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Can Anxiety Cause Weight Loss

S To Avoid Weight Gain When Starting A Psych Medication

Can stress or anxiety cause weight loss?

Asking for a referral to a qualified weight loss program in your area is a good idea, says Dr. McGee. What else?

  • Focus on what and how you eat
  • Don’t eat for gratification, boredom, or self-soothing or overeat to punish yourself
  • Discuss whether weight loss medicines, in addition to the structured weight loss program, may be appropriate, at least to start.

According to Dr. Gonzalez-Campoy, ”along with a prescription for antipsychotic medications and most antidepressants, a concomitant prescription for weight management should be provided .”

And for those on antipsychotics, you should be made aware of the health risks that come with significant weight gain such as the development or worsening of high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, he says. These are medical issues that should be monitored as well, he says.

The bottom lineFor anyone who is taking an antidepressant or antipsychotic medication: “Taking these medications is very important,” Ms. Christensen says. “Don’t be concerned about the potential weight gain because that can be mitigated .”

None of the healthcare practitioners had relevant financial conflicts with regard to this study.

If Youre Exercising Get Into The Habit Of Eating A Snack Afterward

Eating post-workout is the only way to restore the energy you burned while working up a sweat. Skipping a snack or small meal may seem harmless, but it can lead to unpleasant side effects like lightheadedness and low blood sugar.

Burning more calories than youre consuming can also result in unexpected weight loss.

Reach from something high in protein or healthy carbs, like:

  • avocados

If Stress Becomes Overwhelming Seek Help From A Professional As Soon As Possible

In case you are having bad thoughts like self-harm or suicide, or if you feel too overwhelmed by it, seek help from a qualified person as soon as possible.

If you remember those few pointers, then you will easily be able to handle routine stress. When it comes to weight, stress can either make one gain weight or lose weight. All this depends on the individual.

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Exercising To Distract Themselves

One way of dealing with stress and anxiety is by either doing an activity that one loves or exercising. If the activity you love is exercising or workout to manage these emotions, then you are likely to lose weight. People with anxiety sometimes exercise because working out produces the feel-good hormone that makes one happier, hence better moods.

Working out can help one lose weight when incorporated as part of an intentional healthy weight loss plan. However, unintentional weight loss due to anxiety because of excessive exercise or any of the other reasons listed here can be dangerous.

Before you get into an exercise program, it is always important to consult an expert.

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The Bottom Line: Can A Stress Cause Weight Loss Even When Eating

Can anxiety cause weight loss? Try this simple technique ...

Yes, it can. While stress is mostly a mental thing, it can cause problems with your hormones and digestive tract which can make it hard for your body to absorb and utilize the food that you are giving it. That being said, stress and anxiety are not the only things that can lead to unexplained and often extreme weight loss. If you realize that you are losing weight without trying, do not be tempted to chalk it up to stress. Please visit your doctor so you can ascertain that it is not a bigger problem that it appears.

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What Is Extreme Weight Loss

Extreme weight loss can be defined as the loss of more than 1 kilogram a week. According to the CDC, healthy and sustainable weight loss means a loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week . Anything more than that is considered extreme and unhealthy.

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Balancing Mental And Physical Health Is Often Complicated

Even when not taking a psychiatric medication, some people with mental health disorders may already be battling overweight or obesity, says Dr. Wharton and his colleagues. Research has shown that those with mental health disorders seem to have up to 1.5 times greater odds of having obesity. 2,3

In addition, the weight gain linked with antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs has been well recognized, although the experience varies and is not the same for everyone.4-7

So how much weight gain are we talking about? In another recent study,7 researchers looked at the weight status of 362 patients taking an antidepressant medication for six to 36 months. More than half of them gained weight, with 40% of individuals gaining at least 7% of their starting weight. The only drug of the eight psych medications evaluated in the study not linked with weight gain was fluoxetine . The study did not have funding from pharmaceutical companies.7

The links between weight gain and medications have been shown to differ by medication type, says J. Michael Gonzalez-Campoy, MD, PhD, FACE, medical director and CEO of the Minnesota Center for Obesity, Metabolism and Endocrinology.

