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Can I achieve weight loss while taking tegratol and insulin?

by Jenny

I have been on these medications since I was 7 to treat my epilepsy and type 1 diabetes.

The side affects of both these drugs is weight gain.

When I was younger I didn't really care that I was a little bit bigger but now that I'm almost 18 and I do and it's been like this since I was about 13.

I eat roughly 630 calories a day and exercise like mad (half an hour walk with hyper dog, yoga, cardio cruiser, lifting weights) but I just can't loose weight!

I'm 5'4 and weigh 180lb. I have asked my doctor if I can switch my epilepsy medication to something called topamax because it has a side affect of weight loss instead of weight gain.

I still have to take insulin though I have lowered it significantly which caused me to lose 1 lb in three months (although my doctor said I had probably gained muscle.)

I just want to know in case I don't get the side affect of weight loss can someone lose at least 40lb while taking medication that prevents it?

Comments for Can I achieve weight loss while taking tegratol and insulin?

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Medications and weight loss
by: Dr. Dan


When you start talking about side effects of medications things can get complicated pretty quickly. So for the time being let's take a different approach.

To see if it is possible to lose weight with your current medications you might try a little experiment. It takes some work and some planning but it should be worth the effort.

In your message you stated that, "I eat roughly 630 calories per day." It's hard to know what to do with "roughly." It leaves too many questions.

Do you need to eat more? Do you need to eat less? Are you just eating the wrong things? There's no way to know right now.

The way to start is to get the actual numbers. It requires measuring food and counting calories. To do this you need a food scale (they are available in any departments store and the inexpensive ones are just fine -- they should only cost a few dollars.)

And you need to read labels.

If you go to a restaurant or a drive-through ask to see the nutrition facts.

Weigh your oatmeal (the calories are on the container) and your ham slices. Count your cashews and corn chips (otherwise it's just a guess.)

For the things that don't have labels you can look up the calories in a book or on line. The Calorie Counter website is an easy way to look things up.

If you do this for one week you'll know more about what you are eating than you ever did before. You don't have to do it forever. But the one week should be a real eye opener.

And even though it takes some effort it should be worth it to you. You have a long life ahead and you want to be happy with yourself.

Dr. Dan

by: Jenny

I suppose I shouldn't have said roughly, my caloric intake is actually lower than 630. in the morning I have 1/3 cup of oat bran which is 100 calories with soya milk in it whis is 70 calories per a 1/2 a cup, a cup of green tea with one sweetener no milk, I have the same thing for lunch minus the tea. For dinner I eat frozen stir fried vegetables 35 calories for 3/4 a cup, 2 soy nuggets 95 calories and a tea spoon of seasoning which is 5 calories so overall In a day I consume 475 calories. Thank you for your input but I have been counting and I really eat out only once every three months and what I eat isn't often that high because I don't eat meat.

Vegetarian and on medication and can't lose weight
by: Dr. Dan


Thanks for your reply. So, if we were just going to focus on diet for now, I would say your protein intake is too low.

I know you don't eat meat. (I don't either.) But you should be able to get a good protein source.

You can have 1% cottage cheese which is almost all protein. And they make non-meat veggie dogs and bean burgers that are very good.

You just have to read the labels because most things have too much fat, too much carbohydrate and not enough protein.

You can start by finding what weight you think would be ideal for you. Then go to the protein, fat and carbohydrate calculator and follow the directions.

You will first need to find an estimate for the amount of calories you burn each day (there is a link on that same page for that.) And then enter that number and let the calculator do the work.

It will show you the number of grams of protein you need everyday. Don't worry about the fat and carbohydrate for now.

And if all the numbers seem ridiculous for you don't worry about that either!!! Just go through the steps and see what happens.

Then every time you eat anything you make sure you have some protein with it. No snacks and no meals without also eating some protein.

Write it down and at the end of the day add it up to see if you got your protein requirement.

Do this for one month and then see how you are doing with your weight, how you look and how your clothes feel.

Dr. Dan

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