Causes for weight gain part 2
Let me share with you the prescription medications that cause weight gain. Similarly, unnatural chemicals (xenobiotics) can cause you to put on unwanted storage fat. Let me explain how this happens.
Medications that contribute to abnormal weight gain
There are many medications that cause weight gain. I’ll briefly list them here for you:
Antidepressants: Antidepressants especially the SSRI family (Prozac, Zoloft, Zyprexa, Paxil) are medicines that increase fluid retention and cause edema. Their weight gain effect is reversible however. For example, Zyprexa made by Eli Lilly caused 20 pounds or more weight gain in 30% of users after the first year of use according to a study.
Antihistamines: an example is cyproheptadine (Periactin) and similar drugs for allergy
Bipolar medications: Lithium, a common bipolar disorder medication puts on weight
Breast cancer chemotherapies: the mechanism of weight gain is not well understood
Contraceptives: synthetic estrogen and progesterone found in oral contraceptives are a commonly found to be a cause for fluid retention and increased appetite.
Corticosteroids: prednisone use longer than 3 months will usually cause irreversible weight gain. I have met several patients over the years who were very upset that they were never told of this well-known side effect—gaining even 50 - 100 pounds within two years.
Diabetes medications: Diabeta and Diabinese can sometimes cause weight gain
Heartburn treatments: acid pump blockers Prevacid® and Nexium® can cause slight weight gain
Migraine relievers / seizure control medications:
The anti-seizure medication depakote (valproic acid) is known to cause weight gain
Anti-nausea medications: the phenothiazines are used to treat nausea or dizziness but can cause weight gain.
Pain relievers: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen can cause weight gain.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): synthetic estrogens or progesterone can cause you to gain weight. Synthetic hormones are known to have a xenobiotic effect. Xenobiotics are biologically active foreign molecules that cause disease.
Xenobiotics are hormone-mimicker molecules that contribute to abnormal weight gain. What we know about adipose tissue is that it is a reservoir for unnatural chemicals that your body cannot effectively eliminate. They cause inflammation, and even immune responses. Chemicals such as pesticides, industrial compounds, cosmetic ingredients, medications and even synthetic hormone medications become absorbed into your body. If they don’t get sufficiently detoxified and eliminated via your urine or stool, then they will be stored in your fat for years . Then when they are released from adipose (fat) cells into your bloodstream they carry inflammation to the rest of your body.
One example is the visceral adipose tissue (belly fat) heart disease connection. Research has actually shown how environmental chemicals stored in your body fat contribute greatly to abnormal blood sugar, cognitive decline and even depressed mood. I have come to understand that any molecule that is unnatural to the human body is a candidate to disrupt normal cell-to-cell communication. This means that the delicate communication of hormone molecules with their target tissue cells also becomes disrupted. Xenobiotics are thought to block the effect of your natural hormones.
As I see it you can do one or all of the following:
Eliminate your ongoing exposure to xenobiotics (chemicals such as pesticides, industrial compounds, cosmetic and personal care product ingredients, and medications) from what you ingest or apply to your skin/hair
Beef up your liver function for optimal detoxification. Supplements known to activate your liver detoxification are methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), betaine hydrochloride, and D-glucarate. And these three boost glutathione (major liver antioxidant) synthesis: milk thistle (silymarin), n-acetyl L-cysteine (NAC), and R-lipoic acid.
Boost your elimination of the fat-soluble chemical waste. To do this you can do a bile system cleanse twice yearly. You can also do a liquid cleanse twice yearly. In my next blog I’ll provide simple instructions for both of these.
To help maintain the beneficial effect, eat nutrient-rich, high fiber, mostly raw whole foods. These foods are naturally high in phytochemicals, which consistently keep your metabolism running clean and your bowels moving. You can also supplement with green superfood nutrient powders in smoothies and do a whole day of just fresh juicing every 3 months. Also, consider probiotics for intestinal health.
In my next blog you can get the detailed instructions on these two important cleanses described here.
Best of health,
Michael Cutler, M.D.