“In general, the use of antipsychotic medications are most often associated with weight gain,” Dr. Gonzalez-Campoy tells EndocrineWeb “In general, the use of antidepressants is associated with more modest weight gainwith the exception of fluoxetine and bupropion , which appear to be weight neutral.”

Read Also: How To Cope With Health Anxiety

Keep An Anxiety Journal By Your Bed

If your anxiety is keeping you up at night, try keeping a journal next to your bed. Every time you find yourself struggling with an anxious thought or feeling, write it down.

Getting your anxiety out of your head and onto paper can make it feel less pressing or immediate, which can help you let go of the anxiety and get to sleep.

Also, it can sometimes just feel good to vent. See it as the toilet paper for the massive poop your brain needs to take.

How Does Stress Cause Weight Loss

Can Stress Cause Weight Loss Or Gain? What Actually Happens.

Stress is the effect that gets you ready to fight or flight response. As I mentioned above, stress is an entirely natural reaction that your body does to keep you safe from threats. So, your body releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol to keep you energetic.

While this happens, your body will temporarily stop the usual body functions to save the energy for action. Adrenaline punch will keep you active for action, but it may cause your eating and other desires to minimalize. Your body does not prioritize these functions as it feels like you are in a crisis status. So, now you may understand that continuous emotions of stress can altogether drop your bodys natural order and functions.

Other than weight losses and weight gains due to stress, it could affect further. Your digestive system, immune system, and reproduction system are a few of the systems that will stop functioning as it needs to be.

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Production Of Stress Hormones

When you have anxiety or stress, your body goes into a mode of fight or flight. This mode is also referred to as acute stress response, and it is your bodys way of responding to the thing causing you stress or anxiety. When it is in this state, your body produces adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones help you react and stay alert during stressful, dangerous, or unknown situations. The problem with these hormones is that they come with side effects.

Adrenaline prepares your body for a vigorous physical activity like running away or fighting. This hormone also reduces your appetite . When you dont have an appetite, you will consume fewer calories than your body needs and will help promote weight loss. Adrenaline also causes a faster heartbeat and breathing, and this helps burn more calories.

On the other hand, cortisol is responsible for minimizing some body functions that may seem unnecessary during a stressful occurrence. Some of the body functions that are usually suppressed are digestive, reproductive, and immune function, among others. When digestion is stopped or minimized, it means your body is not absorbing nutrients and might be discarded as waste. This could lead to weight loss since you are not able to digest and absorb food, hence creating a calorie deficit.

Anxiety Can Make It Harder To Get To The Gym

Exercise can help you lose weight and chill you out .

But when youre feeling anxious and overwhelmed, lacing up your shoes and going to the gym is usually the last thing you feel like doing. This is probably why a 2011 study showed a connection between anxiety and a lower rate of participation in physical activity.

When some people are anxious, they move and exercise less, Chait says. And the less you move, the harder it is for your body to burn calories . Their metabolism will slow down with decreased physical activity.

Clearly, anxiety and weight control do not play well in the sandbox together, but enough about the problem. Lets talk about the solution.

Also Check: How To Sleep Better With Anxiety

Have Antidepressants Ever Been Prescribed For Weight Loss

Neither weight loss nor weight gain is a guarantee when taking antidepressants.

Like many medications, side effects can vary depending on the patient. Additionally, antidepressant medications have not been approved for weight loss by the Food and Drug Administration .

Finally, antidepressants can cause rare but serious side effects, including:

With these potential serious side effects in mind, antidepressants are not prescribed for weight loss.

Are There Other Ways Stress Leads To Weight Gain

Can stress cause weight loss?

