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Weight gain after stroke!


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25 replies to this topic

#1 tiniree

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:22 PM

Hi everyone -

I had a stroke in March 2012 at age 47. Prior to that, I had spent three years regaining my eyesight after the lenses in both eyes detached, 1.5 years apart. During that time, my mother passed away suddenly.

To say the past few years have been streesful is an understatement. Just before my eye trouble, I had been successfully attending Weight Watcher's and had lost 21 pounds. I was only 6 lbs from my goal weight.

Well, as you can tell my the topic title, the weight came back on PLUS some. Since my stroke, my #1 priority has been following therapy and getting better.

Two days ago was my 1 year post stroke anniversary and I have decided to say "Goodbye" to the excess weight! We successfully were able to get my insurance company to cover the cost of a Walk-Aid for me, and I am good to go!

Anyone else dealing with weight gain after their stroke??

Marie

#2 fking

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:39 PM

Welcome aboard Marie,

Glad to have you as our member and do hope you will meet other survivors, some in your age range, some not but all know about strokes and care giving from experience. I think you will enjoy this site for information, friendships, and medical info to help you understand about strokes and the recovery processes.

#3 ksmith

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 06:39 PM

Marie,
Weight can be a huge issue for survivors when they may be suffering from low self-esteem from the stroke. I gained 100 lbs after my stroke and have body dysmorphia on top of it. You can think to yourself that the weight wasn't something you did yourself ( i.e. eating junk food,drinking) but rather as a result from not being able to move well or having enough energy. As with recovery, everything will seem to be moving at a snails pace. Being limited and medicine side effects, it will take more patience to lose the weight. The first thing is ... great you survived the stroke. Now is putting your life into perspective. Are we happy with the weight gain? But first thing first..the first year, depending on how much the stroke effected you, is mainly the time where your body and brain start to re learn how to work in unison.
You've had some devastating events leading up to your stroke. Allow yourself to absorb everything and with warmer weather as well with more energy, get outside and remember it's not going to come off fast and keep in mind to some medicines are a butt. ;)

#4 gmeager

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 10:51 AM

I am trying to loose a couple of stone aswell. I have often wondered over the last 10 years post stroke if the stroke had an effect on my metabalism and he short answr is yes it does and there is a considerable amount of research available on the net to support that theory.However snacking and overeating you will still put on those extra pound just the same asyou would pre stroke.

#5 fking

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 02:06 PM

HostGed.

Man, I do all that snacking, eat regular meals, drink 2% milk, eat fruit and I'm still loosing weight like I'm on a diet of some kind. My waist line has gone down to where my pants don't fit anymore. What could it be??

#6 ksmith

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 06:19 PM

I am trying to loose a couple of stone aswell. I have often wondered over the last 10 years post stroke if the stroke had an effect on my metabalism and he short answr is yes it does and there is a considerable amount of research available on the net to support that theory.However snacking and overeating you will still put on those extra pound just the same asyou would pre stroke.

I have often though about that too http://www.livestron...low-metabolism/

#7 mcdube

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 06:57 PM

Hi Marie, Marie-Claire here, I am 29 years post At about 20 years post I lost 110 pounds with Weight Watchers, a few years later it was almost all back. I guess someone found it and send it back. Since then, I have been on a diet off and on. I am at my menopause now so the weight just wont come off. If you find the miracle diet please let me know. I went back on Weight Watchers but this time I gained instead of losing. Best of luck to you,

mc

#8 gmeager

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 04:29 PM

I think one of the problems stroke sufferers have is that after our initial discharge from hospital immediately post stroke we go back to eating exactly the same amounts as we did previously. Without taking into account we are less mobile, therefore burning less calories, our metabolism have slowed down as a result of the stroke I think we should see a qualified dietisian to getit sortd properly taking all the factors into account.

#9 becky1

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 11:46 PM

MC, YOU'RE A HOOT! You're the only person I've heard say they gained weight while on weight-watcher's. I've gained weight,too. And, it won't go away! And, I'm dieting! I call my tummy "Little Buddha" now. Anyone find anything that works, let us know. Becky

#10 Ethyl17

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 07:50 PM

I can only share what is working for Bruce - and keep in mind, I am the caregiver, so I have the time to do this.

Little history: I weigh 100 lbs soaking wet. Bruce refuses to walk, so is WC bound, by choice. When he was discharged from the SNF he weighed 165 lbs. I kept all his menus and maintained a strict portion control policy. At post year two, I went back to work, as much as I planned out his menus, caregivers always gave him treats and we had one caregiver who cooked, but like me could eat tons (and did) and not gain weight. One year ago Bruce weighed in at 265 lbs. Something had to be done. The cooking caregiver is no longer with us and our new ones know that they are NOT to vary the meal in any way. I went back to portion control and within 3 1/2 months, Bruce dropped 20 lbs.

