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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Severe Obesity and Lyme

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Author Topic: Severe Obesity and Lyme
seekhelp
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I don't see this discussed much, but I'm very curious. How many people here or ones you know ever beat Lyme and co-infections if morbidly obese (100+ lbs overweight)? I recall the one person who had the Bionic 880 treatment in Germany and failed mentioned severe weight issues.

I too have these issues. Does it make beating TBIs 50x harder?

It always makes me wonder how many issues are due to Lyme and other stuff? I obviously functioned much better before falling acutely ill,but if recovery is horribly diminished due to this barrier, then it's useless.

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CD57
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Dr S of FL says obesity is bart.

**edited name of LLMD**

[ 07-06-2011, 03:44 PM: Message edited by: Lymetoo ]

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seekhelp
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I personally believe it's poor eating habits since a child and now complete lack of exercise due to physical barriers imposed by my illness. I feel blaming obesity on an infection is inaccurate often. I may be wrong, but MILLIONS of people are severely overweight in the U.S. and I'd venture 99.9% don't have Bartonella! [Smile]
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scorpiogirl
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CD57, are you saying Bart CAUSES obesity??

I'm positive for Bart and trust me I am underweight and have been ALL my LIFE including now. The only two times I ever tipped the scale at triple digits (over 100 lbs) were when I was pregnant! So no way no how Bart is causing obesity!!!

I would venture to say that obesity would make everything harder... you are putting so much more stress on your already stressed body. I can't imagine it make fighting Lyme and Co any easier.

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Jennifer70
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I didnt start gaining weight until I had lyme, I worked out every day, was a nutritionist and ate healthy.......not that I didnt struggle with my weight my whole life, but I maintained a size 8 for the most part. within three years since my first symptom I put on about 70 lbs.

I can defintiely say that some of this weight gain is from inactivity, but I have tried so hard to exercise daily when I can. I love to exercise and miss it. I believe the lyme/bart/babs whatever came first then the weight.

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Psalm 119:50
My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.

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faithful777
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Before Lyme I worked out 4 days a week lifting weights and was extremely active. Gained weight at a rapid weight as soon as I became ill.

I was a normal weight until lyme. Gained over 100 lbs and just got it off in the past 18 months using hcg sublingually.

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Faithful

Just sharing my experience, I am not a doctor.

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katiebobatie
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faithful,

i've thought about doing hcg myself... it sounds like it really works for you!!!

i've tried pretty much everything, except hcg... where did you buy your from (i know some brands are deluted and don't work)

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annier1071
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Katie

I had this same issue but mine turned out to be my thyoid for many years that I never knew I had.

You do not even have to have low blood counts for thyroid. They can read normal but when you discuss the weight gain with your doc he will try armour thyroid at a lower dose at first. If you blood counts do not rise then you know it is your thyroid not functioning correctly.

I also found that the healthier I eat the more I gained

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Diagnosed with chronic neuro lyme 12/10 after 30 years of vertigo.2 tick bites in 3 yrs from upstate NY. Was on omincef for nine mths..zith and rifampin stopped.Remission~ All the pain and symptoms are back and I am not treating now with biaxin.

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Dogsandcats
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I have always been "a big girl" as my mother put it. In the last year, partly due to inactivity and not a careful diet, I have put on 30 pounds. Thirty pounds I didn't need.

What is hcg?

Lack of exercise is a biggie for me. It really bums me out.

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God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he'll be there.

Billy Graham

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anonymiss
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Wow, this is all very informative! I am coming to believe that I may have contracted my first TBI in the last trimester of my pregnancy. Up until that point, I had done very well maintaining my weight (I went into pregnancy overweight and my midwives recommended that I try not to gain any weight at all during pregnancy) and then suddenly, in the last trimester I piled on 20 lbs despite not having changed my diet one single bit. Since the birth of my son my weight will flucuate (sometimes rapidly) by 20 lbs. I have actually gone to bed at my "regular" weight and woken up 20 lbs lighter, several times!
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JeniferM
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I, too, used to lift weights 2 to 3 hours a day 6 days a week. I miss those days. sigh. I am now at least 50 pounds overweight myself. I thought it was due to not being able to exercise, or even move around much, anymore. Although, it's always been difficult for me to keep the weight off even when I was exercising. I also think I contracted Lyme when I was a child - things have just progressively gotten worse and worse over the years.

