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Stressful Life Changes

Q: I have no idea who to talk to. Within the last 30 days I have gained at least 30 pounds. I am taking Zyban for smoking (29 days of not smoking now) and it is making me crazy and over emotional. My husband thinks I am suffering from PMDD, which could be true. I am at the point where this has to end. Did I also mention in June I had a baby (c-section -- did recovery all on my own -- no family support) and in August I had my gall bladder removed -- again no help. I am going nuts!!

Dr. Donnica:
You are not going nuts, although you may feel like it. You are going through a lot of stressful life changes and you lack family support, which is critically important.  You are also going through the physically challenging process of nicotine withdrawal, and I give you a lot of credit for quitting smoking.  Whatever you do, do NOT be tempted to start smoking again.  This is best for your overall health as well as your baby's health.  Next, you had 2 major operations AND a baby within 2 months--that's a lot on anyone's plate!  The weight gain is also stressful--and is probably a combination of decreased activity, stopping smoking, and being home more with a baby.  You may also have PMS or PMDD, but you haven't given me enough information to determine that.

You DO need someone to talk to--I recommend your doctor first to make sure that you're not clinically depressed, to make treatment recommendations if you have PMS or PMDD, and to make sure that you don't have hypothyroidism.  Next--turn to your husband and your friends.  Let them help you and support you.  If you need a counselor, ask your doctor for recommendations.  It's also time to get some exercise into your daily routine--with the baby or without.  Ask your doctor for guidelines, then go for it.  A little each day goes a LONG way.  Good luck!

Created: 2/21/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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