Sorry to hear about your pain! I used to have a not very helpful and referral happy doctor who wanted me to see a neurologist for my headaches. I almost laughed at her! I know my headaches stem from the FM and especially from tense neck and shoulder muscles. I don't think she understood FM.
Maybe you can stay on the Lyrica and try coming off the Effexor. It's very hard, though, to mentally do all that when you're in so much pain. I find that I have to be in "the right place" to withdrawal off meds.
It's also difficult to decide what side effects are acceptable to you to stay on a medication. I know you've been trying to get off Lyrica but it sounds like it really helps you. I took Neurontin and Effexor, had the weight gain, but I didn't have much pain relief from either, especially the Neurontin. So it wasn't so much of a decision for me to get off those meds.
I hope can get your meds sorted out soon and have some lessening pain!View Thread
Yes, I understand about the exercise. We have only a very limited supply of energy and ability to cope per day. You save yours for your kids and your husband!
It's very difficult to have to be apprehensive of pain. It's hard to know when to push and when not to. That's why I have pain meds available to me--so that I can exercise how I want and not be too afraid of the pain. Without that safety net, I don't think I would workout as hard.
I hope you can find something to make yourself feel a little better!View Thread
Thanks! I felt pretty traumatized by gaining weight from meds so these kinds of posts always catch my eye.
I tried tapering off Effexor. I took 2 pills per day (I think 75 mg each). For two days I reduced my dose by one quarter of one pill. By day three I was dry heaving and barely able to stand!
I did some research and what you can do is wean off with the help of Prozac. Prozac effects serontonin as does Effexor. But Prozac does not usually have the horrible withdrawals. So basically, you get your body switched over to Prozac, then wean off Prozac.
What I did was to take Prozac then do the above weaning (reducing by quarters of pills at a time). By doing this, I had hardly any withdrawal symptoms at all. Of course, it took a few weeks to complete. Then, when you're all done with the Effexor, you wean off Prozac, which is much easier to wean off of. I had no side effects getting off the Prozac.
Please research this though. I did this a couple years ago and can't quite remember how much Prozac I took and when I took it. My doctor kind of gave me the dosing program. Also, keep in mind that Prozac and Effexor effect serontonin, so watch for serontonin syndrome. But again, please ask your doctor. If you google "effexor prozac weaning" or something like that, you should get a lot of information.
There is no way I could have gotten off the Effexor without crossing over with Prozac.
I hope it goes well for you! I try to spread the word about the weight gain issue because I think it's an overlooked issue with FM patients.View Thread
I am also young (28) and also experienced a 30 pound weight gain because of meds. I'm not going to comment on your boyfriend but I know I was pretty traumatized by my weight gain. I know there are worse things in life, but we all want to feel good about ourselves--so I understand where you're coming from.
Many anti-depressants given for FM can cause weight gain, along with, as you know, Lyrica or the older neurontin. I now take wellbutrin, an antidepressant that has to do with dopamine and norepinephrine. It does not do much about the pain, but it does help me a lot with energy and focus. Also, it works well for me as an anti-depressant so even though it doesn't take pain away, it helps me cope with it.
Wellbutrin also contributed to me being able to lose some weight. This is a common side effect for people and this drug is sometimes prescribed off label for weight loss (although some people do gain weight on it). Even after going off the meds that caused the weight gain, I did not lose weight. And I was working out 4 times per week and eating 1200 calories per day. Those drugs obviously messed up my metabolism. The Wellbutrin, I think, helped my metabolism start back up again, even though I haven't lost all the weight.
One suggestion with the BF, is to maybe educate him a little about the meds and let him know that it's a common experience. It is not that you are letting yourself go!View Thread
I almost always respond to your posts because I feel like I've been through what you're going through! Yes, Effexor could also be causing your weight gain. I actually had a doctor tell me she didn't think it does that, but check in on the internet with other people who've taken it, and you'll see that it is notorious for weight gain.
Effexor, though, can be incredibly difficult to wean off of, so definitely research that if you think about going off of it. I can share my experience getting off of it with you if you like. I found a way that made it doable.
Effexor effects serontonin and norepinephrine. Cymbalta also does, but I've heard it can also cause weight gain but I don't think it's as bad as Effexor. I have had good success with wellbutrin, which effects dopamine and norephinephrine. It helps with my depression and it helped me lose weight!
I gained weight from being on gabapentin (similar to Lyrica) and Effexor. Why doctors don't address the weight gain issue is beyond me. We now know that excess weight can carry a host of heath problems.
I hope you feel better and I hope you're able to find a way to both lose the weight you want and have decent pain treatement!View Thread
So many of us here have experienced weight gain from meds. I have and it's horrible. I completely identified with you when you said you didn't even get to enjoy the good foods! I felt the same way, and often wanted to give up and eat candy bars and fast food--since I looked like I did anyway.
My sister-in-law took meds for endometriosis (I don't know which one but it sounds like what you had). A doctor told her it would take 7 years for it to completely leach out of her system and almost exactly in 7 years she was able to lose weight. So there may be hope for you. Of course, this is completely 3rd hand and unscientific, so I don't want to give you false hope, but maybe you can look into some experiences of other people on that drug.
