CROHN'S & OVERWEIGHT, is that possible? I need help...!!!!

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 3/23/2008 1:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Ok so I have been diagnosed since May 07'. I had two surgeries and was on steroids, but stopped them back in July. Before I was sick I was at a average weight of 175 for a couple of years. I lost a bunch of weight because I was sick all of the time. My lowest weight over last summer was 135. Well now im 195!!! I am very addicted and love FOOD. I need help, and its tough since there are so many things im not suppose to eat. Does anyone else have the problem of having to loose a large amount of weight? I have always been a little chubby, before I got sick 175 was the largest I had ever been, and im gaining on 200 lbs. & I promised myself i'd never be that big. Any advice PLEASE! BTW im 5'3, so 195 is pretty big for me confused mad
*21 year old female
*Diagnosted with Crohn's Disease May 22nd,2007
*8 inches of small,3of large intestens & apendex taken out 5/22/07
*Another surgery to have infection/absess drained 6/13/07
*Hospitalized a total of 16 days withen one month

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 155
   Posted 3/23/2008 2:36 PM (GMT -7)   
You are not alone. I have that same problem. A lot of medicines say they can cause weight gain. Tho I know that isnt all there is to my overweight problem. I Love good ole southern cooking. I am 5'5" and about as wide as I am tall.ughhhh. A lot of green vegs upset my stomach. I would love to hear some advice, also. I cant walk far. because of pain on lower back, and now in a orthopedic boot for at least 3 weeks.. and I am always tired. I dont have any energy to do anything. I did get a recumbent exercise bike on sale and it isnt too bad.any exercise is better than no exercise. I just take it slow. Good Luck. I am sure everyone here will support you. They seem to be a great bunch of people. So glad i found them. Take Care.
Julie, South Carolina

Aussie Sheila
New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 3/23/2008 4:28 PM (GMT -7)   


I am also 5 foot 3inches and also weigh 192 lbs, yes it is very depressing.  I have joined a gym and have been walking 1 hour every day on the treadmill, however I am so exhausted after this I have to lie down.  I can sympthasize with you, as this is the heaviest I have ever been, naturally people assume that Crohns Disease sufferers struggle to put on weight, but Crohns seems to affect people differently.  The weight came on while I was on steroids, called Predinsone,. however now I am in remission I want to lose this excess baggage.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 3042
   Posted 3/23/2008 4:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi I think alot of us have problems with weight gain with meds we are on. I am going to start walking everyday as soon as it gets warm here.
Hi, I am teddybearweiser, I am a male.
I was diagnosed with crohns disease when i was admitted to the hospital
in 1992, in Jan of 1993 I was back in the hospital for surgery for my crohns. I had part of my right colon resectioned with ilecolonstomy.
 My GI doctor has me on Asacol, Dicyclomine,Imuran,Celebrex and Remicade. B-12 injection once a month.
My Internest doctor has me on Lisnopril-HTCZ and Folic Acid. Diagnosed
with Osteoarthritis July 2007

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 422
   Posted 3/23/2008 5:00 PM (GMT -7)   
After going into remission, I gained back the weight I originally lost...PLUS an extra 20 pounds. I think that was my body's response to losing all that weight so quickly. The body remembers when it goes through starvation modes or massive weight-loss periods and will store extra fat in as a precaution in case it ever has to go through a "starvation" period again, it'll have something to feed off of. The body goes into "survival mode" after going through a bad flare and will hang onto fat so it'll have something to eat if that time ever comes again.

I also believe medications have an effect on weight.
Diagnosed in October, 2004 at age 33.
Currently taking Colazal, Nexium, One-A-Day multivitamin, Omega-3 Fish Oil, Vitamin D, Vitamin A
Secondary conditions: mouth ulcers, joint pain, extreme fatigue

Aimee =)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1020
   Posted 3/23/2008 5:07 PM (GMT -7)   

I feel your pain. I don't get diarrhea, and when I'm not flaring, I eat normally - which is too much in my case! I love food, too.

Part of my problem is that I went 3 months without eating anything solid so I gorged once the medication worked and I was able to eat again.

