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Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » Trouble with LOSING weight?


 
02-22-2011, 07:50 PM   #1
slightlysilly
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Trouble with LOSING weight?

Am I the only overweight crohn's patient on the planet?

I am right around 50lbs overweight. I've always been a big girl, but the weight from having my son (7 years ago) just never came off. I was diagnosed in November. This past appt, I asked my GI doctor about the weight and he just seemed pleased that I wasn't rapidly losing weight as most of his patients have trouble keeping the weight on. He said (in a gentle way) that he didn't want to explore weight loss with me until we had a good thing going with my meds and all of that. I guess he meant remission. I'm currently weaning off prednisone (I'm on 5mg this week and then I'm done). So I'm going to go ahead and blame about 10lbs on that, plus the extra chins and the bowling ball head. But the other 40lbs... do I just hang on to that and be ok with it? I feel like I've gone into opposite world. I can't have "good for you" food. I'm fat and my doctor is happy and eating a salad can send me to the emergency room... nice.

Anyone?
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02-22-2011, 08:05 PM   #2
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Yep, have been struggling most of my adult life, up and down like a yo yo, but mostly up. I did lose like 30 lbs at first with my first major flare within 2 months but didnt take long to gain it back.
02-22-2011, 08:31 PM   #3
partlycloudy
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I can't have "good for you" food. I'm fat and my doctor is happy and eating a salad can send me to the emergency room... nice.
Sounds just like me. I get "You look good! You don't look like you have Crohn's!" from medical people all the time. I used to feel complimented, that I was all bright-eyed.

I've finally realized it's because I'm a lard butt.

I wish I had an answer for you as I've been pondering this myself. I should lose about 70 pounds but not sure how. I'm currently trying to eat more fresh cooked food, but like you, most of the traditional diet food aids (fruit, veggies, fibery low cal stuff) would put me in the ER.
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02-23-2011, 07:29 AM   #4
Rebecca85
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I am not overweight as such, however my BMI is at something like 24.8 (overweight would be 25), up from 20ish this time last year. But all the additional weight has gone on round my middle, which is the worst place to put it! I have gone up 2 dress sizes on my bottom half, yet wear the same bra size as before. I am eating home cooked meals again though, and gentle exercise, I'm hoping this will stop me from gaining any more.
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02-23-2011, 09:59 AM   #5
afman
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i am pretty overweight and have crohns also. when i was flaring i lost 10-15 easily and still was consider overweight. at least my doctor doesn't have to worry about my flying away with the wind blows.
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02-23-2011, 12:03 PM   #6
Nancy Lee
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I have the same problem...gaining about 5-10 lbs. a year, and over the years this starts to add up...I've asked the GI doctor about this and he just says we'll worry about your weight if you start losing too quickly without really trying to.

I think they really would rather we are a few pounds over in case we have a bad flare and start losing as I did at the time of going through a diagnosis...I lost 30 lbs in a month.

My weight seems to be all around my middle, waist and belly.
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02-23-2011, 12:41 PM   #7
vonfunk
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I was told by my GI, GP, and dietician, that due to me being on pred there would be no safe way to lose weight until I was off of it.
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02-23-2011, 02:45 PM   #8
Astra
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I'm overweight too, thank you Pred!
But.. my gastro man sees that as excellent news! He said I'm absorbing, at last!
Well that's ok for him, looking like a bean pole, and me looking like Jabba the Hutt on a good day!
So, no, you're not the only overweight Crohn's patient on the planet!
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02-23-2011, 03:35 PM   #9
archie
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yes i definately didn't suffer the dramatic weight loss either in fact the very 1st consultant I saw said he didn't think I could have crohns as I wasn't slim enough!!!!! although he said that was a compliment, typical I would get the one disease that makes you lose weight and not actually lose weight... joking a side I have lost about a stone since being diagnosed which yo yo'd abit cos of the pred. I too carry it around my belly which always looks swollen. I find pilates really helps keeps me flexible, painfree and slightly toned!!!. Glad you posted this thread as I always wondered if anyone else was overweight...
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02-23-2011, 04:59 PM   #10
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My GP laughed when I told him I'm trying to lose weight. He said there is no way while I'm on Prednisone. I'm hoping that Humira will help to wean me off the pred. I've never been this heavy my entire life.
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02-23-2011, 05:23 PM   #11
slightlysilly
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Thanks everyone for posting!!! Once again I learn that I'm not alone.