Now, post stroke, Bruce does not feel hunger. He eats because it is time to eat and he cleans his plate - something from his childhood. But he recognizes portion control, never asks for seconds. In February, Bruce was diagnosed with Diabetes. Total menu change, but I still demand portion control. And at this point, Bruce can even fill his own plate with the proper portions. This does include two daily healthy, no fat, no carbs snacks. Once his blood sugar is level all day, body will not store anything as fat, so in our case the snacks are imperative.

Since February he has dropped another 10 lbs. Our goal is 190 lbs and then maintenance. Take your dinner plate: Carbs should be 1/4 of that plate only - rest is protein, fruits and veggies. You can get into good and bad carbs if you have the time. But if you read your labels and keep your carbs of any type to maximum of 50g per meal, you will be headed in the right direction. I hope this helps. Debbie

#11 leanne

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 10:22 AM

hi everyon,
i have to agree with hostged about mobility, (not pitching or preaching) i also lost weight with w.w. and am a life time member since 2010. pre stroke i was earninrg 75+ activity point a week, and post stroke i struggle to earn 3 a week. most days i cant ever reach 0.

so i had gained 22 lb since stroke, now back at w.w. 3 week and have lost 3.4
losing weight is a matter of calories in vs. calories burnes. if we nt burning we arent losing.

leanne

#12 leese

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:59 AM

I've gained 30lbs this past Winter. A combination of things, or excuses as I view them. A death in the family last Sept. ice and snow inhibiting my independence as well as my husband breaking his leg. We had a one car garage in a condo complex. He needed to pale in from of the garage for his own mobility safety. My car was in the garage, blocked in. . I got accustomed to going out with him driving. I handed over my independence. I stopped going to the rehab gym. It snowballed from there.

Then... We moved in May. It's been 1 1/2 months of motels and eating out and fast food, with choices not often from the salad menu. Ugh. I'm really not happy with my out of control behavior. It's affected my recovery and set me back some. I've fallen 3x in he past 6 months. I'd only fallen once in the 3 years prior since my stroke. I've put myself in an unsafe position.

I'm hoping to change things around, starting today, the 1st of July. We move Into a rental house tomorrow. An exercise bike was bought the other day and is sitting there waiting to be put together. I have hopes ill get myself back on track. I haven't posted here in forever. I thought I'd visit and say hello, and vent a bit to people that know how hard it is.



#13 coneill

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 07:19 PM

My husband, too, has gained weight in the process of recovering from stroke. Before the stroke, he was in good health and good physical condition -- we walked and hiked everywhere -- and he weighed in the 160 lb range at approximately 5' 9". During the medical crisis of the stroke he went as low as 126 lbs. Now, he's back up to 166, but that weight is very obviously concentrated in his abdomen. He is reluctant to do ab excercises because he is afraid of herniating the spot in his middle where the feeding tube was put in during the worst of it.

I can certainly understand that fear. But I'm also concerned that it will become a vicious circle -- if he gets heavier, he'll be even less active and able to do the physical therapy that will help him regain mobility.

Not to mention, the heavier he gets, the harder it is for me to get him standing from a sitting position, as I don't weigh very much for my height. Ironically, I've acquired quite a bit of core body strength from lugging him and the wheelchair around. But I know my limits and if he gets heavier, I'll be at those limits. Besides, HE should be the one gaining core body strength, not me!

I feed us healthily at home, but I'm fairly sure he's getting more calories than he needs at the day health program he goes to three days a week (they serve a lunch that's more like dinner/supper), and he's got a fondness for cookies and ice cream. The last thing I want to do is deprive him, but I've got to bring this up with his primary care doctor.

It's not the attractiveness component that bugs me ... he will always be my treasured one. It's the mobility thing, the fear that he will become imprisoned in his body after all. Anyone else have thoughts?

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 09:06 PM

I also have MS and rigorous exercise was discouraged though thoughts on exercise have changed somewhat depending on the type of MS I find it important to do what I can regarding muscle strength. Extra weight can weaken that abdominal area so it may be important to encourage him to at least slowly work on that and if he grows weaker he may become more susceptible to hernia. Ask his PT or doctor about the risks associated with exercising that body region. It's hard and it's scary and sometimes it's a balancing act but in the long run it's better than the alternative.

#15 Ethyl17

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 09:14 PM

Chris: I have dealt with this the last two years. Bruce lost a remarkable amount just after the stroke, but then started to creep up. When he hit 250, that was a problem. He was also diagnosed with diabetes at the same time. Dietician at work could not help, so I reached out to Colleen (1967stingray) for help.

