Weight gain due to psychiatric medications and overcoming it

Weight gain due to psychiatric medications

One of the most common risks facing human health in our world today is obesity, which has become a phenomenon that is spreading at epidemic levels. Hardly a day goes by without hearing news or a discovery related to this matter.


Finally, experts concluded that psychiatric  medications, which are now widely used, also contribute to obesity. Some patients suffering from mental illnesses complain of weight gain due to psychiatric medications.


These psychiatric  medications include antidepressants, mood enhancers, and antipsychotics. For example, after 10 years of taking lithium-containing medications, two-thirds of patients will experience a 10kg weight gain.


Antipsychotic medications, in particular, are known to have also been associated with problems controlling blood sugar and cholesterol, and being overweight, as these changes can increase a child’s or teen’s risk of diabetes and heart-related problems.


It seems that the mechanism of this increase is still not understood and complex. Some psychiatric drugs can hinder the central nervous system’s control of energy acquisition, and this will change the rate of the patient’s metabolism.


Patients sometimes have to stop taking these medications to control weight, but this may cause their psychological condition to deteriorate in many times.


There are some signs that alert us to weight gain due to psychotropic drugs, such as noticing the accumulation of fat in the buttocks, abdomen, sides of the body, face and hands.


So what is the solution? How do we continue to take these medications while maintaining fitness and physical health? I will continue with us

Weight gain due to psychiatric medications and overcoming

Causes of weight gain due to psychotropic drugs

Weight gain due to psychotropic drugs is currently the subject of research and exploration by scientists, and the reason for this may be the following:


  • 1- Reducing the rate of fat burning or metabolic rate, 

Metabolism is the rate at which the body consumes calories and burns fat to perform its vital functions, when the body is at rest. The higher the metabolic rate, the lower the weight and vice versa.


  • 2- Increased appetite

Some patients may suffer from a state of high appetite and not feeling full, no matter how much the patient eats.


  • 3- Effect on calories

An imbalance between calories entering the body, physical exertion and calories expelling may lead to weight gain. If the calories entering the body increased, while the physical effort decreased, and thus the calories leaving the body, this led to weight gain.


  • 4- Hormonal imbalance

Hormonal imbalance, especially increased prolactin and low testosterone, may also lead to increased
the weight.


Treating weight gain due to psychiatric medications

Treating weight gain due to psychiatric medications, is essential and imperative. Some psychiatric medications can be very useful in treating mental illness, but at the same time, some of these medications can lead to weight gain. But the following solutions can be relied upon to avoid this anomaly.


1- Take some supplements

There are some supplements that reduce appetite and contribute to the treatment of weight gain due to psychiatric medications, and can be taken without a prescription, such as yeast pills, chromium, and orlistat.


2- Eat a healthy diet

It is worth noting that if the patient is satisfied with taking various nutritional supplements without changing his diet, the result will not be satisfactory. Healthy diets should be followed, such as:


  • The ketogenic diet is a diet that is high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbohydrates.


  • In the beginning, this system was recommended for epilepsy patients, due to its multiple benefits to them. Then it was noted that it is suitable for patients with mental disorders as well, such as patients with schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder.


  • intermittent fasting regimeIntermittent fasting is characterized by its ability to reduce belly fat, and sides at a high speed. In which the patient refrains from eating for at least 16 hours with water and herbal drinks, then eating meals in the remaining eight hours of the day, while refraining from eating between meals as well.


  • Low-calorie meal system, which is one of the famous and traditional diet systems to calculate the daily calories of the body, and reduce the calories entering the body.


3- Lifestyle change

The following tips and ideas can help prevent and manage weight gain associated with psychotropic drugs;


  • Use portion control for all foods at meals and snacks, as you should measure and limit the amount of food given.


  • Choose more healthy food options (eg – fresh fruits and vegetables for snacks).


  • Cut down on snacks and fast food.


  • Drink several large glasses of water throughout the day.


  • Cut back on any drinks that contain sugar (soda, juice, etc.)


  • Set regular meal times.


  • Chew all food slowly and eat it while sitting.


  • Reducing smartphone handling time.


  • Increase your walking rates, as you should walk together after every meal.


  • Use stairs instead of elevators.


  • Do exercise, as exercise is a cornerstone for a slim and harmonious body, and for treating weight gain due to psychotropic drugs.


  • Following these tips can help reduce weight gain when taking psychiatric medications, and help reduce the risk of serious medical problems related to being overweight.