View Full Version : Can't stop eating!!

06-09-09, 07:30 PM
When I was first diagnosed with ADHD my doctors were hesitant to prescribe me a stimulant medication because of my past history with eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia). There were numerous reasons, and i understood why. Fear of my heart not being strong enough, the threat of relapsing or worsening my eating problems, etc. They waited until Strattera was made available. Strattera helped slightly with organization issues but did nothing for concentration.

I went to college and my eating was under control. My docs were impressed with my ability to live on my own and not have to worry about me spiraling out of control. It was even surprising to me! I went to therapy regularly, which was easy because we had a counseling center right on campus and I went to my phyciatrist regularly to monitor my antidepressant medication and my ADHD. I had a hard time with the ADHD and the depression made it worse- but my eating disorders were not an issue. My new doc decided that it would be best to try adderall and see if it helped.

Needless to say I was super scared because I didnt want to relapse. I forced myself to eat even when I wasnt hungry. I exercised for a max of 45 mins just to burn the extra energy. I lost some weight naturally from the medication but I wasnt trying so it was fine.

Now off and on the medicaiton for over 6 years- I have gained a lot of weight. After the initial effects of weight loss passed and I gained some tolerance, I kept eating. Now I can't stop eating. I've gained an insane amount of weight, which is odd for someone on the medication that I am on (adderall and wellbutrin) and i cannot control myself.

I'm scared more now then ever. I've actually tried going back to my old ways can't and I'm more upset that I have even considered and tried (less concerned about failing and actually happy I did oddly enough).

Has anyone ever had this problem? I feel like I was meant to spiral out of control- and that since I was so concerned about one spiral i just jumped on a different just as dangerous spiral. I plan to talk to my doctor about this but I dont have an appointment for a while and just in the past week alone I've gained 4 pounds (and i know the its not real weight gain speech and i know how weight is gained, this is at least an actual 2 lb gain).

Advice, suggestions, similar situations? Anything will help right now!

thanks in advance!

07-05-09, 10:17 PM
Adderall is helping me not binge eat, I am on the same medications as you, Bupropion and adderall. I do not have your answer-you will find them yourself, but I do understand your struggle with eating. It seems that perhaps you are still dealing with the same eating disorder as you always did, without compensating for it by purging in some way. And actually, that is a positive thing, although it doesn't show up positively on the scale. The fact that you are not depriving yourself of important nutrients is good. Some things that could possibly help>>>> Take vitamins to ensure you are getting the trace minerals and vitamins your body needs, include iron and vitamin B's. Eat high quality proteins, try to eat fewer and higher quality carbohydrates, be sure to increase the number of vegetables you eat each day, make an effort to increase your excercise a little bit each day, eat in the morning, before you take your medications, and be sure to include some protein. It is easier to add things to your life than trying to take them away. So instead of saying, I can't eat _____, Treat yourself to some fresh strawberries, or something healthy you like. Say positive things to yourself and about yourself. Do not focus on food, your body, or your weight. It is the obsessing that is part of the disorder. Find some non- food related things that you really like to do. Also, it may be possible there could be something medically going on. Get your thyroid checked, your vitamin B12 checked, etc. You might also talk to your doctor about whether your medication dose is right. Bodies change, we can build up resistance to things, so drugs no longer work, and if you gained some weight, maybe your medications are no longer as effective as they were, weight can cause this also.

The main thing is be kind to your self. Say good things about you to you and others. Take the time that you need to take care of your needs. If you like long baths- take them. If you enjoy good music- listen to it. If you like time with friends- spend it. When the focus of your life changes, your body will be better able to mantain homeostasis. Your goal should perhaps to first get your weight to stabilize- in other words, not loose or gain for a while. I find the constant thinking about loosing weight, makes my body gain weight. Good luck in the jouney

09-27-09, 02:11 PM
dimitri, I understand where you come from because I too have an eating disorder. Idk why I do, but I was bulimic for a few years now, and since i kinda stopped biinging and purging, I exercise to the extreme. The medicine I am taking now is making this difficult since I completely lost my appetite, Methylin ER 20mg/day, and feel as though the gains Ive made in muscle mass will be lost. I force myself to eat, even when Im not hungry, but I am not gaining any weight..... I feel as tho the best thing to do is exercise regularly, and eat healthy, I do suggest that you see your doctor or nutritionist about a healthy eating and workout regimen, but you should also tell your therapist what you think and feel. good luck dimitiri.

