If you are busy searching how does gabapentin cause weight gain, then one may assume you are suffering from some nerve disorder or epilepsy seizures. So, under which name has this anticonvulsant been prescribed to you? Gralise or Neurontin? Whichever pill your medical practitioner prescribes, weight gain will be one of its side effects. Apart from that, you are already suffering from constipation, flu-like symptoms, vomiting, or chest and back pain.
With a fair idea that gabapentin will cause you some escalation in your weight, in this digital write-up coordinated with experts – you will get an idea of why this happens, how you may avoid it if this weight gain is happening due to gabapentin addiction, and what foods to avoid. Stay tuned to this article for the details –
Table of Contents
How does gabapentin cause weight gain?
As per data revealed by the National Library Of Medicine – an experiment was performed on a set of seizure patients who were given gabapentin. After a certain period, 10 patients gained 10% of their baseline weight, while 15 patients had escalated their borderline weight within 5-10%. However, 16 people did not show any change in their overall weight. Therefore, it is a proven fact that gabapentin does cause weight gain (in normal scenarios).
But how does gabapentin cause weight gain? Let’s see that –
1. An increase in the patient’s appetite
You must know that sedatives and anti-depressants exponentially enhance one’s appetite. Well, gabapentin is no less. Due to an increased appetite, apart from the proper meals, you are bound to have sudden food cravings. Hence, one tends to eat way more than one’s capacity (especially fried foods and sugar-coated products), which lowers the body’s energy level, decreasing metabolism and increasing weight.
2. Retention of fluid content in the body
This is one of the most prominent causes of weight gain. When you are prescribed gabapentin for a certain period, edema is one of the key side effects. Edema causes water retention in the body, and therefore, the overall weight rises. It is not the fat content, in this case, causing the weight gain, but rather the fluid content in the body.
3. Reduced metabolism levels
You must have heard that beta-blockers reduce the metabolism levels of the body. Quite this is the case with gabapentin. For any patient who has been prescribed this medicine for a length of time (which is obvious given it affects the nervous system and is used for seizure control) – faces the effects of reduced metabolism. When metabolism levels reduce in the body, it naturally increases the body’s weight. That is how does gabapentin cause weight gain.
4. Changes in hormone levels
It is no secret that any medication, especially the ones that affect the nervous system of the body has a tendency to alter hormone levels. Gabapentin is no less and causes hormone alterations, thereby causing the body to gain weight.
5. Amplification of fat storage
For all those who are still asking how precisely does gabapentin cause weight gain by storing the fats within the body – the process is simple. Gabapentin instructs the body’s fat cells not to release the fats (the slowed metabolism levels add to the issue). Therefore, when fat storage escalates, the body’s weight (the fat content) rises automatically. That’s how gabapentin, when prescribed for a long period, amplifies your weight.
Are you sure it is the ‘gabapentin’ weight?
There could be multiple reasons apart from medication for you to gain weight suddenly. So, how do you know that it is gabapentin that is escalating your weight? Here are some of the shreds of evidence –
- Did you gain weight within 6 months of starting gabapentin? Be assured – this is the first evidence of medication-based weight gain.
- Have you been excessively stressed since the start of this medicine? Has that affected your physical activity? Then, the weight gain that has happened is due to gabapentin. One of the side effects of gabapentin is – escalating stress levels. That indirectly affects your body weight.
How will you avoid this weight gain?
Assuming you have clarity about how does gabapentin cause weight gain the next thing you need to note is – how will you avoid (if you at all cannot, then at least manage) the weight gain? Here are some techniques that experts vouch for –
- A balanced and healthy diet is the key to success. Your diet chart must comprise – green vegetables, tofu, protein-rich components, salads, and seasonal fruits.
- You have to reduce your food portions. One of the side effects of gabapentin is to have an increased appetite. In that case – you will have to keep the total quantity of your food the same but have it in portions so that you do not consume any snacks in between.
- Always drink water before meals. When you do that, your stomach is already full, and therefore it will save you from overeating.
- The last thing that you need to do to avoid this sudden weight gain is to concentrate on your workout regime. Aerobics and core strength exercises are the keys to your success.
Do you need to take some dietary precautions?
Now that you are aware of how does gabapentin cause weight gain, you have to be cautious about certain things. While you are under medication, do not consume aerated drinks, and steer clear of fast foods or foods high in oil and refined sugar.
Also, moderate your calorie intake since that might directly affect your health. Rest assured; you may continue your normal food habits (prioritize home-cooked food).
Are you addicted to gabapentin?
Have you received an answer to how does gabapentin cause weight gain? In that case – you can definitely do the needful. But what if you are addicted to gabapentin? Then you will need therapy to recover. The withdrawal symptoms normally last for 10 days maximum, and you will require a professional therapist to deal with it. However, there’s nothing much to be scared about.
The bottom line
Does gabapentin cause weight gain? It does, as you have now read in the aforementioned article. Therefore – you have to be careful if you are under medication and keep your weight under control. If you want more health-related information, you can always keep an eye on the He and She Fitness website.
Monalisa Mukherjee is a content writer and copywriter with close to 3 years of experience. She has written for websites like Biography Talk, Contour Cafe, He And She Fitness and Fiction Pad. She is currently associated with a noted Digital Marketing Agency and specialises in writing articles for travel, entertainment, cooking, celeb, lifestyle, tech, health, fashion and film news.