain under control.
Another really hard thing, I think especially for us younger ones, is the concept of pacing and taking things easier. We're faced with peers who can do anything and everything, then pop up the next day and do it all again.
Along with everyone else, I can say I understand and have similar thoughts--often. I'm only 28 but have dealt with chronic pain and fatigue since childhood. I am still struggling with trying to make my life feel meaningful. My very limited energy goes to the necessities: working, cleaning, cooking, etc. I have had to give up a lot and make a lot of changes because of FM.
What can actually help is having a good day. Every time I have a good day--and they are few and far between--I realize just how crummy I felt the rest of the time. I think I get used to feeling so bad that I start thinking it's the norm but then I have a better day and realize what I've been dealing with. It usually helps ease any guilt I may have been feeling about not doing enough!View Thread
I second much of what everyone has already said. I'd take a look at your meds and decide if the weight gain is worth the effects. I gained 30 pounds from meds and since I wasn't getting a whole lot of improvement, I went off of them. But even after I was off the pills, I did not lose weight.
Exercise is key. I got to a point where I decided to exercise knowing full well the pain it would cause me. I decided also to use pain meds (Vicodin) to help with this pain. After at least 2 years of regular exercise, I still end up in quite a bit of pain a couple hours after. However, the exercise does help a lot with energy and it does help the pain in my neck and shoulders.
One way to really boost your metabolism and make the exercise time count is to do intervals. You can work up to these by doing 30 seconds (or less) of higher intesity exercise, then a couple minutes of regular intensity. Even health gurus say you only need 20-30 minutes of intervals to make a difference, so even 5 or 10 minutes would be good. I only use low impact machines at a gym, though. But you can do intervals with any cardio exercise, including walking and swimming.
You also might want to look into Wellbutrin (buproprion). It is an anti-depressant that is also prescribed to help people quit smoking. I think it's used under a different name for that and the dosage might be different but it also helps a lot of people lose weight. I take it for depression and have found it helps me with that and it also helps me have increased energy and focus. It also did help me lose some of the weight I had gained from other meds.
I know it's hard to exercise and there are some days I skip it. But even though it does increase my pain, I feel like it helps in so many other ways, including emotionally.
I hope you can find a solution that works for you personally!View Thread
Hello- I am also young--28--and have had chronic pain for at least 20 years. After trying some of the meds specific for FM, I decided that I would rather try narcotics pain meds because of the side effects.
I am still only on a pretty low dose Vicodin and it does okay. I don't take it regularly, just as needed. However, I can tell that the day is coming sooner than I would like that I will need something stronger. So far my doctor has been cooperative and I haven't had problems getting my prescription filled but I've only had a prescription for maybe a year.
I can understand your concerns. It seems like the doctor is reacting to something--maybe a medical group wide push to watch out for abusers? I don't know, but it seems like something is causing this change. I think you should bring up to the doctor all the things you brought up in your post: why the change as your chart shows you've tried other meds, the functionality of your life without, your record of non abuse, etc. Your doctor might be getting pressure from another source and if you stand up to this a little with reasonable and logical arguments, then she may back down. If all the above is on record, then she's covered too. Of course, I'm just talking here--I don't know all the facts.
I could take 2400 mgs of ibuprofen in a day and have no relief--that's part of the reason my doctor gave me something stronger. I think one vicodin is better than all that ibuprofen? When you start having pain so young, you end up with high medication tolerances young also.
I hope something works out for you. It seems to me you have a long list of things to prove the kind of meds you need. It's a tough balance with doctors. I've had the best appointments when I have gone in very prepared with what I want to say--even having notes and/or research.View Thread