Weight Gain and higher Cholesterol

HI all,
I just had a major blood work up to see how I’m doing in general. What I was really surprised to find out is that my cholesterol is 220! My triglycerides were 50% higher, aNd I"ve gained 17 pounds, which I knew of, but somehow it’s different when a doctor tells you.
My cholesterol has always been very low…they did a test of my body fat and I’m embarrassed to say it’s at 33%. I work out and eat fairly well…certainly I’m better about it than I ever used o be. I cant help but think these medications have done a number on my chemistry in these other ways.
I’m not looking for a scape goat…but truly wish I knew how this worked. Most everyone gains weight on these meds…so it must slow down metabolism and/or do something with sugars/insulin? Geez, I don’t want to get diabetes over all this in addition to the MAV crap we deal with. Anyone else get tested on these markers and notice a big change?
What to do…what to do?? I’m going to really change my diet and see if that helps…my doc says nothing with flour in it…nothing processed…so long baked goods…so long pasta that I adore…so long fresh bread and butter…lol…hello broccoli :roll:

It’s the Cymbalta. My sister in law had her trig’s go through the roof while on it. I’m well aware of this possibility. I guess you will have to weigh your options and be super careful. I need to do that too.
It stinks these drugs can be such double edged swords!

Oh, yes, it’s the meds! I was told cholesterol levels are related to weight gain/loss.

I also had increased cholesterol levels with my weight gain and had to go on cholesterol meds as a result. My situation is a bit different though, as my family history is riddled with heart disease and I already had genetically borderline high cholesterol–have since I was in high school. But it went higher with weight gain and my GP suggested starting simvastatin earlier than later so I could avoid any damage.

Hi Kelley,

Sorry to hear about the weight gain but even more alarmed about the change in your lipid levels. I think I know you well enough to seriously doubt it’s got anything to do with your diet or lifestyle. Its the meds. Stacking on the weight and having your cholesterol go south because of a poor diet or lifestyle is NOT you. And this idea that you should now not eat anything with flour in it is baseless. Nonsense.

On Cymbalta:

Investigations — Frequent: weight increased, weight decreased; Infrequent: blood cholesterol increased.

Metabolism and Nutrition Disorders — Infrequent: dehydration and hyperlipidemia; Rare: dyslipidemia.

Looks like you need to dump Cymbalta and find a different way to control the MAV.


How long have you been taking the Cymbalta?

I’ve been taking it for 2 1/2 years. I have had several blood work ups and this is the first time I’ve seen this sort of stuff, I really started to notice the weight gain when I added phenergan to the mix. It’s a double edged sword. If I take away or cut down any of my meds I feel bad…
Not sure what to do…
For now I’m going to clean up my diet/excersize and see if it helps. I’m rescheduled for blood work in a month.
Oddly, my liver looks stellar and cymbalta is supposedly rough on the liver.

So it could possibly be the phenergan? I’m sure you don’t want to get off your meds and go back into MAV hell. I think you are doing the right thing. Retest and go from there. If it where Cymbatla then you’d think it would have an effect on lipids before now? 21/2 years is a while, I would think it would have shown up before now?

The weight gain is also a culprit, which is because of the meds. Triglycerides increase with weight increase so you may not notice any difference with diet changes until the weight is reduced. That is why I started on cholesterol meds because I couldn’t get the weight off and I have a bad family history.

I’m currently trying to come off of SSRIs completely but I’m also nervous because they seem to be the magic pill to kill the dizzies. I just can’t take the weight gain any more.

I think Prozac is the least liable to cause weight gain. Have you tried that? I also think Lexapro is less likely…as far as the SSRI’s go.
I’m only on 10mg Phenergan…the adult dose starts at 25mg. But it isn’t a drug that is usually taken every day. It just so happens to work for me, so I take it daily, and notice the difference when I don’t.
The klonopin I take is 1/4 of a tab of .5mg…another baby dose…
THe 3 together are all probably in cahoots!! Since they are all calming meds…


I’m on Lexapro now and even with topamax I’ve put on about 6 pounds in 8 months. I know, not much, but considering How much I had already gained and watching what I eat and being active, I’m not okay with it!

I will say Prozac was the best for keeping weight off, and I even lost a few pounds after starting topamax, but it was too stimulating and I felt jacked up all day.

It may be worth a try again if I get up to 150 mg o topamax and need a little something–maybe the increased calming with topamax will better counteract the Prozac? On Prozac I found myself having to take a little Ativan to calm myself on Prozac.

What do you think you will do?

For now I’m going to clean up my diet…realy try to work out daily, even just half hour of cardio…the doctor I’m seeing (not my MAV doctor) is putting me on some supplements to help with the sugar…I"ll retest and go from there.
IF it is still bad, I have to look into changing meds. IF that happens, I go down to Laguna where my drug guru psychiatrist works…love that guy. We will put together a program…
Not happy to think of changing when I feel pretty normal most days.'argh :evil:

Kelley, I hate to bring up the “M” word again, and I don’t know where you are with that, but…

Around “that” time, my cholesterol, which had previously been borderline normal (I’ve been about 50 lbs overweight since my 30s, I guess–I’m now 55), shot up unbelievably! In one year, my bad cholesterol doubled. Yikes!!!

