Crohn's Disease Forum » Your Story » Exercise and Weight Loss


04-26-2010, 12:47 PM   #1
Crohns Copilot
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Exercise and Weight Loss

Hi Everyone,

I joined this forum on my Mom's behalf since she is not web savvy, we're working on it though. For the last week I've been reading through posts regarding weight loss tips and diet advice.

A little bit about my Mom, she is 72. She was diagnosed with Crohns disease in 1999, although ulcerative colitis has been the more aggressive of the two in the last few years. Other health issues have also come along since her diagnosis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and severe vertigo. She has been on prednisone for the better part of ten years, though she is down to 5 mg a day now. She began bi-weekly humira injections about a year ago, so far so good. Due to her other health issues she is on a lot of medication. Early 2009 she had ostomy surgery, which we hope at some point will be reversed.

She had a lot of issues with weight gain and swelling of the face before due to being on a much higher does of prednisone, but lost it as a result of the surgery. In the last 5-6 months the weight has come back with extra. The weight gain was rapid as well as the swelling to her face, without changes to diet or activity levels. She is 4'11", so going from 110 to 150 is very rough on her. She is active, an hour at the gym 5 days a week (vertigo allowing). Her diet is decent, fish, a little chicken and red meat along with the veggies she can still have. She watches her sweets due to the diabetes. Yet she cannot seem to drop any weight. Her doctors are telling her she must get her weight down, but do not seem interested in discussing the role that medication may be playing in her weight gain. Has anyone here experienced this?

I'm trying to help her perhaps alter her diet and/or exercise routine to get down to a healthier weight. If anyone has advice or can recommend a book on the subject I would greatly appreciate it. Sorry for the length of the post, but I thank you for reading.
04-26-2010, 07:28 PM   #2
ameslouise
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Dear Co-pilot - Welcome and you are so nice to post on your mom's behalf. You may want to to move your post to the "My story" section so it doesn't get lost.

I can't offer much advice other than to say that you should insist to the doctors some assistance with the weight loss. Perhaps they have a dietician/nutritionist on staff she can meet with? Someone who works with GI patients specifcally would have a good idea of meds and how they can affect metabolism.

Good luck and best wishes to your Mom.

-Amy
04-27-2010, 01:37 PM   #3
Crohns Copilot
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Hi Amy, thanks for your reply. I will move the post. Thanks for the tip on the nutritionist. I'm not sure her insurance will cover it, but I'm definitely going to look into it.
04-27-2010, 01:43 PM   #4
Crohns Copilot
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Actually, just realized I do not know how to move the post to My Story. If a mod happens to read this post, I would appreciate being pointed in the right direction. I couldn't find an answer in the faq. Thanks.
04-27-2010, 01:43 PM   #5
misscris
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Join Date: May 2009
I don't have much advice either, except after I had a resection, I gained 40 pounds in two months. I asked a couple different doctors why this happened. I wasn't going to the gym or anything, but I was eating right and was still in recovery stage. The only answers I got were: possibly thyroid problems (which was perfectly fine) and 'you were so sick for so long, that now that you're healthy again, you're packing on the pounds" Um ... thanks doc. So that's the only answer I got. Not advice, no nutrionist, nothing.

If it's medications making her gain weight, definitely keep pushing the Dr's, or go to another one for another opinion. It could just be bloating. Hope she gets some answers soon.

Oh, and to you both.
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04-27-2010, 03:57 PM   #6
InkyStinky
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Hi there! And welcome. I'm sorry your mom's having a tough time - you're really sweet to join here and look for some answers for her!

Crohns Copilot said:
She is active, an hour at the gym 5 days a week (vertigo allowing).
Good for her!!!! What does she usually do at the gym? Does she have access to a pool? If she could swim/do water aerobics she might be able to push herself a little harder in her workouts without worrying about the vertigo. Her body might be used to the level she's exercising at now, and I know that if I had to worry about vertigo I'd be afraid to push myself harder on treadmills and such!!! (Sounds like she's in really good shape - she'd probably need a step up or two from the water aerobics classes that are geared towards people who don't really do any other sort of exercise).

Again, welcome!!
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04-30-2010, 04:47 AM   #7
BWS1982
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Gone ahead and moved it for you, Crohns Copilot.
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05-03-2010, 05:19 PM   #8
Crohns Copilot
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Hi, thanks for the responses and thank you BWS for moving the post.

Misscris- Thanks for the welcome and for sharing your experience. Have you been able to get back to your typical weight before the surgery?

One of my Mom's doctors put her on the thyroid med Liothyronine about two months ago, though he doesn't believe she has a thyroid issue. I'm definitely encouraging her to push for more answers and less medication. Just when we get her down to 15 or so meds, she ends up in the hospital and each specialist adds something new to the list. It's frustrating for her, but even telling her about these forums makes her feel less isolated so that is great.

Inky- My Mom's typical routine at the gym is the treadmill for 25-30 min and various arm and leg machines. She has to stay away from the elliptical and stairclimber due to her vertigo, and since her surgery she has to be careful with the machines that target her abs. Unfortunately she doesn't swim, I think she would be self-conscious with the ostomy even if she did.

Last week she started trying to vary her routine at the gym and use small hand weights at home. I'm looking into finding a nutritionist, but for for now I'm just trying to keep her motivated that she will get to where she wants to be.

Thanks again for your replies.
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