Depression and Weight Issues - Prosac rambling




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giselley
07-22-2013, 12:08 PM
I finally broke down and accepted taking Prozac for depression. Not a large dosage as I was afraid that I would have "no" emotions and I did not want that. I was put on 10mg. The doctor said a "child's" dose.

Any way, it has been a week, and I know that it takes about 4-6 weeks to take full effect.

I have noticed that it has a tremendous appetite suppressant effect in me. I looked it up and appetite suppressing is one of the side effects.

I have been stuck in a holding pattern diet wise for a while now. A long time. I just can't seem to loose weight. I realized (perhaps this should be in the "confessions" forum) that I have been sabotaging my weight loss by drinking too much alcohol (beer) and having a pattern of binge eating (usually while drinking). The binge eating is usually high carb also. Over indulgence in pasta, rice, potatoes and other white foods. Also salty snacks. I am not much of a fan of sugar.

Since the serotonin level is getting better (I assume) the desire to drink is also greatly reduced, as well as the binging that went with it and I am now beginning to loose the water weight and next will go the fat. I can actually see a difference after only a week.

I was wondering in what way food and lowered serotonin levels are connected. Obviously eating raises serotonin, so it seems to me that something that elevates serotonin would also lower the need for food (obviously you need enough food to live, I am not talking about "no food" I am talking about way too much food-- as bingers eat).

I am now really considering that the weight I have gained in the past is potentially the result of a chemical imbalance, the same that causes depression. Has anyone thought of this? Are there studies?

I also was thinking that what causes the Obesity epidemic is simply "stress" that is whatever leads to depression. People were simply do not have the make up to deal with "modern" life. There is more obesity now because there is more stress and more readily available food. Food alleviates stress, but it is okay if it happens once or twice per year, but every day will lead to obesity. (Also the fact that in nature many of these foods do not exist).

This is probably a silly post, but I would like to hear a few opinions. Humans/ nature/ stress/ depression/ binge eating.


peccavi
07-23-2013, 09:42 AM
Not a silly post at all!
I think you're on to something. It's hard to say if the appetite suppressant effect from the Prozac is going to remain at its current intensity in the long run... In my experience, a lot of the side effects from psych meds (positive AND negative side effects) tend to drop off after a month or so has passed. However, I've noticed that I certainly have more cravings when I'm unmedicated, which I have been lately. There's definitely a connection which is both emotional and physiological.

I found this at PubMed:
"Serotonin-releasing brain neurons are unique in that the amount of neurotransmitter they release is normally controlled by food intake: Carbohydrate consumption--acting via insulin secretion and the "plasma tryptophan ratio"--increases serotonin release; protein intake lacks this effect. This ability of neurons to couple neuronal signaling properties to food consumption is a link in the feedback mechanism that normally keeps carbohydrate and protein intakes more or less constant. However, serotonin release is also involved in such functions as sleep onset, pain sensitivity, blood pressure regulation, and control of the mood. Hence many patients learn to overeat carbohydrates (particularly snack foods, like potato chips or pastries, which are rich in carbohydrates and fats) to make themselves feel better."

As far as obesity being caused by stress levels, I'm sure stress does play a part and I agree that we aren't well equipped to deal with such a high-stress world. I am pretty sure a lot of studies/surveys have shown America to be one of the most stressed out countries in the world, and of course we also have extremely high obesity rates. They may have overlapping causes, and I think that stress makes it difficult to make sensible eating choices, while poor eating choices simultaneously make many people more stressed out in the long run, and the cycle continues. I think there's probably a lot more to it though. There are so many things in our environment that seem to be sabotaging us these days.

I'm going to be starting on Prozac again within a week or so, assuming my appointment with my new psychiatrist goes as planned. I was never on a high enough dose the first time I tried Prozac (I was a teenager and didn't want to take more than 5 mg out of stubbornness). It will be interesting to see what effect it has on my eating. I have been having a difficult time lately and craving lots of white carbs.

Thanks for getting me thinking this morning!

giselley
08-08-2013, 03:16 PM
Hi, thanks for your answer. I had totally forgotten where I had posted this message. I have been taking the Prozac now for 3 weeks now. The appetite suppressant effect is not as strong, but it is still there. I am eating quite moderately, snacking on carrots and celery, tea or water for drinks mainly (no sugar). My new alcohol rule is no more than 2 standard drinks per week.

Since the serotonin level is made to go up due to the drug, I do not have to use carbohydrates to get it up.

Negative side effects: I am still sleeping quite a lot, and have had a few headaches. I also seem to run out of steam earlier than usual, but I have been "lazy" since starting the Prozac. It is very hot outside and we don't have air conditioning, so I am pretty sure the weather has something to do with my "laziness."