Weight loss is one of the more attractive potential side effects to Topamax but not one everyone has. The first time I was on the medication I did not have it and I believe it was because there was no change at all to my eating habits… which was good, my weight was perfectly fine at the time. When I was on a very low dose this time I did consistently lose weight and I have wondered why. I think I have realized why, but let’s discuss it for a moment here.
I’m going to tell you what I ate today and I know that is insanely boring. Usually when someone starts telling you in infinite detail what they ate for breakfast and then lunch and so forth it literally can bore you to death but bear with me. I ate a rice crispy square, a small unsweetened applesauce and two pieces of toast. In an effort to eat through the day. I would have considered this an awesome success if I had eaten supper, which I didn’t. Usually, I just eat supper. On Fridays sometimes we don’t because I’m not hungry and don’t feel like cooking… usually my bf doesn’t feel like a large meal on Fridays. So he makes something small and I say I will eat something later when I am hungry… which often I forget to do. A significant problem if I have also forgotten to eat the rest of the day.
Topamax creates significant food apathy. You go to make a meal or eat a snack and Nothing appeals to you. You Desire nothing.
Topamax makes you insanely absentminded So even though you have no appetite you know you should eat and so while you desire nothing if you distract yourself for one moment… like wonder away to go to the bathroom, you will forget that you were just a moment before in the kitchen trying to figure out what to eat.
Topamax for me anyway makes me feel ill in the stomach so eating many things does not sit so well. Applesauce, by the way, was rather a mistake… apparently too acidic for my tastes and I thought it would have been nice. Whatever stomach, whatever.
Insanely small amounts of food, therefore, make you feel very full because you were not hungry, to begin with.
So aside from forgetting to eat supper today, the fact I ate the rest of the day is actually amazing. Yesterday it occurred to me several times… I wandered off and got distracted and that was that.
Now I lost twenty pounds and it seemed odd at the time. I do not have good eating habits. There was a time when I tried to maintain good ones… but nausea and IBS-D combined with actually trying to work with those two conditions and the migraines made me realize that my previous methods of not having food in me at work… was less torturous for me. Although I was trying to find what foods or methods to work around those issues. I had appetite issues, nausea issues and digestive issues wrapped around the chronic migraine issues. It meant I only really ate supper.
So how could I have lost weight? I already had no real appetite. I already had food apathy really. Although you could pique my interest with new and interesting things. Or cheesecake. Or any kind of cake really. Well… Topamax is sneaky. I ate less at supper. My portion sizes shrank. I did not finish what was on my plate. And most important… I am an insomniac and I am a midnight chip eater. I would say those snacks were my main calorie intake really. I crave salt over sugar any day of the week. But that diminished significantly. Without my being even aware of it. Literally had no idea until my bf pointed out that he did not need to buy chips because apparently, we had not eaten any. What? Really? Coming from someone who honestly thought she should buy a salt lick and be done with it? Yep, apparently, that Craving disappeared… because it is just a craving. So if you are not hungry, and you have no appetite for anything and no midnight cravings…. then really you are just forcing yourself to eat what is in front of you. And yeah then you lose weight. Because food is like this chore.
And it is sort of good in the sense I needed to lose that weight. It brings me back into the area that is where I need to be. But I still do not eat right. And worse the more Topamax you are on the worse the stomach related side effects get. And my stomach-related side effects do not need to be worse. It does not help if the food I do eat does not actually stay in me and I get so ill I wish I had not eaten at all. Leading to huge worries over dehydration. Also the more befuddled you get the easier it is to literally forget to eat completely. Also losing weight the way I did, when I was really not eating enough as it was, could not have been good… and yet I was not even aware of the fact. It was only recently when I realized how much weight I had lost when clothes literally drooped off me when people commented on it… that I even noticed. And then even more recently a few days when I forgot to eat entirely that made me realize, damn, I have to literally find a way to remind myself to eat consistently.
So weight loss… awesome. Starvation… not awesome. Thankfully I did not continue that decline because I do eat supper regularly. Although… if I lived alone…not sure I would. I don’t generally want a big meal. And so toast seems like a meal to me these days. And just a piece of toast all day? Would be insane, but I could see it. So thank goodness for my bf.
I’m thinking of very bland fiber foods to eat every couple hours… and a reminder on my phone to ensure I do.
Point being… it changes appetite, cravings, and taste. For me, not necessarily good things when I have problems with appetite and nausea. Nice to be in the normal range for weight but I would prefer to have a healthy appetite, to be honest. Could be good if you are overweight and have issues with cravings though… could be a great tool. For example, some people have said it helps with cravings for cigarettes and makes it easier to quit smoking… I have yet to test that theory, but may soon. It does make them taste differently. Also makes pop taste funny, which can also be a good thing to cut that out.