But, yeah, as soon as you walk into a doctor's office they immediately think you eat too much and need to exercise more. My Chiropractor thinks this and keeps telling me I need to take walks and whatnot. Yeah, I would if I could. It's very depressing.

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IgM: [18++,31+++,34++,41++,83-93+] [39 IND]
IgG: [41 IND]
Positive according to IGeneX. Negative according to CDC. Negative for co-infections.
Currently treating for Lyme, Bartonella, Babesia

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scorpiogirl
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It's all about calories in calories out... if we eat more than what we use on the daily basis we WILL GET FAT even if we just eat salad! Of course being sick and unable to stay active will contribute to the weight gain. Not to mention Lyme and Co could have messed up our metabolism.

When we're home not moving and feeling depressed what's there to do than eat? I used to think I don't eat that much... oh really? When I started noticing I realized I sure was! When I prepare foods for the family I take a few bites here and there (which I never accounted for). So many times I put food in mouth that I didn't want or wasn't hungry but just b/c it's there! So lots of bad habits here. Then of course I eat due to the nausea, so that doesn't help either. But all this and I'm barely 97lbs soaking wet! The only difference is I used to be 97lbs TONED and now I'm 97 lbs flabs. So clearly my body composition is no longer the same! [Frown]

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gmb
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I'm male and gained almost 50 lbs from time of tick bite to start of treatment almost five years later. I dropped 10 lbs the first month on abx.

Most of my weight gain was most likely bloat from the disease, and the havoc Lyme plays with the gut. I've read in many places where LLMDs say "heal the gut first". Leaky Gut Syndrone can cause weight gain on very little calory intake.

After a year on abs I'm down 30 lbs from my high and have plateau'd. The next 10 lbs will have to come off with excercise when I can get more active.

gmb

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jmb
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Calories in = calories out is a little simple if you ask me. Just as genetic disposition to explain weight. Lyme and co adds to the mix - disrupting a number of functions that could lead to weight gain or loss. Sugar metabolism and hormone balance to name a couple.

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enjoy the day.

-jmb

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scorpiogirl
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Yes Lyme and Cos may cause you to crave certain foods, increase your appetite and may even cause you body to metabolize the foods different than in a healthy person. But at the end of the day without calories in their is no way you can be overweight! I just think many people like myself eat but are not aware because we don't sit down and eat a real meal! My sister in law is overweight... but she claims she doesn't eat a lot. And in a way it is true b/c she would never set a plate for herself. She will eat off other people's plates though! Ugh... eating off other people's plates is still not calories free!

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mom2kids
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@Scorpiogirl, I'm right there with you, I'm 5'6" and only weigh 103 lbs. Nothing I eat adds weight and I usually spend 16-20 hours a day in bed. Not sleeping, just can't get up and function. My doc put me on synthroid a couple of years ago for hypothyroidism. Which I never understood, I know one of my "T" levels was low, but I really had no other symptoms (I don't think, can't remember what the SX are right now). Anyway, that just made my hair fall out more so I stopped taking it.

Being overweight, eating off other people's plates and saying you are on a diet is like saying you quit smoking, but bum cigarettes off people all the time...just saying. [Smile]

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Down on her knees, she wept on the floor.
This hopeless life, she wanted no more.
Dead in the mind and cold to the bone,
She opened her eyes and saw she was alone. ~Seether

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scorpiogirl
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Mom2kids,

It's funny b/c we wouldn't have noticed this until one day her husband said "Eating off of my plates is not calories free!". Then the whole family looked up and we realized why he's about 30 lbs underweight and she's not!! I bet you anything this has been going on the whole 20 years of their marriage!! LOL. We actually all had that "Aha!" moment!