It is not a diabetic diet - just healthy food and meal choices. Bruce and I have done portion control since the Rehab. Bruce does not feel hunger or fullness, so that is his only indication of "enough". One plateful and I control the portions.

Getting used to Colleen's way of cooking was tough. We worked through using what I had here in a healthy manner - nothing gets thrown out. But as you replace, you replace with the healthy stuff. And I included Bruce every step of the way. He actually asks for her recipes when helping to prepare meals and tasting. She had us put in a small flower box of herbs - something Bruce loves, tending to his "garden" and since Bruce is no longer smoking, his taste is back. And there is still room for treats.

Don't get me wrong. Carb withdrawal is awful, especially for me. I do feel hunger and have had to adjust to that. I can't eat poor choices in front of him, but I do now pack a healthy breakfast that I eat at work - a meal I have added for me.

But Bruce is now down to 200 - that took almost 9 months. Goal is 150, but Bruce is now back in therapy and with the added exercises, that may just be attainable.

Reach out to Colleen if you need to. She loves all things food. Debbie

#16 becky1

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 09:53 AM

We have talked alot here about weight gain, but I have never seen a few things mentioned here. One is the effects of having a g-tube. All my pre-stroke life, I weighed 95 lbs. until I turned 40, and started to gain a few pounds per year. By the time I stroked, at 50, I weighed about 120. I never dieted, or really even monitored what I ate. Then, stroke, followed by g-tube. After I lost a lot of weight (down to 103), and was steadily losing, they decided to see if I could re-learn how to eat. I could, so, I worked my way up to a regular diet, and my weight started climbing. My weight had never yo-yoed like this before. While on the g-tube, I stopped having BMs, and I was hungry all of the time, even after I'd just had a bolus. I asked my ST about this, and she said that eating by mouth is "nature's way". Makes sense to me. Anyway, there are lots of reasonsfor stroke survivors to gain weight, and it's JMO, but I think that being on a g-tube somehow messes with your metabolism. For me, it's all about deprivation, and it's hard to cme to the conclusion that you can't always eat what you want, and, if you do, it has to be in a decreased amount.Just anothe "gift" from stroke. Becky

#17 coneill

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 08:59 AM

Thank you all. My Dave, too, was diagnosed with diabetes while in subacute and then SNF, but the condition went away after a few months.

Dave's father's twin brother was diabetic, but Dave never was before the stroke. We knew this, but both Dave and I think that his post-stroke diabetic condition was a result of the high-sugar content of the substance he got through the G-tube. I'd be interested to hear the experiences of others on this board; why can't the sugar content of the nutrient be reduced to avoid this condition?!

He was taken off the G-tube while in the SNF (we thought this place was great, and we still go back to visit staff and residents there), and that facility served high quality food. Staff were ultra cautious about his safety in swallowing, because he had also had a trache tube for a while. This also makes me wonder if that procedure, too, re-set his metabolism, particularly because of Becky's post above, relating to anything that disrupts or modified eating by mouth.

I think this may be unexplored medical territory, a relatively subtle thing compared to the more serious macro medical issues that medical staff has to deal with in stroke patients, but look at the possible downstream implications of cost of diabetic/other conditions that could have been avoided. I've seen too many friends not come all the way back from a medical crisis, and get puffy and weak, because of downstream complications not to want to bring this up.

coneill

#18 Ethyl17

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 08:48 PM

Chris: the real issue with tube feedings is absorbtion. The body starts digestion at the mouth, activates digestion. With any tube feeding, you are by-passing that step. Dumping directly into the stomach or even the intestine, alters so much. Very little is absorbed from the stomach. But if you don't give the small intestine time to set up, it won't be 100% affective. So knowing that, what nutrient to put into the G-tube. A dietician's nightmare.

With not active Diabetes diagnosis, dietician is going with the high sugar content every time. Absorbs first and gives the body its "gas" to function. Plus I want to remind everyone that the body is healing. Regardless of what nutrients you put into it, the brain controls and the brain lives on sugar as its "gas" and the brain dictates. And the brain is what is injured.

Becky is also a Nurse and is absolutely right. Any G-tube or even IV nutrition upsets the entire digestive process. The body is not designed to absorb that way. It adjusts because it has to, but it takes a very long time to get it back to normal. The key is the body's weight and its nutritional needs to survive that determines the supplemental nutrition. The small intestine is used to having time to adjust and make plans. As with the brain, re-training and then re-training yet again takes time. On top of that, all the medications needed to accept the supplemental feeding and then the weaning off them.

Stick with portion control now. Insist on the proper lab work to determine the body's stability - pre-albumin and albumin. Get the A1C for diabetes every three months and just limit sugar, go with proteins and less carbs, so the body uses up fat storage. Debbie

#19 coneill

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 02:24 PM

Thanks, Becky and Debbie. Wouldn't have known this without you.

