"Metabolic damage" from chemo/rads?

riffrandall Member Posts: 1
Hi everyone,
I was diagnosed with IIB HD in August of 2000, and had 6 months of ABVD chemo followed by a month of radiation to my mediastinal area. I didn't lose any weight prior to my diagnosis -- I had night sweats and some other symptoms instead.

Here's my question: Since the end of my treatment in May of 2001, I have gained 40 pounds. The weight gain has been slow and steady; I exercise several times a week and am very careful about what I eat, but the pounds just keep creeping on. I even hired a personal trainer for 3 months, thinking that I might not be exercising efficiently or something, but I continued to slowly gain weight even while working out with him. I asked my oncologist about this, and he said that sometimes "metabolic damage" can occur as a result of chemo/radiation, and that there wasn't much I could do about the weight gain that I wasn't already doing.
Have any of you experienced this problem or been told something similar by an oncologist? Anyone know of any methods to combat this problem?
Thanks for reading -- I really appreciate it!


  • melrose
    melrose Member Posts: 2
    metabolic damage
    Hi Emily-
    I am a fellow sufferer- In fact I logged on to the site looking for some info on weight gain/loss since treatment- Our stories sound similar. I was diagnosed in 03. Type 2B did 12 weeks of chemo and a month of radiation. I was also put into chemical menopause.

    I can't tell you how hard it is for me to loose weight- I'm now @40 pounds heavier than before treatment. My thyroid is slow- I take synthroid for and I have some food allergies gluten and lactose- It's all so frustrating I'm so miserable at this size. It's really done a number on my self image and dating.

    Maybe together we can figure out a solution- for now I'm thinking about strictly counting calories

    Thanks for posting
  • hodgkoid2003
    hodgkoid2003 Member Posts: 94
    Metabolic Damage

    Since my treatment days, a long time ago, my weight has averaged between 40-50 pounds heavier. I have not had a lot of success losing anything. During diets, and exercise, loss is temporary, and creeps back up.

    My doctor had been trying for years to put me on synthroid as a result of my radiation, I am hypothyroid. Funny, my onc kept wanting me on it to get my weight down, but my family doctor said not to expect any kind of major loss from being on the synthroid. I thought that's why I was eventually put on it.

    This whole thing of long term survivorship is still basically a new discipline of medicine. While my thyroid levels were definitely low, there is probably still something at work that no one has thought of.

    Paul E. (Hodgkoid2003)