I have kept most of hte weight off but it's slowly creeping back on. I hope walking each day will get some of it off.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 3/23/2008 5:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I am about 285 right now...
Crohn's Co-moderator

We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants)
Praise in public, chew in private.
Make sure your suffering has meaning....
All suggestions/options/opinions are caveated with please consult with your local health care provider...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 734
   Posted 3/23/2008 5:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I understand your pain as it is mine too.  I was about 165 and now 190, I am 5'7" and can barely hold there.   I can't lose weight even though I exercise when healthy.  I believe the meds have a lot to do with this and the theory I just read that our bodies are holding weight because of the times when we lose.  I don't feel comfortable at this weight either but would really be happy with just being healthy at any weight. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 497
   Posted 3/23/2008 6:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I have not been officially diagnosed with Crohn's but I am in the same boat--over weight and I am now on prednisone to help with inflammation problems. It is hard. I feel like a lot of people do not believe I could have Crohn's because I am over weight. I have had the diarrhea, etc., and I would think it would have helped me lose weight, but it didn't. It is so hard and frustrating! I joined a gym a few months ago and I walk as often as I can.

Honestly, I really should lose a great amount of weight.

Take care and know that we are all here for you!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 3/23/2008 10:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there, I'm 5'9" and weigh about 215, Last doctors visit she told me I needed to loose weight. Well I have an apt. on march 31st and am dreading it, because I know I've gained.
When I had bad flares , I would lose 45 pds in two weeks.just melt away to nothing. I weighed a whopping 110 pds.
4 years ago, I had a severe MS flareup which left me having to use crutches and a scooter to get around. My CD is controled for the most part. I had an obstruction around the same time as the MS attack....but since then, only have small flares that I manage quite well by sticking to fluids, ensure etc. I lose weight then....but the minute I start to eat again...wham!!!Its frustrating when you tell someone you have CD and they look at you as if to say....aren't you supposed to be skinny.!!!!I hate it. When I was well, I walked 3 miles I can't walk to the corner. So I figure I'm doomed to be a fatty for the rest of my life.....because no matter how much I diet....or cut back...without exercise, there is just no losing a thing!.
My joints and bones are so sore all the time....and I'm sure my weight is not helping.
Good luck to you....if you find a plausible solution....let us know won't you. If you are able to exercise, or even walk everyday...I'm sure you can do it!!!!
51 yr.old retired RN,Crohn's D for last35 yrs..severe esophagitis, migraines,strictures,urethral stricture,depression,probable MS.,RLS, arthritis

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7314
   Posted 3/23/2008 11:37 PM (GMT -7)   
You'll find that many of us are also overweight and not just because of our meds. I was at my highest long before I ever took pred. Sometimes, with active disease, your body is not able to properly absorb the nutrients it needs. This makes your body think you are starving and your metabolism eventually shuts down or goes into "conservation" mode. As a result, you are still taking in calories, but not able to effectively burn them. Thus, the weight GAIN.

One thing to consider is to discuss this with your Doc and to have a complete thyroid panel done. Since you already have one autoimmune disease, you are at risk for others, including Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. When I was Dx with this, my T4 levels were bouncing back and forth. One test would be low and the next in the lower end of the normal range. I also had sky high thyroid antibodies. My Primary wasn't sure what to do about it so I was referred to an Endocrinologist. She told me that I was in the early stages of thyroid failure and that I could literally crash any day. Starting a low dose of synthroid made a HUGE difference in just 3 days. The funny thing is that the only reason my thyroid levels were checked was because of a possible thyroid nodule seen on an MRI of my C spine. I went in and demanded to have my thyroid hormone levels and antibodies checked because my sister had been Dx with Hashimoto's 10 years earlier.

Prior to finding my thyroid problem I had slowly but steadily been gaining weight, even though I was dieting. After starting the meds, I slowly and steadily lost weight. Almost 40 pounds in 2 years. I still had another 20 to go but I had a joint flare and ended up on 60mgs of pred. I've gained 20 lbs back but now that I'm tapering, I hope to lose the weight again.

Another thing that I highly recommend is the Weight Watchers program. Yes, they do still push the fruits, veggies and fiber, but the new points system is really adaptable to the Crohnie's way of eating. You can literally eat anything, as long as you count the points and don't go over your daily and weekly limits. This also works very well for those who also have to feed the family. There's nothing worse than having to cook a meal and not being able to eat it. WW has so many great receipes available that you can feed the family your "diet" food and they'd never know it. You just need to stick to your portion size.

I hope you can get back to a weight that you are comfortable at and quickly.
Keah a.k.a. Wormy
 God helps those who help themselves.
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Crohn's Forum Moderator

brit tuck
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 143
   Posted 3/29/2008 9:55 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree with everyone else's posts. It's hard when you feel so incredibly drained from being sick and everything else to even walk for 20 minutes sometimes. And then there are the people who just assume because you have Crohn's that you should be thin. I just finished reading an article in the Phoenix Jewish News where a girl with Crohn's was discussing her illness and basically said that it eventually causes you to lose lots of weight. The rest of the article was so well written and informed that I was super disappointed. It is definitely NOT a requirement to lose tons of weight while having Crohn's.

