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realization - Karen's Musings
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estherchaya
estherchaya
realization
I've been losing weight recently. Not entirely on purpose, which is to say, I haven't drastically changed anything I'm doing. But I lost 6 pounds in about 10 days and it has stayed off for just about as long.

I have also been having a ridiculous number of migraines. Almost non-stop.

And I think I just realized why (on both counts). Because I stopped taking Depakote, which I take for migraine prevention.
Because so long as there's a possibility that I could get pregnant (hah!), no matter how remote, it's a very, very, very, very, very, very bad idea for me to take Depakote.

So which is worse? Fat and unable to get pregnant, or migraines and still unlikely to get pregnant?

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Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

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Comments
(Deleted comment)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: June 28th, 2005 02:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
they're not rough, really. I just came to that realization that the two probably weren't coincidental. Thanks to a side-conversation in gingy's journal. I gained a LOT of weight on Depakote. So it's not entirely surprising that I'm losing some weight now, even though it took me this long to make the connection.
(Deleted comment)
hopeness From: hopeness Date: June 28th, 2005 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I also gained a ton of weight on Depakote. But I have to admit I've never heard of it prescribed as a migraine med - only as a mood stablizer and an anti-seizure med. It's got a lot of icky side effects.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: June 28th, 2005 03:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
for some reason or another, a lot of anticonvulsants are used as preventive therapy for migraines.
hopeness From: hopeness Date: June 28th, 2005 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh ugh. I wouldn't wish Depakote on anyone. The physical side-effects totally overrode any mood stabilizing benefits I got from it.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: June 28th, 2005 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
the only side effect I notice is weight gain. Depakote, unfotunately, seems to be the only drug that keeps me from getting migraines. Unfortunately, it's also really, really, really bad to be on depakote even in the first 30 days of pregnancy. So even though I'm not pregnant, unless I'm willing to use birth control, it's bad ju ju.
hopeness From: hopeness Date: June 28th, 2005 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bad ju ju, indeed, neural tube defects. I get paranoid even though I've been off it for over a year and a half because I've already got a history of spina bifida in my family and if we have (please G-d) children I'm going to be holding my breath the whole nine months. I mean, obviously I'm going to talk to a doctor about it but my own paranoia probably won't let me relax!
From: gittygiggles Date: June 28th, 2005 04:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
huh?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: June 28th, 2005 04:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're going to have to be more specific than that because I don't know what you're asking about.
From: gittygiggles Date: June 28th, 2005 04:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
i didn't understand the whole post....what's that d thing?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: June 28th, 2005 04:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
what d thing? Depakote? It's a drug. Usually prescribed as an anticonvulsant. I take it for migraines prevention.
From: gittygiggles Date: June 28th, 2005 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
ooooooooooh for daily migraine prevention??? i dig it
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: June 28th, 2005 04:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
yeah, I take it (or, rather, I took it) every day to help prevent migraines. Unfortunately, I gained a lot of weight. But it worked really really well.
From: gittygiggles Date: June 28th, 2005 08:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
i get it. so it's bad to take when pregnant?

sounds neat. i wonder if i should start on it.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: June 28th, 2005 08:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
yes.

And no, you should not start on it.
From: gittygiggles Date: June 28th, 2005 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
why do you think i shouldn't start it?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: June 28th, 2005 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
first of all, why would you need to? Second of all, you don't start something like depakote without trying other things first. Third of all, it doesn't keep you from GETTING pregnant. It does bad things to the fetus if you DO get pregnant. So as fertile as you are, it's not exactly a bright idea.
From: gittygiggles Date: June 28th, 2005 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
but i'm on an iud! it's more effective than sterilization!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: June 28th, 2005 08:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
but you don't NEED it! Why would you take a drug (that affects your BRAIN) if you don't NEED it?????????????