02-10-10, 04:31 PM
I was really hoping for the loss of appetite but I had it early on which may have been environmental depression from my wife leaving. Eventually it came back and they have upped my dosage and all that but I seem to be hungry a lot. During the day I seem to not want lunch but when I eat I eat like I always have. I too have gained weight on stimulant meds. I know I need to make better decisions about what and how I eat but I was hoping for the extra help of loss of appetite.

So let's see I seem to get drowsy, gain appetite, and slow metabolism on stimulants. Ah good times.

04-06-10, 08:52 AM
I have had the same issue with Adderall. It seems like if I make an effort to eat healthy I can do it until the medication wears off at night. Then I get stressed out, anxious and overwhelmed and eat, eat, eat(sometimes nearly everything in my kitchen) I have managed to keep the weight under control with excerise, but it is getting harder. I have gained 15 pounds over the past year... I feel like I have no control once I start one of those binges. : (

04-06-10, 12:37 PM
Yep binge eating happens to me at night. Needless to say it has done nothing to improve my waistline oh and turning 30 hasn't helped either. I try to drink hot tea at night and go to bed a little earlier to stop those extra pounds.

04-21-10, 12:47 PM
Have you had your thyroid checked?

10-03-10, 01:10 PM
I eat that way when I'm on my "med vacation." I've had some problems with anorexia. It's an uncontrollable, reward-seeking binge when I take breaks from the Adderall.

The term "medication vacation" has a connotation of a pleasant break from medication, but of course, that is not the case.

"Temporary Abstinence of Meds" is more accurate. Yeah, abstinence.

01-31-11, 06:54 AM
i eat loads before mine.
just have a drink of water before you go to eat soemthing,because that might be what you really need,or if not dont eat junk food.

06-09-11, 09:36 AM
I am noticing an eating problem too. I have been recently diagnosed with ADHD and have been on strattera for 2 months. Since I have been on it, it seems like I want to eat all the time. I have cravings for things I can normally control like sugar and carbs. I always get this sense of hunger in my stomach that signals me to want to eat even when I know I am not hungry. I try to ignore it, but I can't always. I used to be overweight my whole life and about 4 years ago lost 175 lbs to a size 4. Now I am worried that taking meds will make me heavy again. Supposedly stimulant meds can make people lose weight but I am the opposite. I am seriously considering getting off the meds and try to cope with my ADHD on my own now that I know what I have.


07-08-11, 05:21 PM
I took a few days off my meds and boy...I've been eating like a mad woman ever since then. I'm trying to take less meds but the compulsion to overeat has returned with venegance and gallons of ice cream, pizza, donuts, whipped cream here we come.

I gained 10 lbs within 2 weeks. It's awful!

07-16-11, 02:29 AM
I have a different philosophy. It's difficult to remember to do, but if you can, it'll help tremendously:

After you eat something; stop for about 10 minutes and see if it's really doing anything. To be more helpful, let your food hit your stomach and see if you're full then. If you are, then stop eating.

I've never had a problem relating to my weight regarding my meds unless I went off of them or something else comes up. Fortunately, now that my other problems are to the side, I can focus on getting my body back up if I can.

07-16-11, 01:42 PM
MMetelli has the right idea.

07-18-11, 04:05 PM
I can relate to so much that I'm reading here. I've struggled with food issues my whole life, but now I'm starting to reframe those struggles in terms of the challenges of ADHD and I can see how I use food as a means of stimulating my sluggish brain. Hunger has nothing to do with it. I can be full enough to puke and still want to eat. Only if I am doing something sufficiently stimulating do I not feel compelled to eat in order to focus, but the problem is that if I'm doing something I can hyperfocus on to that degree, that means that all kinds of other things I need to do are falling by the wayside. Food is something you can do "on the side," so to speak. Do you eat and read? Or eat and watch tv? Or eat and do your taxes or eat and balance your checkbook? In other words, do you find yourself eating while you're doing tasks that you would not otherwise be able to focus on? Is it any wonder that med holidays causes binges?
If I was on medication, especially medication that is known to have appetite suppressing properties, and I still wanted to eat, the first thing I'd ask myself is "Is this the right dose to adequately stimulate my brain? Maybe I need a higher dose. Or a different medicine altogether." But this is just my thinking on this issue, that's all.