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ktkdommer
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I always wondered why my carb cravings were so strong and I seemed to have control in my life with everything except that. Then I watched my son get so sick and his cravings were horrendous. I think he would have killed for carbs at times. He gained a lot and now getting better is losing some.

Can parasites bring on any added weight?

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Things are never dull. After 3 fighting Lyme, 2 are in remission. Youngest is still sick, age 22. He has new diagnosed Chiari Malformation and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.

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TerryK
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Seek, I can't answer your question but the author of the book "The Lyme Disease Solution" states that 80% of Chronic Lyme patients are overweight or obese.

It makes sense to me that it would be harder for medications to penetrate if you have a lot of extra fatty tissue or edema. Also, there may be less of a theraputic level if one is bigger unless the dose is adjusted upwards. I find that many doctors do not take weight into account.

scorpiogirl wrote:
"... if we eat more than what we use on the daily basis we WILL GET FAT even if we just eat salad!"

True but I do not think it makes sense to reduce calories so low that you put yourself in further danger and lower your metabolism even more. I gained 70 lbs in one year while strictly eating 600 calories a day. I think that is extreme and unusual but it truly did happen to me and I know a few others that have lyme who have also dealt with extreme weight gain without taking in a normal calorie level.

Some reasons lyme patients gain weight:

Biotoxins from lyme and/or mold mess with leptin. Leptin tells your body to make fat.

Blood sugars get messed up and that can cause weight gain.

Metabolism changes.

Decreased activity levels.

Non-pitting edema which is listed as a symptom of lyme. This happens to be my biggest weight problem.

As far as craving carbs, some lyme patients get acquired porphyria which requires a higher carb intake and may cause a craving for carbs. Messed up blood sugars can also cause a carb craving.

Terry

[ 07-10-2011, 04:05 PM: Message edited by: TerryK ]

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TerryK
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miss wrote:
Since the birth of my son my weight will flucuate (sometimes rapidly) by 20 lbs.

Gaining or losing more than 2.2 kg (~5 lbs) in a 24 hour period indicates edema. Losing a lot of weight while recumbant (laying down) could indicate orthostatic edema. I was diagnosed with that over 20 years ago. Also with idiopathic edema. Idiopathic = we don't know what causes it. It got very bad after the birth of my daughter.

After abx for another condition the problem went away. After I became extremely ill with lyme it reappeared. It was no doubt always related to lyme for me.

Terry

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tickbiter
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I gained about 25lbs from the time i was bitten until to when i figured out i had lyme a year and 8 months later...so not a significant weight gain but the heaviest i have ever been. I also had yeast issues during this time which i think i contracted from my girlfriend. Anyways...since starting abx 3 months ago, i have maintained a pretty strict no sugar/low carb diet along with diflucan and probiotics and i have lost about 30 pounds. So i think making sure your gut is healthy is the key, and also staying away from sugars and refined carbs. Dont stay away from carbs completely as i did for a couple weeks and i started feeling awful. Worked back in some brown rice, buckwheat and quinoa.
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scorpiogirl
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quote:
Originally posted by TerryK:
Seek, I can't answer your question but the author of the book "The Lyme Disease Solution" states that 80% of Chronic Lyme patients are overweight or obese.


60-70% of our population is either overweight or obese! And these people do NOT have LYME!! So it's no surprising that 80% of people sick with Lyme (who can no longer exercise) are overweight!

quote:
Originally posted by TerryK:

True but I do not think it makes sense to reduce calories so low that you put yourself in further danger and lower your metabolism even more. I gained 70 lbs in one year while strictly eating 600 calories a day. I think that is extreme and unusual but it truly did happen to me and I know a few others that have lyme who have also dealt with extreme weight gain without taking in a normal calorie level.
Terry

This part doesn't make any sense to me. I don't know how anyone can gain 70lbs in a year eating 600 calories a day! An average person needs 1200 calories/day or 8400/week for maintenance. To gain a pound a week you need in excess another 3200 calories! And your intake at 600/day is only 4200/week. Since you gained 1.34lbs a week we'll deduct the 3200 calories from the total leaving us the 1000 calories/week or 142/day. A body burns 1000 calories per day just breath, eating, brushing teeth. Thus it's not possible to stay alive on just 142/calories a day!

