Depression and weight gain seem to be a major problem these days. Women in particular tend to binge when feeling down and a long bout of depression can wreak havoc on their bodies. This is especially since the foods craved during depression tend to be fatty, starchy and full of sugar.
Apart from eating unhealthy, fattening foods, the medications used to treat depression may also contribute to depression weight gain. Such prescription drugs as Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft have been associated with depression and weight gain in recent studies. As depression is on the rise, due to job-related stress among other factors, so is the use of these drugs. With the increased use of antidepressants, the incidence of depression weight gain can only continue to build.
Nearly every type of prescription medication used to treat depression carries the side effect of obesity. Some, such as antipsychotics have actually been discontinued from use due to the excessive amount of weight gain and others like lithium (commonly used to treat bipolar conditions) tend to cause drastic obesity, even putting the patient’s life in danger.
No one wants to gain weight unnecessarily, but unlike eating disorders, weight gain due to antidepressants isn’t easily stopped. These medications act in one of two ways to cause the increase in weight. They may change the patient’s metabolism, causing a weight gain on the same amount of calories or they can cause hormonal changes with result in an increase in appetite, especially for carbohydrates.
Treating depression weight gain is not easy. One option is to increase the amount of daily exercise in order to reduce the rate of the weight gain and boost the metabolism naturally. A strict diet to control both depression and weight gain may also be in order, but should only be followed on doctor’s orders. A third option is to try switching medications in an attempt to find one that has less drastic side effects.
A natural supplement may also be used, either as a sole treatment for depression (discontinuing the prescription medication) or as a helpful supplement to reduce the depression weight gain. Natural treatments such as grape seed or green tea can be used to help boost the metabolism or suppress the appetite of the patient.
A combination of herbs to treat depression combined with those to treat obesity or appetite can be an effective alternative to drugs. Many people choose this option because of the lack of side effects. Herbal treatments are also popular because they don’t carry the same stigma as prescription antidepressants. Many depression sufferers are reluctant to seek medical attention due to what they are afraid their family and friends will think of them.
Depression and weight gain is a very common problem and many labs are working on a solution. New drugs and antidepressants are being developed every day that claim to be appetite suppressants or to regulate both depression and weight gain. However, until these have been well tested, the choices are limited.