Carb Counters - Antidepressants and Atkins??

View Full Version : Antidepressants and Atkins??

11-06-2003, 06:18 AM
I've got a question for you guys. I have depression and take medicine for it. It is actually a combination medicine called Topamax which treats seizures,depression, migraines and believe it or not is known to counter effect the affects of weight gain from other antidepressants.

I have struggled with many antidepressants and the fact that they can make you gain weight. I feel pretty confident about my medicine now that it doesn't appear to be holding me back at all but I was curious about any of your experiences or knowledge. I've read that Atkins can really help control depression to a degree because you no longer have the carb based mood swinging. That should help me because I can be a moody girl.

What do you think?


11-06-2003, 10:32 AM
Jamie, this is a great question.

There's a groups of ladies here on the 3FC's Depression boards that can give you their opinions as well.

I personally think you will do good with atkins and your meds. But just like your meds, the diet can only do so much. It helps the symptoms but its not a cure.

I have been on different kinds of medications in the past but currently now I am not on anything. I do feel that atkins is helping me with my moods some what, but my SAD is starting to sneak up on me, I have good days and bad, so I will be heading back to the doctors soon for help. I will be looking into Light Therapy, which you can read about on the depression boards also.

Just take it one day at a time and know that your human and you will have moody days anyway.

Hugs !!! Leenie

Kim in NJ
11-06-2003, 02:01 PM
Jamie - I don't take antidepressant meds so I can't give you any advice about Atkins along with them...BUT I have battled depression for years but have refused meds (don't ask me why, I'm just stubborn). I will tell you though that I am a NEW PERSON since I've been following this way of eating. I attribute it to the sugar/carb overload I had been on and now I feel healthy and I jump out of bed in the AM.

Here is an enlightening fact. I just pulled up my attendance record for this year here at work. Between January 1st and June 30th I missed 6 days for illness - (migranes, stomach problems, asthma, upper respir infections).... I went on Atkins on July 10th and have yet to miss even one day!!!! My outlook on life is so much different and I am so much more active with my baby and my 7 yr old.

I will pray for you and this plan to help you in the depression area. Just be sure to let your doctor know exactly what you are doing/eating so that if there is a conflict it can very easily be identified.

11-06-2003, 02:13 PM
I agree with Kim, while I had symptoms of depression and was considering taking meds - altho for me that was a really last resort....I have found that since starting Atkins my MOODS ARE SO MUCH IMPROVED!!!

I think we don't realize that what we put in our bodies affects our moods! I was speaking with an acquaintance who is a psychotherapist - and she decided to study nutrition on the side. She fully believe the sugar/flour connection to some types of mood swings/depression and now asks her patients to bring in their menu plans as well. She makes suggestions and basically advises them to cut out all sugar and white flour products, not exactly low carb, but at least healthier.

She has found that people who do this seem to have less mood swings!

I wish more people realized how those bad carbs really effect you.

I also take 5-htp (hydoxytryptophan) which is recommended in the Atkins book (instead of anti-depressants if possible)...this is the pre-cursor to serotonin and may also help in controlling depression (I take 50 mg before bed - but you can take up to 150 I think?). It's also known as a sleep aid due to the tryptophan (which is what you find in the warm milk you're supposed to drink to make you sleepy!)


11-06-2003, 02:17 PM
I've definitely noticed a change in my moods. I didn't exactly suffer from depression, my problems have centered more around body image and insecurity. I'm much happier, less easily hurt or offended, and a heck of a lot more fun to be around now. :)

11-06-2003, 03:16 PM
I can't respond on the antidepressant issue, but I can respond on other health issues. I have Crohns disease and other yucky intestinal issues. Doctors could never find any type of medicine that would really work, so I was stuck using over-the-counter medicines that half-worked. Well, since starting Atkins, I don't have to worry about any type of medicine, and I don't have the pain or problems I used to. For that sole reason, I'll always stick with it! Oh, plus the fact that I'm losing weight better than I ever have. Atkins is a beautiful thing!


