June 10, 2011

Isradipine, Weight Gain, Exercise: Trimming the Fat

Are Isradipine or Other Meds Causing My Weight Gain?
Last year during the spring and summer, I lost 10 pounds. This year, with the same diet and exercise, I'm gaining weight. Even after several days of steady work in the garden and light meals of salad and fruit, I've seen the needle on the scale go UP. What's been going on?

Early in May, I changed my blood pressure med to Isradipine because studies suggested it might help stall the progress of Parkinson's. (Here's my earlier report: http://bit.ly/iFKbSH.) Did this switch contribute to my weight gain? I checked it out at http://www.mayoclinic.com/ and -- sure enough -- unexplained weight gain (or loss) appeared as a common symptom. Also listed was unusual fatigue, which I'd also been experiencing.

So, I made an appointment for next week to discuss this matter with my internist. Meanwhile, I decided to stop taking the Isradipine. It's only been a couple days since I stopped, but my weight is already down a bit and I'm feeling much more energetic.

Unfortunately -- in the spirit of Mae West's maxim "anything worth doing is worth overdoing" -- I also stopped taking most of my non-prescription diet supplements: CoQ10, calcium, vitamin D, and ginkgo biloba. So much for the "scientific method"! Now I can't say for sure that Isradipine was the culprit.

New and Promising Exercise
To further muddy the waters, I've started a new exercise routine I like... and think I can stick with. Like most people with Parkinson's, I begin the day by taking a Sinemet (generic) pill. We're instructed to take these pills on an empty stomach, and urged to wait about an hour before eating. This means delaying breakfast for an hour. Before, I had used this time at the computer. But I thought: why not capitalize on this early-morning opportunity by going out for a walk? Given Washington's climate (see posting below), it's an ideal time to venture outside. I get to see neighbors walking their dogs or taking their morning jogs. I come home refreshed and happy that I can check off at least one item on my day's to-do list.

So progress, not perfection.


Hon25hon said...

my name is antoinette , iwas diagonose with parkinson at 72 years old istarted to  lift my my right arm and drag my right foot.  Of course i am right handed and my whole world fell  apart , i ccould not turn the food in a frying pan, and when this happens it feels likesomeone sucked the blood out of your body..i take comtac, setiment ,carbodopa, andothers i cannot remember.  I heard they tthe scientist have developed a syrum in oxford ,england they can inject into th brain on the side that the dopomens are gone..why can;t we get this in america the newssaid it works..why////why do we have to wait 7 to 10 years to get it in America.. that is my story, i also have a blood disorder calle d polycythemia, they remove a pint of blood ever month and they discard it.. end o f my story  Antoinette a.

John said...

Someone asked if there's been any report on the clinical trial of using isradipine for PD at Northwestern U.  A search today (7/17/12) of NIH's PubMed
shows this as the most recent (11/9/2011) study reported on isradipine.  It reviews prior studies of using blood
pressure meds to treat Parkinson's and  mentions the pending Northwestern U. study.  The study authors' conclusion: "There is
currently a lack of evidence for the use of antihypertensive drugs for either
the primary or secondary prevention of PD. More observational studies are
required to identify potential drugs to go forward for safety and tolerability
studies in people with early PD. The results of the ongoing trial will help
inform further research."