I had no idea that you literally couldn't lose weight while on prednisone... I guess that's my problem. I have 5 more days left and then I'm done. Does anyone know if entocort does the same thing for weight gain that prednisone does? I'm going to be on that for a bit longer.

I think I'm going to look at juicers tonight...
02-23-2011, 05:56 PM   #12
tiloah
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From the IBD people I have met in real life... most of them are put on a steroid, gain weight, then can't get it off. From one person I have talked to we decided, you really only lose weight from Crohn's if it's because you're having too much pain to eat.

One person stipulated that your body isn't absorbing properly, so it stores whatever it can get instead of using it. Not sure how much weight (ah ah?) I'd give to that theory, but it's a thought.

I see weight loss listed on every pamphlet, every website about Crohn's. I have seen lots of people on here say their doctors are surprised they have it or tell them they can't have it because they aren't stick thin. I am wondering when reality will be reflected by these things? I know my evidence is very anecdotal but it seems like those who lose weight from this disease aren't the majority, perhaps even the minority.

I just think more people need to know that you can be severely ill with this disease and not look like a skeleton. Of course people who are that thin and are that underweight are sick, but so are the people who don't look so obvious. Just a sore spot of mine, I guess.
02-23-2011, 11:13 PM   #13
ameslouise
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Hi Maura - I hear ya. It's hard to maintain a decent weight while on pred and especially while eating a low residue diet. Broiled chicken and plain fish are okay, but start adding in all the bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and other "white" foods and the pounds just pack on!!

I try to control my weight gain on pred by limited/eliminating processed food. Anything with a label I try to limit to four or less ingredients, and only those ingredients I can pronounce. This means rice cakes for a snack instead of chips or other fried treats. I cut out pasta and bread almost completely while on pred. If you can't do fruits and veg, maybe you can do juices instead? (There's a bunch of threads on juicing). Can you eat bananas? Avocados? Those are the only "whole" fruits and veggies I can eat.

I also cut out most all dairy. I use almond milk and it's a good replacement. I make lots of pureed vegetable soups, which is another great, easily digestible way to get vegetables into your system, and they can really fill you up.

It's important first to get your Crohn's under control; then you can worry about the weight and finding a diet that works for your Crohn's and for your potential weight loss.

Good luck - hope you are feeling better soon! - Amy
02-24-2011, 10:05 AM   #14
num1habsfan
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I have gained a fair share during my last 3 times on Prednisone in the past 2 1/2 years. More so the first time around. I am definitely overweight and like Nancy, it is all in my lower stomach/waist/hips, especially the hips. The rest of me is normal.

It also doesn't help that I have hypothyroidism + am on Synthroid for it - both make it difficult to lose any weight.

I have lost a few pounds during this last flare, wonder if that will worry my family doctor any when I finally see her.

I also can't eat the typical diet foods like low carb, high fibre etc. Most veggies and fruits disagree with me. I can tolerate apples but I can't exactly live on those!
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02-24-2011, 02:46 PM   #15
partlycloudy
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I know a Crohnie in real life who's also not stick thin and is on the chunky side. You'd NEVER know she has it by looking at her because she's also bright-eyed, but I know she struggles far more than I do with her disease.

I'm kind of on a path to accept myself, weight and all. I have back problems so I know losing weight would help that. But if I can't I can't. If this disease forces me to eat stuff that keeps the weight on then I'm trying to learn to live with that instead of swimming against fate and feeling stressed all the time about my lack of success in weight loss.