11-06-2003, 03:27 PM
Wow, isn't it amazing that something that gets criticized by everybody I run into can do everything from clear my skin, to cut off our fat, to make us that much more healthy. I'm really interested in this and what you guys say gives me hope because I have been plagued my whole life by migraines, depression, chronic pain and more. Goodness it makes you feel old before your time.

Do you think that Atkins is for everybody? Do you think that everyone will thrive on it or is it just for certain people. My dh has been doing this WOE for 2 days and while I think it's just that he really hasn't quite figured it out, he is just witching and moaning about how starving he is and grumpy and moody. He's driving me nuts. I'm curious if it's possible for there to be people who really just have to have carbs. Do you know? Oh Oracle of truth? :P

11-06-2003, 03:57 PM
How starving he is? There's not restriction on the amount he can eat. Tell him to eat!!! I was terrible the first two days. The carb withdrawls made me an absolute impossibility to be around. I wasn't grumpy - I was MAD. I ate and ate and ate my allowables but never felt content and it was miserable. Then on the third day, everything was better. I'm the girl that used noodles and parmesan cheese as a snack so it was a huge adjustment for my body. Happily, I won the carb battle with my body and am doing much better.

11-06-2003, 04:05 PM
He says that no matter how much meat he eats he's hungry, even if his belly feels full. He's very upset that he can't eat more vegetables. He grew up as a vegetarian and while we weren't vegetarians before we started this we did eat lots of veggies. Plus on WW that was always free and you could have as much as you wanted. He's having a real hard time adjusting to that.

Kim in NJ
11-06-2003, 04:22 PM
My dh is Filipino... there is NO WAY ON EARTH he could do Atkins....AND there is NO WAY I would want him to try it and have to deal with all his belly aching!!!! He just LOVES his rice - that daily dose of 4 cups or more. He also loves bread etc.

I personally don't think Atkins is for everyone. If you love starches SO MUCH - then in most cases, fatty foods don't appeal to you. On the flip side, if you love your fatty foods, most can give up the carbs so as to keep the fats in their diet.

In 1991 - 1992 I went from 200 lbs to 128 lbs on a fat free diet. I ate ALL CARBS. It can be done but I was miserable. I knew I couldn't live fat free for life. Especially since rice, pasta and breads really are not cravings for me. I KNOW I can live low carb for life because my pallete doesn't crave anything that is not on program - well EXCEPT sugar...but that's not allowed on ANY program and I just need to learn to accept that.

If my dh were a vegetarian and he enjoyed that way of eating - I would tell him to cut out "some" unecessary carbs - but try to stay lowfat. (In my own opinion). Does you dh have a lot to lose? Can he just cutout sugar all together and start there? I was not a vegetarian but I love my veggies and now almost all my carbs are from the veggies I eat!

11-06-2003, 05:06 PM
Jamie I don't think Atkins is for everyone, just like I don't think Weight Watchers, South Beach, Richard Simmons, etc... is for everyone. Just like some folks need meds for depression and some don't. We're all different.

Did your hubby willingly go on this diet or was it more out of guilt, sounds like he really doesn't want to do it.

11-06-2003, 05:24 PM
I Have never been on antidepressants.. but MAN the mood swings I have had!

Since being on Atkins, I still get my occasonal mood swing.. but not NEARLY as bad. Or as often!

My face has cleared up, I have so much more energy! I have heard of several people who have been taken off antidepressants once doing atkins for a while... so you never know!

11-06-2003, 10:18 PM
oh ya...and most of my chronic eczema has cleared up - amazing! Even my dr was impressed. I have a couple of patches/flare ups now and again, but I had a chronic patch on the front of my thigh (only about 1/2 inch) but sometimes red and itchy - had it for over a year or more....since doing Atkins it has more itchiness!

Now if it would only work on those crinkly smile lines around my eyes! lol :)


11-06-2003, 10:32 PM
I've been on antidepressants before but not in the last couple of years. After taking them for almost a year and seeing a therapist for several months I was able to stop the antidepressants. I agree with Leens in that we all are different. I would stay on the meds for a few more months then get re-evaluated.

I've had migraines since I was 10. They recently have stopped. My doctor took me off bc pills as my migraines were occurring primarily at the beginning of my period. I had credited the lack of bc pills but perhaps it is Atkins. I started Atkins about a month after I stopped the bc pills. HMMMMM...... Maybe I'll try the bc pills again to see.