As far as leptin resistance goes it can impact the
sensation of fullness and satiety, thus causing people to over eat. Again you still have to eat to gain weight. Your body simply cannot just add pounds on it's own.

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glm1111
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Google Parasites + weight gain

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PARASITES/WORMS ARE NOW
RECOGNIZED AS THE NUMBER 1 CO-INFECTION IN LYME DISEASE BY ILADS*

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lymewreck36
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I am the bionic 880 severely overweight person mentioned in the beginning of this post. I do think infections have a lot to do with it.

Saw Dr. W. yesterday for bionic treatment. He asked me why I am so large!!!!

Mary

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TerryK
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I went to a research hospital clear across the country and was studied for 10 days while in the hospital. My fluid/weight gain is documented by a medical staff who controlled everything I ate and drank. You are wrong if you think weight gain is as simple as eating an extra 3200 calories = 1 lb of weight gain for every person on the face of the earth.

Scorpio wrote:
Since you gained 1.34lbs a week

My weight gain is not a steady gain. If you care to look in the archives you will see a number of other lyme patients have similar patterns. I've gained as much as 13lbs in one day and could not lose it once gained. One medication caused me to gain 30lbs in 2 weeks.

Usually when I'm rapidly gaining weight I have very little appetite. This kind of weight gain is typically fluid according to the doctor who studied my condition. I believe it's all related to lyme and/or co-infections.

It's late and I need to get some sleep. I'll try to come back tomorrow after I dig up my research on leptin.

Terry

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TerryK
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Scorpio wrote:
As far as leptin resistance goes it can impact the
sensation of fullness and satiety, thus causing people to over eat. Again you still have to eat to gain weight. Your body simply cannot just add pounds on it's own.

Leptin does much more than control appetite. Here are a few effects according to Dr. Holtorf.
http://thyroid.about.com/od/loseweightsuccessfully/a/weight-loss-diet.htm

Kent Holtorf, MD: The hormone leptin has been found to be a major regulator of body weight and metabolism. Leptin is secreted by fat cells and the levels of leptin increase with the accumulation of fat.

The increased leptin secretion that occurs with increased weight normally feeds-back to the hypothalamus as a signal that there are adequate energy (fat) stores. This stimulates the body to burn fat rather than continue to store excess fat, and stimulates thyroid releasing hormone (TRH) to increase thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid production.

Studies are finding, however, that the majority of overweight individuals who are having difficulty losing weight have varying degrees of leptin resistance, where leptin has a diminished ability to affect the hypothalamus and regulate metabolism. This leptin resistance results in the hypothalamus sensing starvation, so multiple mechanisms are activated to increase fat stores, as the body tries to reverse the perceived state of starvation.

The mechanisms that are activated include diminished TSH secretion, a suppressed T4 to T3 conversion, an increase in reverse T3, an increase in appetite, an increase in insulin resistance and an inhibition of lipolysis (fat breakdown).

These mechanisms may be in part due to a down-regulation of leptin receptors that occurs with a prolonged increase in leptin


_______________________________________________

I've posted in the past (will be in the archives) about biotoxins and leptin. Also, c-reactive protien (often elevated in lyme patients) causes problems with leptin so if we can get c-reactive protien down, that may help.

http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v12/n4/full/nm1372.html

There is more but I don't want to take this post off topic and I'm low on time anyway.

Terry
I'm not a doctor

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Liz D
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at the onset of lyme symptons I gained 50 pounds 'overnight'. this was during the same diet and excercise regime I always followed.
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feelfit
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Scorpio Girl. all things with this illness do not make sense. I can attest to having had a response similar to TerryK's. Low caloric intake and a wt. gain of 25-30 pounds in a year.

