Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Does my @$$ look big to you?

My mind has been all over the place today—blurry and frenetic and incoherent. Always makes answering questions in class a little more exciting.

Having such fast-paced thoughts makes me think about sneakers, because obviously thoughts have to run around, and sneakers make me think about jogging and jogging makes me think about fat because there's this one Simpson's episode wherein Homer has to jog for a stress test and his fat flubs all around. Thinking of fat made me think about how I've lost a bunch of weight over the past year (yeah me!) and then I started pondering how I gained all this weight anyway! I mean, when I came home from my semester in London and what not, I wasn't a pound over 150.

In talking to my friends who have been on psychiatric meds, there seems to be a consensus that meds make you fat. Well, mwahaha, turns out we're totally right.

"According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive® of 554 bipolar patients in the U.S. over the age of 30, seven out of ten have gained weight – on average 50 pounds with one in ten gaining an alarming 100 pounds or more – while taking bipolar medications. This medication-induced weight gain caused almost half of patients surveyed to stop taking or change their medication.

More than one third of patients (39%) surveyed who had gained weight while on bipolar medications reported developing high cholesterol and three out of ten developed high triglycerides. Some even reported having other serious conditions including diabetes (13%) and abnormal lipid levels (18%).

Despite the serious consequences that bipolar patients may experience when not properly treated, the majority (67%) say that they are unwilling to take a medication that controls symptoms but could cause them to gain 10 pounds or more. Patients staying on their medication is key to reducing physician office visit and expense hospitalization.

“Many bipolar medications cause substantial weight gain, making it challenging to treat patients for this serious and often disabling condition,” said Dr. Paul E. Keck, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology and vice chairman for research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. “Managing the symptoms of this disorder is the primary objective of treatment - finding an agent that is acceptable to patients is also a key element to successful treatment."

At a certain point, you have to wonder whether carrying 100 extra pounds is better for a person than being bipolar. I guess it depends on the severity of the symptoms, but man.

But let me tell you, after working my @$$ off to lose the bit of weight that I have, there's no way I'm going to jump on the bandwagon with some crappy drug that's making my bum look any bigger.

Unless I really have to...