The pain killer meds are difficult. On one hand I feel like if a pill can give me quality of life, then bring it on. On the other hand, since I'm only 28, I don't want to fall into a slippery slope of needing to constantly increase the pain meds. I don't think there's an easy answer but I think they will be part of my life. Thankfully, I have a doctor who trusts me so I can be honest with her without worrying about getting pegged as a drug seeker.
Exercise is difficult. When I had gained a bunch of weight from meds, I decided that I would exercise even with the inevitable pain back lash. And I still do end up in quite a bit of pain from working out but I feel better emotionally and the exercise does help with energy. Plus, it helps us secrete serontonin and dopamine which can help with depression. Believe me, though, I know it's hard and painful. If you can, try doing interval excercises, where you increase the level for 30 seconds every 90 seconds or so. This is the best way to boost your metabolism. Plus, if you do this, you don't have to exercise for as long--maybe 20 minutes max. But many people with FM have to start out only doing 5 minutes of exercise, then slowly increase. But I have to say, that my view on exercise is aided by the fact that I will take pain meds. If they help me exercise and be healthier, than they're serving their purpose.
But, my goodness! I don't have kids and feel like I barely get through the day. You have a lot on your shoulders and you should feel good about yourself for taking all that on. (Way easier said than done, I know!)
A lot of us struggle with feelings of anger and lonliness. Unfortunately, I haven't found the magic solution. And it would be hard that your husband was able to lose weight and you have not. That is incredibly frustrating. I have been there and even still don't know how to be okay with that.
I hope you can find some comfort talking with people who understand your situation. Even the best most supportive people without FM have a hard time giving comfort to those of us that do have it.View Thread
My experience is similar to 1wareaglefan. I took gabapentin and effexor and gained 30 pounds (both are notorious for weight gain). I went off both and still was unable to lose the weight--I really hope that's not your experience.
My self-esteem was a huge issue. I ate and exercised in a manner which should have kept me within normal weight ranges. I lead a very healthy life style. But not only did I gain weight, I saw a huge spike in my cholesterol. Again, there is no way my diet could have caused this because for one, I hadn't changed it and if anything it had become better. That, along with the terrible self-image problems made me decide that I would not take those or similar meds ever.
I also decided that pain killers were the better route for me. It cannot be healthy to have that extra weight. I'm only in my late twenties and I decided that I would not take meds that raise my cholesterol and weight--that seems dangerous to me.
Like I said, I did not lose weight just from coming off the meds. The only time I was able to lose some weight is when I went on Wellbutrin (bupropion). It's an antidepressant that causes many to lose some weight (although some people gain on it too). It doesn't help me much with pain but it does help with depression, energy, and focus (for me).
I've been through stuff with my husband about weight gain. It's a difficult and complicated issue. I'm sorry you're going through that. The good news, is that even if you don't lose a ton of weight, if you do keep exercising, you will tone up. Even when I wasn't losing weight, I noticed my legs and waist becoming more defined. Plus, if your husband sees all the effort what else can he say (I know, I know they can say a lot more!). But it does help for them to see what you are going through.
Your increased pain right now could be a little bit of a withdrawal side effect. So maybe you'll feel better the longer you're off the Lyrica. There are other options out there to control pain.
I don't know much about your vitamin shot issues but I wanted to address your depression. Sorry you are going through that. One of the rough things with FM that I've experienced is that when you get diagnosed (or before) you already have to move your personal "bar" lower, according to your health. Then you have to learn to accept that. But then, often, some other little issue comes along so that you again have to lower your bar and then adjust to that again.
It's so difficult having things change all the time! I hope something levels off for you and your depression can ease. I can't give easy answers bc my depression waxes and wanes and I often feel hopeless or as another person appropiately said "defeated". But I know, as I'm sure you do, that there's usually some respite--even if it's not from pain, sometimes our brains will suprise us and we'll feel better emotionally!View Thread
I'm also one of the younger ones here (28). I'm sorry for what you're going through. I often experience sharp, shooting pains down through my legs as well.
Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. In my opinion, I don't think it's a problem that other people know as long as they don't feel like they have to do more work because of you. Yes, it might make you miss work every once in awhile, but everyone misses work from illness. The bottom line, is that if you're still able to do your job, then there shouldn't be a problem. And if you're able to be a valuable staff member, then the others may be supportive.
But I do understand not wanting people to know. Even when people know about it, I don't talk to them about it much. But it's scary not wanting to come off like you're making excuses or something.
I often have felt "defeated" and I still do some days. But once you get your treatment figured out you may begin to feel better. Many people with FM take anti-depressants, both for the FM and for depression. You may be already, but I know that has helped me a lot. They don't change you but they can make you just feel more like yourself.
There are also no easy answers when it comes to the pain. I have had FM most of my life and don't have pain free days. But many people with FM, once treated, can go weeks and months with little to no pain. The fact that you're still young and may have been diagnosed early, could make that more of a possibility for you.
It's hard having FM at any age but I know the special hardships of having it young. It's hard looking forward knowing how my life will be and some of the things I won't be able to do. I'm sorry you're going through this. I have good days and bad days (I think most of us are like this) with the emotional aspects of FM.
I hope you can find some relief. At least you have people here that can understand what you're going through!View Thread
I don't know specifically which meds can cause ringing in the ears, I just know that some do. If you think it might me a med, make sure to check the usually long list of side effects that comes with them. Also, it can help to compare with other people taking the same meds.View Thread