It doesn't make sense. I was a fitness competitor, know all about caloric intake, wt. gain/loss....

my diet has always been clean, i.e. no bad habits, and still i gain and do not lose with or without movement. I would estimate my caloric intake to be around 1000/day...tops.

When I first became ill, I also had a period of extreme wt. loss...like 20 pounds in 2 1/2 weeks..I was (before the wt. loss) in supreme, competitive shape and then went to emaciated appearance in a very short time.....

TerryK has given some very good reasons for the wt. And, I believe that Dr.S of Florida states that Babesiosis causes fat to be stored in the belly...

Seek, weight is not a good thing to have hanging around with ANY health condition...but I'm sure that you know that [Smile]

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jenniferk32
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If I'm understanding you correctly, you're wondering if being overweight will inhibit your progress in recovery. I would treat it anyway, you will only know if you try. While treating, you can also eat healthy and add more activity, as much as you can tolerate. On good days, do more. On bad days, do less.

However, I do believe that sluggishness breeds more sluggishness. Sitting around makes me feel less energetic rather than better. So I try to keep moving even when I feel like crap, even if it's just a 20 minute walk. Outdoors is always best, the fresh air and sunshine does wonders for people.

I've struggled with my weight my whole life, long before I had lyme. I've lost about 80 pounds at a snail's pace over the last 4 years, and I was diagnosed with lyme and started treatment in January of this year.

From when I had the tick bite, I know I've had it 10 years untreated. So during those 10 years I gained and then slowly lost weight. For me, I think my weight has nothing to do with lyme.

I know it makes some people less active because of pain, and I have less pain than others. It's definitely there, but not enough to keep me down. I love being physically active and I think it actually helps with pain.

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17hens
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http://www.personalconsult.com/articles/obesityandbartonella.html

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"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalms 73:26

bit 4/09, diagnosed 1/10

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feelfit
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same author as above....speaking of babesia! in Public Health Alert:

Kim was 60 pounds overweight. She had Lyme and Babesia. She was placed and Mepron 2 teaspoons per day and was told after 6 months she was cured of Babesia. She was retested, and her ECP was slightly raised and so I sent her to have two different labs run visual exams of her blood. One found Babesia. I had learned by then, that 1500 mg of Mepron per day merely lowers body load and does not cure most patients, so we gave her a higher dose. She was also placed on high dose Artesunate, and not merely at an ineffective dose of 3 capsules per day, which may kill Babesia but will not result in a cure years later. As she lost her Babesia she lost 30-35 pounds.

I guess that babesia, bartonella, lyme, mold and toxins can cause wt. gain/inability to lose wt.. Treat the illness and lose...at least some do [Smile]

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TerryK
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From Dr. B's guidelines

"Activation of the inflammatory cascade has been implicated in blockade of cellular hormone receptors. One example of this is insulin resistance; clinical hypothyroidism can result from receptor blockade and thus hypothyroidism can exist despite normal serum hormone levels."

"These may partly account for the dyslipidemia
and weight gain that is noted in 80% of chronic Lyme patients. In addition to measuring free T3 and T4 levels, check basal A.M. body temperatures. If hypothyroidism is found, you may need to treat with both T3 and T4 preparations until blood levels of both are normalized. To ensure sustained levels, when T3 is prescribed, have it compounded in a time-release form.."

Seek - I believe it's hard to get good tissue penetration when one has massive inflammation and we know that lyme is an inflammatory disease. Dealing with inflammation and getting a theraputic dose (as measured by a lab) could make a big difference for some of us.


Jenni wrote:
However, I do believe that sluggishness breeds more sluggishness. Sitting around makes me feel less energetic rather than better. So I try to keep moving even when I feel like crap, even if it's just a 20 minute walk. Outdoors is always best, the fresh air and sunshine does wonders for people.

On the surface that is sound advice but not good for some of us. For those who have dysautomia with POTS or neurally mediated hypotension our blood pressure drops and our pulse increases greatly when we stand up or walk around.