I hope I don't sound preachy. I'm frustrated at how ingrained my "gotta lose this weight!" habit is. If I am preaching it's to myself alone.
02-24-2011, 05:13 PM   #16
slightlysilly
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I know a Crohnie in real life who's also not stick thin and is on the chunky side. You'd NEVER know she has it by looking at her because she's also bright-eyed, but I know she struggles far more than I do with her disease.

I'm kind of on a path to accept myself, weight and all. I have back problems so I know losing weight would help that. But if I can't I can't. If this disease forces me to eat stuff that keeps the weight on then I'm trying to learn to live with that instead of swimming against fate and feeling stressed all the time about my lack of success in weight loss.

I hope I don't sound preachy. I'm frustrated at how ingrained my "gotta lose this weight!" habit is. If I am preaching it's to myself alone.
Cloudy -

I'm kind of going that route myself. I didn't know I was sick for the last 10 or 15 years, so now that I'm having fits and starts of good health, it just seems natural for me to want to be completely healthy (and at a normal weight) BUT, I definitely understand that my Crohn's needs to be under control in order for me to tackle any weight loss. And even then... it's nice to feel healthy even though I didn't know it before. (Sure... I'll bet that makes sense... NOT!)
02-24-2011, 05:44 PM   #17
partlycloudy
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Silly, yes, frankly I'd rather feel good or at least decent than be thin. If given a choice. Not that I have one. But if I do, it's official...that is my choice.

I'll sometimes get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and sit there feeling guilty because I'm still fat. I mean, come on! The middle of the night? I've got better things to do. Like sleep.

I don't do this very often these days as I've worked hard on learning to go easier on myself. If there's anything Crohn's has taught me it's that I simply cannot force myself to feel or act in a way that's impossible.
02-25-2011, 03:00 PM   #18
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When I met Stacy - my rock, my love, the man I didn't know was out there for me - I was at my happiest weight (130lbs, 5'9"). I'd been off prednisone, depo and any other med that makes me gain weight.

When I was first diagnosed, at age 8, I was 38lbs, so I have been on that side of things too.

Right now I'm up to 173lbs. I've lost about ten so far. It usually takes a year, almost to the day, from when I stopped prednisone to when the weight starts dropping. I spent a week in the hospital, so it started a little earlier this time, but it was that same hospital that gave me prednisone after I denied them, told them I didn't want it and it's listed as an allergy.

Stacy is wonderful about my weight, but to me it's so personal. I was finally happy with my weight, not too scrawny, but not chunky and I'm right back where I started. It's annoying and upsetting. It doesn't help my state of mind. And then there's the clothes issue! I have clothes from size 9 to 17! While I should be happy I'm not at my heaviest, 210lbs wearing a size 22, I'm focused on the weight I was before this round of pred.

And yes, my doc likes me to be heavier, just in case. Well, I'm down to eating pudding, flan, bread, hummus and some chicken when possible. Last time in the hospital for a week was because I ate and orange.

It's so hard knowing I can't eat healthy! I had told Stacy about this early on, but hearing it from my GI about bowled him over. He knew it, but hearing it from a doctor's mouth is still shocking.

BTW, I also carry all my weight abdominally, some in my bum and thighs. And I'm quite stacked. I have bras in so many sizes! And I can't exercise! It's not just the pain and the fact that my abdominal muscles have been cut through more times that I'd like to think about, but every time I start any exercise program (more than walking my pup to the corner or a short shopping trip more than once a week), I have a serious flare! Damned if I do and damned if I don't!

Yes, I'd rather feel good than be thin, but I can't seem to achieve either these days!
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02-25-2011, 03:09 PM   #19
partlycloudy
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Silver, I can't exercise much either. It causes cramping that last for a week unless I take it so easy that it seems pointless. I know a 5-minute SLOW stroll is better than nothing but it's hard to get going to accomplish so little.

