" The medication just makes me crave carbs. "
I've heard this comment for more than a few people on a variety of medications, especially ones living with depression, anxiety and other behavioural health conditions. Because of the weight gain, one friend was thinking of discontinuing one medication in particular. In medical records, in the past hopefully ,health care professionals document this as "patient noncompliance" , without asking why medications are discontinued or understanding each patient's unique needs or breaking points.
Gaining weight was a dealbreaker for my friend, but before the medication was dropped with a quickness, she talked with her physician. And the physician listened and made adjustments to the medication regime. Time will tell if the changes result in the desired effects.
But before the prescription changes, we discussed this mystery "carb craving. The usual suspects are in plastic packaging, usually low in fiber, high in salt , high in sugar ,rich in empty calories that fuel weight gain, displayed near the checkout counter, and leave you hungry 30 minutes later. Not apples, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, kale, collard greens or spinach. Sugar, fiber and starch are all carbohydrates, but fiber rich foods at least keep you sated and satisfied and help keep you hydrated. I recommended keeping a food/mood diary just to get an idea of what foods, how much food , and the most likely time/place that carb consumption takes place. Like eating a pint of ice cream in bed at night while watching or binging your favorite show on a screen. All clues on the weight gain mystery.
But, the fact is, some medications can increase your appetite, affect your metabolism, or absorption of certain compounds. Some medications to treat psychosis, epilepsy,hypertension, Type 2 diabetes,inflammation, depression, and also birth control pills, can cause weight gain. Along with the original diagnosis, weight gain can increase your risk for Type 2 diabetes, hypertension obesity, arthritis,sleep apnea, some cancers, polycystic ovarian syndrome( can lead to infertility) nonalcoholic fatty liver disease( NAFLD), and stroke. No one has time or interest in developing another diagnosis while trying to treat the initial diagnosis.
Ideally, before the prescription is submitted to the pharmacy, healthcare practitioners discuss side effects with patients- especially weight gain- and discuss nutrition and other prevention techniques to mitigate medication side effects. If they don't, ask questions about side effects and discuss them with your physician and your pharmacist before you sign the signature line on the screen.
In some cases, consultation with a registered dietitian can help. Registered dietitians are uniquely qualified to recommend an individualized plan of action that meets your nutritional needs based on your medical history, while also understanding your unique food likes/dislikes. No food should be off limits, to a degree, but a diet that meets your nutritional needs has to take priority over packed ,highly processed, sugared ,and salted foods. In humans, vitamins and minerals don't just create themselves. Unlike goats and their ruminant bacteria that manufacture their own Vitamin, K, C and B vitamins, humans need plants for most of their vitamin needs.
So if you are craving carbs, order from our CSA, we have the carbs you need.
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Growing Healthy Families