Internist said this often happens in menopausal women. I started on 40 mg simvastatin, and since then my bloodwork has all been great, and in fact gets better every year, I believe because of my habit of eating pretty much nothing but protein for breakfast and nuts for lunch. Then a small dinner and my big carb “meal” just before bed (toast or cereal) which makes me sleep like a baby!

I do like sweets (and eat them excessively, I admit–especially chocolate), but I eat little in the way of bread, pasta, etc.–much less than I used to.

Definitely not the ideal diet (I’m sorry, I just really don’t like eating leaves of any kind, and I really only love local, seasonal fresh fruit), but I believe the nuts and protein help keep my cholesterol picture good (together with the simvastatin). And my weight has at least remained pretty stable, and my blood sugar within normal (upper end of normal, but still normal).

Everyone should try going nuts! Seriously! :slight_smile:

And guess what, despite all its uncontestable virtues, broccoli doesn’t really fill you up or satisfy you; a handful of nice salted nuts makes you verrry happy for the whole afternoon. :slight_smile:

I ate a bunch of sunflower seeds yesterday, and then a half bag of pistachios…yum! I do try to eat more protein when I’m being good…that’s interesting that you had that happen when hitting menapause? I just had my blood work done, and my periods are pretty normal, so the doc said I am probably 5-7 years off…but I’m sure at 46, things have started to change…
I just had my friend tell me an interesting books she read about Statin drugs and their effects on inflammation in the body…they are supposedly very good for controlling inflammation and will be prescribed mroe heavily in the future for this purpose. I guess many diseases start from inflammation. My inflammation levels were really high (from a CRP test…reactive protein something or other) and he said fish oils will help, so I am taking them 2 in am and 2 in the pm. We’ll see if it helps. I know it’s good for brain function as well, so don’t mind taking them.

It’s called C reative protein. Interesting that yours was elevated, but good that your liver enzyemes are normal. I’m assuming you did a fasting blood test? Good thing they are retesting. I’ve had the CRP test done starting 10 years ago or so, again due to my family history I want to be on top of these things. My mom had her heart attack at age 53. Granted she was a smoker, very obese and sedentary, which is very opposite from my lifestyle.

Definitely keep a watch on these now that you know your lipids are elevated and so is your CRP–although this one test could just be a fluke, ya know? So maybe after the re-test you’ll have a better marker. I have had tests that have been way off (like low cholesterol leverl, which I never see!) and we re-tested and they showed levels more within my normal range.

This is a subject that interests me greatly as I just had the same thing happen to me… After years of “stellar” numbers for cholesterol, my “LDL” or “bad” cholesterol shot up… My good cholesterol remained high at 75 and my ratio is still good, but my dr was concerned… I do think the meds have something to do with it as well as the “dreaded m.” word… Lol… I’m anxious to see what others have tobsay… As for me, I have three months to bring it down by increasing my exercise, tightening up food choices ( although I’m already a healthy eater) and trying to rid myself of pesky pounds that I blame onzoloft… I am no longer taking zoloft… Thank goodness … If the numbers stay high, I may have to start a statin… Unfortunately for e, there is a family history of it too and at 54… It may have caught up with me… Good luck to everyone! Dee

Kelley, I can’t remember now everything that my (ex-)internist said about this, but I do remember her being concerned when my CRP went up as well as my cholesterol–I think that was when she really wanted to get me on a statin.

I distinctly remember her saying that you should stay on a statin pretty much permanently, because when people take them and then go off them, then’s when stuff breaks off in your arteries and you get a stroke or heart attack or somethign bad like that.

Obviously I haven’t researched this much; I just tried the med, it worked great with no apparent side effects, and subsequent docs just keep refilling her Rx. I’d be afraid to quit now.

As with other meds, you read conflicting reports all the time in the paper: statins are good, statins are bad, statins are unnecessary and expensive meds pushed by drug companies, statins help your memory, statins hurt your memory (I read those last two stories in the same issue of the same newspaper!)…


Thanks for the insight…the worry for me is that these meds start to change other things in our bodies…a domino affect. I dont want to get too caught up in the worry because I have no quality of life without them…so it’s where I need to be and I have to sit tight and do what’s in my control for now.
It’s so much harder being a girl, isn’t it? The whole M thing?? The hormones etc…geesh! Next life I"m coming back as a man…without MAV!!


Good plan, Kelley! :mrgreen:

I just had my annual physical at work and found my Cholesterol had shot up…I am on Celexa and I actually have lost 12 pounds and am eating a Migraine diet, which is pretty darn healthy, so I was disappointed with this news…doctor has prescribed meds for the cholesteral…just what I want, one more drug to depend on!! I guess I have to adopt the old adage,
“better living through chemistry” !