Are you using the Pill?

by Megan on · 5 comments

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pillIf you’re using the pill to treat a medical condition or manage the number and timing of your pregnancies you may have noticed that the pill has an amazing ability to put weight on the body.

One of the hormones in the pill called Estrogen not only activiates the anxiety gene, and many people eat more when they are anxious, but it also causes you to feel tired and hungry.

Always Tired or Exhausted

Feeling tired leads to less physical activity and feeling hungry leads to more eating, which in turn leads to more weight gain in combination with the lack of activity.

Most health care professionals don’t explain this very well if at all nor do they prepare you for the challenge of maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight while fighting the new biochemical balance in your body.

Increase your physical activity, no matter how tired or stress you feel doing more activity will lower your stress and can help you feel less tired.  This is can be difficult especially when managing something like Endometriosis which is very painful, but stepping up physical activity can help you out with many health issues in addition to overcoming the challenges of weight management on the pill.

Eat the right kind of food.  Over and over I have written about having the right kind of foods on hand and ready to eat, this is even more true if you are taking the pill.  Remember you’re going to be hungrier which means you’ll eat more than you normally would and if you are eating more higher calorie food you will need to burn off a lot more calories to keep the weight off.

Drink more water.  Again with the water…yes, again with the water. Water can help you eat less by making you feel fuller.  Are you really hungry or are you hormonal or bored? If you are hormonal or bored have a glass of water instead, if you are hungry eat something.

Talk to your doctor if you are having weight issues talk to your doctor about your options. Some pills are more likely to cause weight issues than others and your doctor can change your pill or help you create a plan to address the issues.

Get support millions of American women are experiencing the challenges of weight management while using birth control pills, often they don’t talk about it or understand what is going on, but as with all things support makes things easier to achieve.  Find a support group to work with, the Endometriosis Association, for example has many chapters throughout the country and when I was a member many of the women would get together for walks and other supportive gestures.

You are not alone, even if you feel alone and the more that the silence is broken on these issues the easier it will be for other women to find the support they need.

It can be discouraging to be gaining weight as a consequence of taking a medication…any medication, but especially disappointing when one is taking something to manage pain or plan their family.  It doesn’t have to be something that you carry alone though.

One of the best things you can do in addition to finding support for yourself is to give support to other women that are experiencing the same challenges you are, don’t be afraid to reach out.

Someone has to break the ice after all, why not you?

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maryden25 March 22, 2012 at 11:42 pm

Thanks for this very helpful tips! I do take pill. The side effect of it is when you take it, you perspire a lot. (including your armpit) But you will feel so dry in the throat. You keep on looking for water to drink.

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2 Theriz26 March 28, 2012 at 12:52 am

Providing us this useful information is really a big help. A lot of people will benefit from this. I will follow all the tips that you’ve shared with us here. Thanks for sharing this to us!

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3 Frances March 30, 2012 at 8:57 am

The chances of you conceiving while on the pill are slim, but not zero. If you’re not ready to have a baby and want to make 100% sure that you won’t get pregnant as a result of this accident, I recommend you immediately see a doctor to arrange for Plan B.

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4 Chantelle April 1, 2012 at 10:56 pm

I don’t take pills but my friends are and yes, weight is their one big problem. They refuse to discontinue taking the pills because it is needed. So I guess, I just need to rely this information to them. Thanks!

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5 Rebecca April 4, 2012 at 11:04 am

Theriz and Mary, I took the pill for years and I had to learn all of these things the hard way about weight management and using the pill. I had to ask a TON of questions to know what to do, it’s just not explained so I decided since I was writing here an article was in order. I do hope it helps you and your friends.

Frances, I am not quite sure what you are referring to. This article is about tips for managing your weight while taking the birth control pill, not about what to do regarding an unintended pregnancy.

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