How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Chip Your Own Question
Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 36123
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
Type Your Medical Question Here...
Dr. Chip is online now

I am aged 67 yrs and 2 / 3 stones overweight - 5ft 6 ins,

This answer was rated:

I am aged 67 yrs and 2 / 3 stones overweight - 5ft 6 ins, 13st 2lb, BMI of 31 - I have dieted, exercised and had a gastric band fitted but cannot lose weight. My GP sent me to a Health trainer + Slimming World consultant but I only lost 2lb in 6 months, now both have referred me back to my GP. but all blood tests for thyroid and diabetes have come back clear. The weight is really depressing me. I gained the weight after taking Citalopram antidepressant and have been off them now for 3 years but cannot lose the weight. Has my metabolism been affected permanently or can the affects of the medication be reversed. No amount of reducing my calorie intake and increasing exercise has made any difference
Hi--how many calories did you cut from your diet? Do you know what your TSH level was and did you have your cortisol levels checked?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ate only 1200 - 1400 cals daily - don't know TSH level but my GP said it and cortisol level was ok after blood tests

OK Since that amount of calories should have produced an effective amount of weight loss there has to be a metabolic problem here. Most likely it's your thyroid being low and even though your GP said your TSH level was OK, unless it was in the less than 2.5 range you must be hypothyroid and the newer guidelines for that may not be something your doctor knows about. What you need to do is see an endocrinologist for further testing and for thyroid supplementation if you are low thyroid. It could also be that you need further cortisol level testing. The metabolic effect of Citalopram itself is not a permanent thing once you've stopped it. If you need more information here, please just ask me
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many others on an internet forum have said that they have gained weight with Citalopram and cannot lose it even after they have stopped the medication - I fear that my metabolism has been slowed down permanently - can I take anything to increase it

You can try green tea, zinc and selenium supplements, and adding chili peppers to your diet but again, if those other people had the same problem it still would be their thyroid and if that were treated the weight problem would resolve itself
Dr. Chip and other Medical Specialists are ready to help you