So don't think that it means something is necessarily wrong with your diagnosis or anything. This disease manifests itself in so many different ways.. but good luck on your attempts to lose weight. I'm trying myself but it can be hard to have so much school work on top of feeling like crud. There are times you just have to choose where your time should go to. And having to stay away from fruits and veggies makes it hard as well. I used to love salads (not so much the after effects though..). Feel better!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3200
   Posted 3/30/2008 8:36 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm not overweight, but I know I gain some pounds when feeling well. I think our biggest issue, is the diet that we can most
tolerate, and / or should have, bland, low residue and there is the problem, beige colorless food, which is usually high in calories.

Like brit tuck says, long gone are the colorful healthy foods that I so badly miss!!

Too many years with CD
Two bowel resections, several obstructions.

Laughter is the brush that sweeps the cobwebs from our hearts

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1823
   Posted 3/30/2008 12:01 PM (GMT -7)   
I too have always been an overweight crohnie. The only time I ever lose weight is in a flare, otherwise it seems my metabolism seems to go into slow motion -- literally! My last flare I lost 70 lbs and have probably gained back at least 50 -- no choice of my own. So, you are NOT alone when it comes to being over weight!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2739
   Posted 3/30/2008 9:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I am over weight as well, and it's not due to my meds. It's a struggle for me, and fatigue does not help! Especially when I'm anemic, it makes exercising really hard. After my GI bleed I was so weak for the longest time, I got really out of shape.
DH bought me an Elliptical machine a few weeks ago, so I'm hoping to get back in shape and drop the pounds. I want to lose about 50 pounds. I'm having to start off real slow, I do 10-15 minutes 3-4 times a week. I started off on number 1 on the resistance, and today I went back and forth from 2 to 5. So I'm getting there. But no, you are not alone! I think that is one of the biggest myths with Crohn's, you don't have to be very skinny to be sick! So many people look at me funny when I say I suffer from Crohn's. Because I don't fit that typical description.
Diagnosed with mild Crohn's Disease 2/06 after sever GI bleed. Has been suffering since 1998. History of rectal fistula and gallbladder removal. Currently taking Asacol and Questran.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 607
   Posted 3/30/2008 9:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm a 5'7" female and right now I weigh 140. I'm really happy with this weight and I'd like to stay right here, but I'm afraid that I will keep gaining. For the last two and a half years I've been sick. I didn't have a flair, but I have scar tissue in my intestines that was getting more and more narrowed making it hard to digest anything. When I started to get sick I weighed 175 - way too heavy for me! I started to lose weight and at my lowest I weighed 121 - way too skinny for me! I'm still dealing with chronic pain, so I'm on pain meds 24/7 which make me tired. I had to stop working and almost everything makes me exhausted.

I know your pain and your frustration. I've been there and I'm afraid I will be there again. Try to remember that your body is doing it's best to heal and stay well.
Dx in 1984 with Crohn's Disease.  In 1988 my terminal Ileum was removed due to inflamation that caused it to rupture.  I had surgery in February 2007 to remove more of my intestines due to scar tissue.  I then developed a very bad abdominal infection and was on IV antibiotics until June 2007.  I had chronic URQ pain which has gotten better.  I'm now in the process of getting off of the pain patch.   

Mormor Vicky
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 684
   Posted 4/3/2008 5:39 AM (GMT -7)   
I've always been obese. I think that is why my doctors and I both thought my "d" was from IBS and didn't investigate any further. Even at my sickest I wouldn't lose weight. I think because most of my disease is located in my colon. From what I have read is that the nutrients and calories are absorbed in the small intestines and moisture is absorbed in the colon. Right now I'm 5'5" and weigh 205lbs. I did lose about 50lbs through much hard work the first half of last year, after my surgery but I've been slowly gaining it back.

Since I discovered I had Crohn's 1½ years ago I've found out that I have steroid-induced diabetes and CD has caused kidney stones. So now I'm on a low-calorie, low-carb, no sugar, low-fat, low salt, low ruffage diet. I'm having a hard time finding foods that I can eat without getting totally bored. I noticed that because of fatigue I have no energy to make healthy home-cooked foods. I'm struggling mightily with trying to find quick and easy foods that my whole family can eat since I'm not suppose to eat fast-food or processed stuff. I'm thinking about going on an appetite surpressant so I won't feel like eating much.