Anyway, I intentionally got on here to express my concern that I came across as judgmental about being concerned with weight. I didn't mean it that way at all. I'd LOVE to look good again and I'll freely admit it's for vanity. I hate that Crohn's has taken away my dream of losing this weight. Maybe I never would have succeeded but at least I had the dream.
02-25-2011, 03:22 PM   #20
AndiGirl
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I hate going up and down. I used to be chubby before the flare-ups started getting worse. My doctor always made remarks about my size; saying things like, "You look well. You look healthy. You seem to be getting the nutrients you need." Ignorant man! My labs said otherwise.

My grandfather who had CD really bad and eventually needed a total colectomy, was a big burly man (also tall). He did not look emaciated at all. Anyone who knew him, knew that he was much sicker than he let on. A tough, strong fisherman doesn't whine or complain. His sons and other crew would watch him retching and throwing up many times a week. He ate what the other crew had, yet he was the only one suffering. His intestines were an ulcerated mess. Once he had the colectomy, he lost a lot of weight, but that was mainly from having a nasogastric tube, and being hospitalized after the surgery. His weight returned to normal a couple of years later.

I have always been a full-figured gal, and when I do feel good, I can put on a little weight. I do so all over, it doesn't gather just in my belly. When I go through flare-ups, I can easily drop 20 lbs. or even more. I would have to say that I'm normal sized now, but on the higher end of normal. My friend at work made me feel good. She didn't realize that I had Crohns. When I told her, she said, "Wow, you are the thinnest person that I know with the disease." I laughed because I most people equate Crohns patients with looking emaciated. Why must people generalize?
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03-08-2011, 02:28 AM   #21
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Oh no you're not alone! I'm overweight too! lol
I want to loose weight because I'm getting married in August, but can't find the energy to work out.
Started on Predisone finally, but finding it's not working all that well yet. Except making me gain more weight and get zits! Not good for wedding pictures at all.
Let us know if you find anything that works!
03-08-2011, 03:01 AM   #22
ChrisTx
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Losing weight requires a lot of discipline. Including strict diet and some intensive exercises can help to attain the right body mass that you wanted. Eating fruits and vegetables are also advisable if you are planning to lose weight.
03-08-2011, 04:38 AM   #23
happy girl
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Your not alone my weight is always up and down I have a few wardrobes as my clothes range from size 6 to size 16, I could open up a clothes shop really.
I do try to go to the gym a few times a week swimming is good too,
It is hard but once I have been I always feel so much better.

Take care x x
03-08-2011, 11:03 AM   #24
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It's best to make slow changes, and I know we all want a quick fix with weight loss, but doing it slowly means soon it becomes habit!
I'd look at what you are eating and seeing within your CD limits if you can have a healthier option, for example a large frozen pizza swap for a small fresh deli pizza. Things like candy and biscuits should be cut down or out if possible, they are just empty calories really. Even in terms of soft drinks change to a diet version or substitute more of those with water/ squash.
And while again it is hard with CD, i've learnt that it's ok to be hungry. If it's an hour until my dinner there is no need to eat, a glass of water helps at those times. Likewise after my dinner I really don't need an evening snack.
Once it becomes habit it's much more of a lifestyle than a diet plan which I found easier (can't eat now anyway lol) to attain and continue with long term. Don't forget to have a treat now and then, it'll taste a whole lot better and help you keep on the right track if you're not fighting cravings all the time.
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03-08-2011, 09:03 PM   #25
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My weight is up and down. A few years ago I was at my biggest - 109 kilos (not sure what that is in pounds), then decided to change my life and try to get healthy. Lost about 35 kilos, then a few more last year after my surgery. After starting on humira tho I have put on about 10 kilos which I am not happy about. But I have to admit I don't think it is all the humira's fault - I haven't been disciplined in my diet and exercise regime. I just need to get re-motivated and start eating better again and working out.
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03-09-2011, 02:19 PM   #26
Jessica
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Currently I'm at the biggest I've ever been. And boy does it feel like shit. Pretty sure I'm right around a 24 bmi. I'm trying to lose 30lbs that I've gained from college/Crohn's. My doc doesn't mind me trying because it would be less pressure on my intestines and stomach (think stomach acid). Plus, the general feeling of being well and fit would be a nice boost. I just have to be careful not to get hurt jumping into exercise all over again.

