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Cannot Lose weight after chemotherapy

I have tried everything to lose weight for the last two years. Right after I began taking chemotherapy meds, and steroids I gained 15 pounds. I haven't been able to get it off since and I am very athletic. No doctors will take me seriously or help me. I am going to a nutritionist/weight loss doctor this Tuesday, very expensive but maybe he can help. I'm also taking Tamoxifen for the next 3 years so I have no production of estrogen and at 32 I'm in menopause.


Sat. Aug 23, 5:03pm

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There are a lot of factors in play when you're working with chemo drugs and steroids or the aftermath of them.
What are you currently eating? How much do you weigh right now? And what are you able to do for exercise?
I think seeing a nutritionist is a great idea. You might also consider a naturapath to help restore balance in your system. For your own part, consider picking up Dr. McDougall's book and Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live or Eat for Health. Both are excellent resources on nutrition and nutrient dense eating for health and weight loss. There are also several very active PT groups for both approaches which you might find supportive.
Good luck. It is a difficult journey, but it sounds like you are on the right path.

Sunday, August 24, 2008, 10:53 PM

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I am in the same spot you were...just off chemo (Taxol and Cisplatin) and steroids (decodron) and have gained 15 pounds. I am also athletic and stayed active and ate healthly throughout my breast cnacer treatment. Very frustrating to gain weight despite watching my nutrution and calories!!!

I am interested in knowing if you had success and what you found to be effective.

I am 42 years old, 150 lbs, 5'4". I do some activity every day...trail run/hike, spin and weight train. I have just started to really watch my sodium intake and keep it between 2000 and 4000mg per day.

I may also have gone into menopause and will be taking Tamoxifin in a few weeks when I've finished radiation treatment. I have heard that can also cause weight gain...oh boy.


Saturday, July 11, 2009, 8:36 PM

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Weight loss after chemo

I feel your pain. I'm 38 yrs. old, and 3 years post-treatment for stage III colon cancer. I underwent colon resection and 12 cycles (6 months) of Folfox IV. I maintained a normal weight (125 lbs) throughout treatment, worked out as I was able. Toward the end of treatment and for a good year afterward, I had horrendous neuropathy in my hands, arms, legs and feet. It was painful, rendering my hands almost useless. I stumbled around, wobbly and in pain with every step. Thankfully, most has subsided, though I still cannot feel the bottom of my feet. To add insult to injury, when I began heavy cardio and weight training again, I severely herniated three disks in my lower back - I was in constant pain for another year. So, here I am, doing intense cardio sessions 4-5 times per week, with weights 2-3, and I cannot seem to lose the 10 pounds I gained in the past few years. I was heavy until I was 20, and shed 50+ pounds, maintaining that loss until cancer wrecked my body. I've cut my calorie intake to about 1000 per day, and still cannot shed these pounds. I'm so frustrated and depressed....


Sunday, September 19, 2010, 8:48 PM

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PP, you are probably not eating enough. Try eating 6 small meals every day (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack). This is what worked for me. I didn't have cancer, but was on methotrexate and prednisone for 3 years for rheumatoid arthritis. Those drugs only marginally helped with my pain, weakness and fatigue, and made me gain a considerable amount of weight. I tried many different diet plans before finally hitting on the 6 meal a day plan.

Making those meals and snacks include a serving or more of veggies, a serving of protein, a serving of complex carb, a serving of a healthy fat, and 1/2 to 1 servings of fruit made all the difference. It sounds like a lot, but servings are actually much smaller than most people think.

Also, I've been told that strength training (weights and resistance) helps build muscle, which burns fat even when you're sleeping. And if you do your exercising in the morning before eating breakfast, you'll be burning fat reserves rather than the calories recently consumed.

Best of luck!

Monday, September 20, 2010, 9:17 AM

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I had real trouble losing weight while on tamoxifen, except for the 6+months I was training to do the 3-day walk, during which I lost 40 lbs, but during which I was also walking about 12 hours per week, which was not my 'normal' routine once I finished the walk.

Ditto when they switched me from tamoxifen to femara. Femara made it a little less difficult, but not a lot. I blame some of that on having a body that was forcibly kicked into menopause by the chemo, in addition to the tamoxifen.

That said, when I started Eat to Live, it started coming off fairly easily. I'm into my 9th week of ETL (past the 6 week stricter portion of it, now doing it about 80% - 90%) and I'm averaging just over 1.5 lbs per week.

Monday, September 20, 2010, 9:26 AM

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Are you serious that you couldn’t lose weight after chemotherapy? Did you face any other side effects? It can be of any type. You should be extra conscious about your health now and take a loot of care of yourself. I would like to recommend webstie to others as well to learn and explore about as well.

Friday, April 24, 2020, 10:32 AM

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