Because of the diabetes I have to eat or I suffer from lows. I just tend to overdo it when I eat. Sometimes it would be easier to just skip meals when I'm tired but I no longer can.
Vicky / 48 years old
DX'd with Crohn's during a resection August 2006
DX'd with Steriod induced Diabetes November 2006
Considered in Clinical remission but have minor signs of disease activity
Daughter (27) also has Crohn's since she was 12.
Currently on 4000mg of Pentasa only for Crohn's
No longer able to take 6-MP because of Bone-Marrow Suppression
Cymbalta, Metformin, Lipitor

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/3/2008 7:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Try to hang in there, it is like riding a rollercoaster, without all the fun.  Your weight may fluctuate like mine did for years, I have had Crohns since 1989, but was not properly diagnosed until 1997 (mostly due to the fact that I was not a skinny person and was told it was just my nerves) It took a three year long flare up that landed me in the hospital twice, once with my heart stopping due to the lack of any kind of nutrients (namely potassium) in my system.  I had lost 30 lbs. in about six weeks, couldn't hold anything down, and couldn't stop the diarrhea, bleeding and pain.  Even with the prednisone and the asulphedine (spelling?), I remained in active disease for a long time, and gained a lot of weight, I was down to boiled chicken broth and rice, but even the smell of food would activate my colon and I began to fear eating. My ex-husband used to mock me in court, saying I couldn't have Crohns because I was so overweight. At the time, I did not own a car and had to walk my kids to school everyday, 1.5 miles each way, with a fever and unable to hold my bowel (I would have to find public restrooms along the way), I still weighed over 225 lbs. at 5'10" and I weigh more than that now...but have lost weight in the past when I have been off the medications and in remisssion.  I know which foods to avoid and which ones to risk now, and I try to moderate the intake of the things that "trigger" an attack, but I love vegetables and used to live on salads...sigh.   On the upside, I had a nearly 5 year remission...and only recently had to go back on the Asacol, Flagyl, and Entocort.  I have no appetitie at all. I am also taking Provigil for the Chronic Fatigue and Cymbalta for the nerve pain (arthritis pain) either from the Crohns or the West Nile Virus I contracted in August of 2006.     I am currently in a severe flare and have a skin condition, that has been biopsied to see if it is discoid lupus is very painful and looks terrible on top of everything else!

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 4/4/2008 1:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh, msmomma, that's terrible. What a lot you've had to endure.

Welcome to the board,

Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 345
   Posted 4/4/2008 7:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm in the same boat. Fat from food, not drugs. :(

I have started weight watchers this week. I dieted not to long ago and ate alot of veggies and it didnt hurt - i actually felt really healthy.

i'm 5'1" and at lowest was 95lbs (gross) and went up to 165lbs (also gross - LOL). I'm now 150ish, my goal is to get back down to 130.
33 years old. Diagnosed in 2002ish. 
Taking Asacol, Lomotil TID, and on Remicade since 2004. 
Lower Bowel area only, except for the short stint (about 2 weeks) that I had mouth sores.  Also have external/anal fistula and anal/vaginal fistula. 

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/4/2008 8:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Moderater!!Thanks for the kind words, I am grateful for the time that I feel good. I finally found a good neurologist who has helped with the West Nile problems, and that has gone a long way to help me feeling better, especially the Chronic Fatigue which is associated with both illnesses. I have seen several nutritionists from California to where I live now, some have helped, some have not...some have been very judgemental of my weight, and claim that I must be eating more than I am admitting to...but my husband and co-workers can attest to the fact that I eat very little comparatively speaking and I eat healthfully, but it has had no affect. My current gastroenterologist said that although my thyroid checks out okay, my system is in essence starving because the disease is not allowing essential nutrients to be absorbed, so it hangs onto anything that it can and processes only what it can break down quickly...I don't know if this will help anyone else, but refined sugars, high fats, some dairy, acidy foods, and breads (especially white breads) are really hard on the system, can trigger a flare up, cause arthititis pain, and are, of course, what the body can convert to fat, hence the weight gain. Steamed vegetables are easier on the system than fresh, lean chicken, fish and a low/no sugar protein-drink like Glucerna have helped me when I am in a flare up. Lettuce according to my doctor is like eating razor-blades...not a pretty thought. I hope any of this helps...

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 4/4/2008 7:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm with you all on the weight thing. I have never been skinny but about three years ago I joined a gym and was loving it and got down to a smashing 140 (i'm 5'4). Then I got sick and got down to a crazy 120, got put on meds plus the prednisone and the last visit I had with my GI was up to 199. I am so huge but he keeps saying it is the steroids. I soooooo want to get back to a healthy weight.
Love many, trust few, but always paddle your own canoe....

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