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Old 11-29-2011, 06:44 PM   #1
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new to lithium - few questions please

Having being diagnosed with bp2, I've just started taking 900mg lithium per day for 5 days so far. A few questions if you don't mind... Thank you in advance for your opinions.

1. How exactly am I supposed to feel? I tend to run hypomanic/hyperthymic in general.

2. Is there any way to preemptively avoid weight gain through iodine or various supplements to enhance the thyroid's function?

3. Does the initial 5 lbs of water/salt weight go away soon??

I'm really eager to level out my mood but AM petrified of weight gain because I have such weight management struggles to begin with. my TSH is currently within a normal range.

THANK YOU!!

 
Old 12-04-2011, 08:54 AM   #2
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Re: new to lithium - few questions please

Hello Sammygrl,

I have been on lithium for a few months now, starting out at 600mgs and ending at 1200mgs. When I was put on the stuff I was manic at the time, and still felt that for quite a while afterwards. Once I got up to my 1200mg dose I started to calm down, it's not completely calmed down, but I have been told it can take up to 2 years before lithium gets to its full potential...which in the last month I have noticed everything calming down quite a bit...it just takes time.

As for the weight gain, I have gained quite a bit more weight than normal, as I have to eat three times a day now (never did that before) but it's because the pills really effect my stomach, I also feel very dehydrated all the time, so I'm constantly drinking water...but I have noticed that once I gained about 15LBS its stopped...so exercise will help keep it off... but everyday, and it will also help with the moods.

I hope I was some help to you.

Good Luck with everything

-Rsky

 
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:33 AM   #3
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Re: new to lithium - few questions please

Thank you so much for your input Rsky. I'm so glad lithium is helping you now. Thanks for the input regarding the weight gain. I'm already up a couple pounds after only a week and a half but I'm determined to give it a fair shot. I'm only on 900mg; I hope it is enough! I tend to run rather high as a baseline and it's supposed to "slow me down".

 
Old 12-15-2011, 08:57 AM   #4
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Re: new to lithium - few questions please

Weight gain is somewhat common with lithium. Some evidence points that this may be related in part to the increased thirst the natural salt gives off. If you're drinking a lot more and choosing pop or juice or sugary drinks, this could be partly responsible for the weight gain lithium may cause. If you find you're gaining a great deal of weight, definitely talk to your doctor about trying a different medication. Abilify and Geodon usually don't cause any weight gain, so you may want to mention trying those to your doctor if the lithium doesn't work out for you.
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