That, honestly, is about the worst idea you've ever had.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: June 28th, 2005 08:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
and seriously gitty, what exactly the hell is "NEAT" about that?
From: gittygiggles Date: June 28th, 2005 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
bc it'd stop migraines. i'm terrified i'm going to start getting them again :/
(Deleted comment)
From: gittygiggles Date: June 28th, 2005 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
yeah but i do get them with hormonal birth control. even though my neurologist assured me this one wouldn't cause it...i'm stillnervous. i can't take care of 2 babies and have a migraine.
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(Deleted comment)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: June 28th, 2005 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
but it doesn't "stop" migraines. It's used for some people as a preventive measure, but it doesn't work for everyone. And aside from the 30 to 50 pounds I've put on since I started taking it, the side effects can be truly horrifying for some people. It is not a first course drug. And it most certainly would not be a good idea if you're not currently getting migraines. There are many, many more things to try first. I've taken (literally) probably 50 or so different drugs over the last 20 years to try to counteract migraines. Because I get them almost every day (min. 4-5 times a week) and they suck. If you're not there, be grateful, thank Hashem, and work on finding a treatment that treats migraines one at a time.
kressel From: kressel Date: June 28th, 2005 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)



If you don't mind my asking, why does your weight affect your fertility? Are you borderline diabetic?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: June 28th, 2005 07:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
well, there's a couple things there... I'm not borderline diabetic, but I do have insulin resistance (which often comes part and parcel with PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome), but not remotely close to diabetic (my glucose tests all come out perfect).

For many women, however, being overweight does affect their fertility. A lot of women find increased fertility with increased weight loss.

In this case, I wasn't necessarily referring to my weight affecting my fertility. But, rather, if I take the Depakote, I will continue to gain weight as I have been, and on top of that, I have to take precautions to ensure that I don't get pregnant. Depakote can cause major issues for pregnancies in the first 30 days. So basically, if I'm taking it, I can't get pregnant and will have to act accordingly.

If I don't take it, I get migraines, and probably lose some weight (I'm currently not taking it. But I'll probably still have fertility issues that are unrelated to the others.

I'm not sure if this answered your question, but I'll give it a go. Let me know if you need more clarification.
kressel From: kressel Date: June 29th, 2005 03:46 am (UTC) (Link)



I suppose it really wasn't any of my business. I asked because you are being so public about it. I'll be davening for you!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: June 29th, 2005 05:07 am (UTC) (Link)
No, it's really fine. It's not like I blab about it in shul or anything, but I figure if I can't be open on LiveJournal, where can I be? If I didn't think it was your business, I would have told you I wasn't comfortable discussing it, or I would have taken it to email.
pocketnaomi From: pocketnaomi Date: June 29th, 2005 12:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I suspect that it's a matter of whether or not you can tolerate the migraines. Fat has nothing to do with it, though I agree it's probably related -- I lost weight when I switched away from Depakote too.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: June 29th, 2005 05:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
yeah. I hate them, but on the other hand, I've been getting them since I was 2, so they're nothing new.

And it's easy for you, a skinny person, to say that fat has nothing to do with it!
torahumaddachic From: torahumaddachic Date: June 29th, 2005 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
hey karen- my roomie told me she thinks i have PCOS (shes a PA)... what is that and is it dangerous?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: June 29th, 2005 01:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
dangerous? Not inherently. It is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Like any syndrome, your mileage may vary because it's a collection of symptoms that when put together can point to having the syndrome. But not everyone has the same symptoms. Common symptoms include polycystic ovaries, infertility (but not in all cases), inexplicable weight gain (and difficulty losing weight), body hair growth, thinning hair on your head, insulin resistance (sometimes leading to diabetes, but not necessarily), and so on.

I do not have all these symptoms. And most people don't have them all.

There's nothing inherently dangerous in a PCOS diagnosis. BUT, PCOS can put women at greater risk of a variety of things including diabetes (given he weight gain and the insulin resistance) and heart disease. Those risks, of course, are dangerous.

For a long time, women really only ended up diagnosed with PCOS when they discovered they were having fertility issues. Now earlier diagnoses are more common. I started suspecting PCOS when I put on 50 or 60 pounds in five weeks (while going to the gym 5 days a week, running, eating 1200 calories a day with less than 10% fat calories, and running about 3 miles a week in addition to the gym). But it took 4 or 5 years to get diagnosed.

There are a number of resources available. For starters, you might try http://www.pcossupport.org

Hope this helps. If you need more info, feel free to email me directly.
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