The stress from this used to make me sick for days and if I was in the sun my blood pressure would drop even more, sometimes to dangerously low levels. This has gotten better with treatment for lyme but even with meds to try to keep my blood pressure up I still can have severe lows.

I think those who are in that position need to wait until they've had enough treatment that their blood pressure doesn't drop too much. Most helpful would be to find a rehab person who knows about our blood pressure issues who could help us work our way back up once we are deconditioned but I haven't found one yet.

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katiebobatie
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this is very offensive to me [Frown]

as a weight conscious person, i can assure you that i have not gained from over eating.

i don't even LIKE food anymore.

the thought of eating usually makes me want to puke. nothing tastes good to me!

i WISH it was as simple as calories in and calories out.

its great that it works that way for some people, but i can assure you that it doesn't for everyone.

i guess my terrible experience has to actually happen to people before they believe this.

it must be nice to be 97lbs and think everyone else who isn't just sits around overeating all the time.

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katiebobatie
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p.s. i'm glad theres at least a few people in this post who can understand. although i'm sincerely sorry they are in the same boat!
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nefferdun
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I always felt I had low thyroid function because I had so many symptoms of it (before lyme) but my test results were normal so no doctor would treat me.

Finally I was found to have nodules and was put on medication to prevent them from becoming cancer. I had radiation as a child.
Last year I tested positive for antigens against the thyroid so I have an auto immune disease causing low thyroid function.

I have read lyme can bring this on. If you are having problems with your weight and you have hypo symptoms you should try using armour. It is very safe. The fact is, your thyroid stops producing when you supplement, so you are not adding to what you have until you take a normal dose.

Things to look for that are not similar to infection are loss of hair on arms, legs and outer third of eyebrow), swelling of the tongue so you see an indentation of your teeth, no moons in fingernails, dry scaly skin (like an alligator), heavy irregular periods, miscarriage and coarse broken hair . Symptoms similar to infection are depression, weight gain, inability to think and feeling tired all the time.

I gained weight too but not a lot as I was on medication.

You do have to look at what you eat though. Much of the highly refined processed food our society is addicted to, has very little nutrition so they really are starving.

--------------------
old joke: idiopathic means the patient is pathological and the the doctor is an idiot

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kelmo
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jmb...it is NOT that simple. My daughter weighed 96 pounds when she got ill. IN THREE MONTHS she put on 100lbs. All the "specialists" we went to just said, "well, you are eating well". She wasn't eating hardly anthying. This disease does awful things to you.

She was 16 when this happened. I had to constantly run to the store and find clothes to fit her. Rumors went around school that she was pregnant. She went from a size 0 to a 14 in three months. Wrap your head around that!

She is now back down to 98 lbs after treatment. She is a vegan. She eats very little fat or sugar.

If anyone here put on weight as quickly as my daughter did, and I know there are many, it is not your fault. Watch your diet, get up and walk around, get your thyroid and hormones checked, then have patience.

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Geet3721
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I was a overweight kid an adult but always modestly so, never extremely large just chubby, when in 2001 I lost a lot of weight and was within normal range or just a few pounds over.

in 2006 I started to gain back a little but in late 2007 -early 2008 about when I started feeling crappy until now I have gained lolts of weight I am currently over 150 lbs overweight and extremely frustrated I eat well and get no where its frustrating and I believe lyme and cos have there part to play.

--------------------
When the going gets tough. . . I'll keep fighting!
Ms. Geet3721

New LLMD, New abx, New life coming right up!!!!

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mom2kids
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It is frustrating for both ends of the spectrum. I am underweight (not by choice) and I would never say to somebody struggling with too much weight, "maybe you shouldn't eat that ____...", but people have no problem telling me that I need to eat. My other favorite is that some people think I am a "drug addict" and that is why I am so thin and sick. It sucks whichever end you are on...

--------------------
Down on her knees, she wept on the floor.
This hopeless life, she wanted no more.
Dead in the mind and cold to the bone,
She opened her eyes and saw she was alone. ~Seether

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