Yes. Not only can stress influence your cortisol levels, but not managing it can also lead to other unhealthy behaviors that can also lead to weight gain. Here are a few:

Emotional eating

Eating food can be a way to soothe difficult emotions for some, which, like in every rom-com, might be why you’re more tempted to eat ice cream after a breakup or an argument with your partner. That’s because of the dopamine hit, or pleasurable feeling, we get from eating palatable, high-calorie foods, Dr. Youdim says. “When weâre stressed or when we have difficult emotions or an emotional, psychological void, we search for ways to feel pleasure.”

But emotional eating can lead to unhealthy eating habits, like snacking at odd hours when you normally wouldn’t, or eating a lot more of foods that are high in calories and low in nutrition. Those unhealthy eating habits can then lead to weight gain.

Binge eating

Binge eating is a disorder in which a person eats an unusually large amount of food in one sitting in order to deal with negative emotions. It goes beyond the common kind of emotional eating mentioned aboveâpeople who binge eat may also feel guilt and shame for their behavior, or feel like they have a lack of control. While it can certainly lead to weight gain, binge eating can also have detrimental mental health effects. If this is something you’re experiencing, it’s best to see a doctor who can help you determine the best course of action.

Eating fast food

Drinking more alcohol

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Alteration Of The Hpa Axis

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis controls the bodys response to stress, which affects cortisol levels.

When the body is under stress, the pituitary gland signals to the adrenal glands to release cortisol. This hormone increases the bodys fuel for energy by releasing fatty acids and glucose from the liver.

Cortisol also helps regulate the bodys immune response and reduces inflammation.

Chronic stress impairs the functioning of the HPA axis, causing changes in metabolism and eating habits.

Can Stress Cause Weight Loss Even When Eating

Yes, it can. We have all experienced it from time to time and it can be caused by different factors such as financial problems, pressure at work, family issues, romantic and platonic relationships, grief or loss, and other life changes. That being said, what exactly is stress? It is described as your bodys reaction to pressure from an event or situation . Other than weight loss, this reaction can manifest itself in the following ways :

  • Physical: headaches, insomnia, unexplained aches and pains, a rapid heartbeat, constantly falling ill, decreased sex drive, stomach problems such as diarrhea, constipation, and nausea.
  • Psychological: inability to concentrate, constant worrying, racing thoughts, poor judgement, and forgetfulness.
  • Emotional: anxiety, depression, irritability, feelings of loneliness, low self-esteem, a difficulty calming and quieting your mind, withdrawing socially, etc.
  • Read More:Meditation and Stress: How Can Meditating Reduce Anxiety?

    Concerning weight, stress could either cause you to gain or lose weight. This is mostly connected to appetite changes experienced during this time. A study done on 72 women aged 17 to 26 years old showed 81% of the women experienced a change in appetite when stressed and of those, 62% reported an increased appetite..

    But what happens if you are stressed, are not experiencing appetite changes, but are still losing weight without trying? How can stress cause weight loss even when eating and making healthy food choices?

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    Ready To Make A Change Reach Out Today For A Free Consultation

    For most of us, putting on weight is far too easy and taking it off is really difficult. When you have a lot of stress in your life, it can be even harder to drop pounds. Ideal You can help.

    At Ideal You, we are dedicated to helping people lose weight in a safe, sustainable way. When you enroll in our weight loss program, we will work with you to find the root causes for your bodys imbalances and correct them. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with Ideal You Health Center, give us a call at , or book a consultation online.

    Anti Anxiety Meds That Cause Weight Loss

    Can Anxiety Cause Weight Loss?

    We take anti-anxiety medications to help us cope up with the extremes of emotions. However, because the world we are living in now is molding us to become vain and beauty-conscious, we also want to know which meds would affect our weight. It is quite certain that there are medications for anxiety and depression that can cause weight gain. But lets learn more about anxiety first and find out if there are antidepressants and anti anxiety meds that cause weight loss. For more information, visit this useful blog

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