The downside I've experienced since being on Atkins is that I'm losing a lot of hair. I lose a good handful everytime I wash my hair. When I put a styling product like gel in my hair, both hands are covered with hair. I'm hoping the dairy beverage I just discovered will help. I'm also eating more cheese. I've always had thick hair but I've also always drank at least 2 gallons of skim milk per week. I'm also osteopaedic so I need extra calcium anyway. I've always joked that my soft bones and loss of bone density was due to my thick hair and extra white strong fingernails. Anyone else losing hair like crazy?

11-06-2003, 11:04 PM
My dh was doing it because he said he wanted to do whatever it took to help me succeed. In the past it was really important to have my partner be on the same plan to limit the introduction of "cheat" foods in the house. I truly appreciate his intentions but he's one of those doubters of Atkins so all he does is tell me how wrong this is and it's very frustrating. I told him today that I appreciated his support but that I was doing just fine and that more than anything I needed him to chill out and do what makes him happy. I know that I'm doing this because the doctor says it's right for me. I want him to do what's right for him and we'll come together in the middle. I don't expect my son to eat Atkins. I need to be able to cook meals with carbs someday. This is about my controlling MY carb intake. I think he got it.

He is overweight though and has seen my success. He wants to try it and has agreed to wait until baby and I are back from California. Then I'll have two weeks of normal day shifts at work that we can eat together and I can teach him about this WOE.

It's amazing how much of your health problems have cleared up from doing atkins. I have had "bad" skin since puberty. Not acne just zits. Now, it's actually significantly clearing up after 6 days.

I appreciate your feedback on the depression and I guess time will tell. I have dealt with it for long enough to know that I have a definite chemical imbalance in my brain. It only takes about 36hours without my medication for me to feel the differences. It's very bizarre. It's actually the reason I was discharged from the Navy. I'm hoping that getting healthy takes enough of my other problems away. I think I've got a handle on the depression it's the stress and emotions of daily stuff that I think carbs effect most for me.

You guys are the best. I love sharing with you. It's nice to be able to say anything. Maybe it's the anonymity. Later gators.

11-07-2003, 12:17 AM
Wow! I didn't stop to think that my clear skin was the result of Atkins! I've had bad skin since high school, and I kept being frustrated that a 25-year-old had pimples! Nothing worked. Until recently... I just thought FINALLY -- long after many others' skin clears -- that mine finally decided to cooperate. But, if other people's skin is clearing up recently, too, it would make since that Atkins is the one to thank! How many times can I say: "I love Atkins!!!!"


11-07-2003, 01:01 AM
Jdogg and Jamie - I'm with you. My skin has improved so much since starting atkins! And they always told me it was eating fat.... :nono:

Kim in NJ
11-07-2003, 02:53 AM
I don't even need to wear foundation skin looks fresh on it's own. VERY COOL!

Supersized....are you taking COQ10 supplements??? They can cause hair loss so that may be your culprit.

11-07-2003, 03:57 AM
It sure is nice. I can't see very much negative about this WOE at all. It's amazing what foregoing sugar/carbs does for you and kind of scary what kind of addiction and control carbs really have over so many people. Think of how many people out there don't even realize how much better they could feel. Wow.

11-07-2003, 01:55 PM
Originally posted by jdoggmartin
Wow! I didn't stop to think that my clear skin was the result of Atkins! I've had bad skin since high school, and I kept being frustrated that a 25-year-old had pimples! Nothing worked. Until recently... I just thought FINALLY -- long after many others' skin clears -- that mine finally decided to cooperate. But, if other people's skin is clearing up recently, too, it would make since that Atkins is the one to thank! How many times can I say: "I love Atkins!!!!"


LOL Jina! Try being a 36 year old with acne! LOL! :)

I have been on Retin A and An topical antibiotic for over a year, and prior to atkins it helped a bit, but not enough to notice.. since August, I have cleared up almost completely. Just a stubborn spot on my jawlime.. but my hair covers it! I amy talk to my dt about going off the prescriptions just to see how i do. I am so amazed!