Then came my Parkinson's diagnosis and a carbidopa-levodopa (Sinemet) prescription that needed to be taken as soon as I woke up AND on an empty stomach. The medication made me feel a bit queasy so my cereal got delayed by an hour and I lost a few pounds.
A few years later, I started taking a dopamine agonist along with the Sinemet. Soon after, I found I was hungry for sweets and I gained a few pounds.
Then I had my DBS surgery and stopped taking the agonist and my hunger for sweets slowly disappeared. However, I kept gaining weight. How much? Almost 15 pounds!
Prior to having the DBS surgery, I heard stories from others that weight gain afterward was common. My Parkinson's specialist confirmed this phenomena, but didn't know the exact reason.
Then I realized that I was NOT waking up hungry. In fact, I never felt hungry. I was eating because my Wonderful Hubby would say it was time to eat. If I had extra milk in my cereal bowl, I'd add more cereal, but not because I was hungry. Instead of eating a few potato chips, I would eat the whole bag but not because I was hungry. I'd just keep putting more servings on my plate until everything was gone. Not only did I not feel hungry, I wasn't ever feeling full either. No wonder I was gaining weight! The part of my brain controlling hunger and fullness wasn't working correctly.
Was the DBS to blame? Maybe?
I had to do something. I started to control my portions. No extra cereal for breakfast. I count out my potato chips. I allow myself one low calorie healthy evening snack, usually oatmeal or a frozen fruit bar. I am now back down to my pre-surgery weight and I'm still never hungry.
Looks like I won the Parkinson's Hunger Game!
PS Has anyone else with DBS experienced the same thing?
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