I've started writing everything down. I started for Crohn's purposes, but it's turned into calorie counting as well. I'm on day three and can already feel better. I've got to hand it to those frozen steamer veggies. They say microwave 4-6 or whatever. I usually do it for the longest time and cook the shit out of them. Plus the rice/veggies ones are nice on the days I don't feel too great. The starch from the rice evens out the bad veggies. Or at least that's my stomach's opinion.

Oh, and I get the "you look great" comments all the time too. Kinda a slap in the face when it comes right after the "how's the crohn's" question.
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03-10-2011, 02:02 PM   #27
partlycloudy
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I'm attempting to fast one day a week in addition to eating mostly home cooked food instead of processed (in order to lose some weight). I fasted for the first time yesterday. I feel great today but it was hard. I'm having doubts about keeping it up.

I weighed at the doc's Monday and much to my surprise I've lost 3 pounds. I guess it's due to home cooking meals and consuming a lot less sugary stuff.
03-13-2011, 02:41 PM   #28
archie
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well I joined the gym again today 1st time in over a year. Now I have to say I spent more time in the jacuzzi than sweating it out but at least I made it there!!! (breaking myself in gently)
03-14-2011, 07:18 AM   #29
Jessica
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Making it into the gym is half the battle. Once you're there, the motivation seems to come easier. Good luck, Alice.

Jess
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03-21-2011, 01:15 PM   #30
Jer's Girl
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I am so with you cloudy on trying to accept myself no matter what, but I admit it is a day to day struggle!

I was diagnosed with Crohns as a teen while I was also battling anorexia, so my lowest weight was 72 pounds at 16 years old. Won't go into all that now, but in collage I was still dealing with eating disorders so my weight went up and down (Crohns also contributed to that). Then, when I beat my eating disorders at 21 (for the most part), I gained a ton of weight, and almost got up to 150 at 5' 4", which was my highest. That might not be too big for some people, but I am pretty small boned so it was a lot of weight on my frame. I slowly lost the weight, just re-learning how to eat when I was hungry and got down to about 132 or so and was pretty happy for a while.

However, the Crohns has made my weight fluctuate quite a bit from time to time. I started going through a pretty bad flair a few years ago, and my weight got down to about 115, which was pretty hard on me emotionally because of my history with eating disorders. There is no way that I can stay that thin without basically not eating, so it hurt when people thought I looked fantastic. I wanted to yell at them, "NO! this is not my body! Don't tell me I look good like this because I can't maintain it and i want to be healthy!"

Then I got really sick and got down to 105, then 101. I was basically unable to eat at all at the time. I looked terrible and could hardly look at myself in the mirror.

Then I had my Ostomy, and I got healthy and was able to eat again, so my weight went up to 128, which freaked me out a bit because I had gotten used to being thin.

Then I had my reversal and my weight went down to 115 again. Now, I am feeling pretty healthy again and have been eating pretty much what I please, and my weight has been around 132, which I admit I am having trouble dealing with emotionally. Luckily, my husband met me at this weight, and he really prefers a little junk in the trunk! He loves me and is attracted to me no matter what though.

I always tell my husband that he is lucky, because he gets to date a completely different woman every month! I also change my hair a lot so I am always changing LOL. It is normal for me to be anywhere between 120 and 130 ish these days!

So yeah, my weight has been all over the place with this disease. I wear anywhere from a size 4 to a size 8, and that is me relatively healthy!

Most people who know me well think I look best around 125-130 so I am trying to be comfortable with it. It is always hard to accept your body though. I have found ways to hate mine at every size I have been. I know I am not alone in this. Imagine if we spent as much time worrying about improving our minds as we do improving our bodies?
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