Best, cpo

#20 coneill

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 06:55 PM

Also Ethyl. Thanks, I didn't mean to leave you out, but I did.

Dave has expressed concern about his weight gain so is receptive to what needs to be done.

All of this makes sense... the stroke, in late 2011, was a major insult to the body, and then after that, he came down with c diff while in the subacute/skilled nursing facility in 2011/2012. So that disrupted his digestive system for literally months.

I'd like to see him trim the gut to make him feel more confident about regaining core body strength. We're working with our out-of-network physical therapist on this one.

coneill

#21 Linbit

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 08:15 PM

"Man, I do all that snacking, eat regular meals, drink 2% milk, eat fruit and I'm still loosing weight like I'm on a diet of some kind. My waist line has gone down to where my pants don't fit anymore. What could it be?? (Fking)"

Hey Fred, I have similar problem. I'm 5'1" and have difficulty keeping my weight up to 100 pounds. It's sometimes closer to 90 pounds. But I don't sweat it (except that my doctor is always sticking me with needles to take blood to check my thyroid, ugh!). May have to pay back some day, but right now I happily enjoy eating lots of Italian food.

.....But seriously, I think stress is possibly a 2-way street....some become overweight, some become underweight....both carry health risks. So when I'm feeling stressed, I find things (music, poetry, humor, etc.) to distract me from the stressor. Listening to Bob Marley singing "Three Little Birds" works like a charm!!


#22 fking

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 03:40 PM

You know Lin,

Perhaps this time of the year we do more and eat less but healthy. I know in my case it's not a big problem and I eat all kinds of good foods every day just not a whole lot as was the case in the past before the stroke. I don't do a lot of going and more setting around now.

Like when we hit the road driving to New Orleans I drink a little coffee with a pop tart then don't eat again until we arrive there about 8 hours later from Texas. My reason there is not having to stop to find a clean restroom. I stop about every 100 to 150 miles for restroom breaks and stretch my bad knees. I gas up one time along the way just before we reach the LA border at the Flying J gas station.

#23 Guest_hostwill_*

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 06:17 PM

I TOO HAVE GAINED WEIGHT AND PAM AND I ARE GOING ON THE PALEO DIET FROM THE BOOK: THE WHEATFREE DIET AND COOKBOOK, i T SOUNDS VERY INTERESTING.

-WILL

#24 tleyden

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 02:00 PM

OMG i just read this post and i thought it was one i wrote ! my story is too eerily similar! When i was 45 the retina in my left eye detached - after 10+ procedures, including gas bubble injections, laser surgeries & scleral bucke amounting to about 12 weeks facedown i was still without my sight. i finally adjusted to that after 3 years of treatment and then atage 48 had a. brainstem stroke in march 2013 ( eerie) - i am continually rehabbing myself and because of stroke i lost my swallow and ad a feeding tube for 4 months -i work out many different ways sometimes 3 hours a day - but have gained 30 pounds in 3 monts, my thyroid is controlled on meds and because of the swallowing issue i eat a considerable amount less than i had pre stroke so very perplexed, depressed and irritated about the gain. i am approaching my 1yr rebirth day and that is when i have set my goal to further move. on and not dwell on it (althouh i have. already begun not using it asan 'excuse')

i wishyou well in2014

#25 ksmith

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 03:51 PM

We have talked alot here about weight gain, but I have never seen a few things mentioned here. One is the effects of having a g-tube. All my pre-stroke life, I weighed 95 lbs. until I turned 40, and started to gain a few pounds per year. By the time I stroked, at 50, I weighed about 120. I never dieted, or really even monitored what I ate. Then, stroke, followed by g-tube. After I lost a lot of weight (down to 103), and was steadily losing, they decided to see if I could re-learn how to eat. I could, so, I worked my way up to a regular diet, and my weight started climbing. My weight had never yo-yoed like this before. While on the g-tube, I stopped having BMs, and I was hungry all of the time, even after I'd just had a bolus. I asked my ST about this, and she said that eating by mouth is "nature's way". Makes sense to me. Anyway, there are lots of reasonsfor stroke survivors to gain weight, and it's JMO, but I think that being on a g-tube somehow messes with your metabolism. For me, it's all about deprivation, and it's hard to cme to the conclusion that you can't always eat what you want, and, if you do, it has to be in a decreased amount.Just anothe "gift" from stroke. Becky

I'm not sure that the G-Tube per say had so much with weight gain but rather more and needed calories one needs in recovery. My diet changed big time after my stroke. I began eating the recommended calories for my age and the added medicines I'm on with less activity then before is a recipe for gain. You may have been to small in the beginning and health reasons, your doctor may have opted for more calories. Not sure. Ask them next time, JMO




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