Arimidex and Weight Gain

by on April 20, 2012

Arimidex (anastrozole) is a medication used to help fight cancer. It is specifically used to fight certain types of breast cancers in post-menopausal women by inactivating the enzyme aromatase, preventing the supply of estrogen that will allow breast cancer to develop. Among the several side effects of taking Arimidex is rapid weight gain.

Clinical studies indicate that up to 10% of patients taking Arimidex may experience some weight gain.  If notice an excessive or uncontrolled increase in your body weight while using Arimidex, you should talk with doctor.

Tips to negate the effects of Weight gain

  • Eating Heart-Healthy - With the onset of cancer and the taking of drugs, it is more important than ever to treat your body well. Consuming a heart-healthy diet will help limit gaining weight on top of any effects from the Arimidex. Your new diet needs to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and grains that provide essential nutrients to your system. When purchasing milk products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, tries to select low-fat items. For your protein requirements switch from red meat to lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, and nuts.
  • Foods to Avoid - To reduce the amount of weight you can gain while taking Arimidex, there are certain foods that should be avoided. When checking nutrition labels on grocery purchases, take note of the levels of saturated fats, trans-fats and cholesterol amounts. The best fats to ingest are monounsaturated fats or polyunsaturated fats. Avoiding unhealthy saturated and trans-fats will help lower bad cholesterol levels. It is also important to lower the amount of sodium (salts) ingested daily. Another factor in rapid weight gain is added sugar. Keeping sugar levels low is also a necessary change in diet when attempting to limit weight gain from Arimidex.
  • Enjoy Exercise - The only way to burn calories is to work and sweat them off. Find a workout routine that suits your lifestyle, and find a way to incorporate it into a 30-minute workout daily. You should work out at least three days a week. An easy workout can be taking the dog for a walk, or taking the stairs while running errands. Joining a gym or exercise class can also be beneficial, especially if you need the help to keep motivated. To see weight melt away, you will need to exercise regularly for at least thirty minutes at a time. If you are experiencing aches and pains due to cancer treatments, speak with a physical therapist or a gym coach to find ways to keep moving without undue stress on your body.
  • Avoid Alcohol - If you are serious about losing weight while taking Arimidex, you will need to limit your intake of alcohol. Alcohol is a major factor in weight gain, and needs to be avoided when making efforts to lower your weight. Try to find another drink or snack that is healthy and can help you endure the alcoholic cravings. Finding something you enjoy doing can be a healthy distraction from drinking alcohol.