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Methadone’s Impact on Weight and Your Metabolism

by Nick

Opioid addiction and recovery can cause changes to your body and mind. Some patients who take methadone in medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, experience weight gain. As a result, many wonder if methadone increases weight. Read on to discover how methadone affects metabolism as well as how you can maintain a healthy weight during treatment. 

Does Methadone Cause Weight Gain?

If you’re curious if methadone is affecting your weight, you are not alone. While some people do gain weight while taking methadone, others do not. Like any prescription medication, methadone can have side effects, one of which may be weight gain. However, the drug does not always cause weight changes. 

What Factors Link Weight Gain and Methadone?

Although methadone doesn’t directly cause weight gain, patients experiencing an increase in weight during MAT may:

  • Have changes in sugar cravings. All opioids affect how the body processes sugar. With the help of a doctor, patients can practice healthy lifestyle changes to better facilitate their recovery. However, methadone may still cause more sugar cravings than usual. 
  • Experience situational changes. Situational factors or appetite changes can cause you to lose weight due to opioid addiction. However, gaining weight back after addiction may signal an improvement in health through more regular nutrition. Ask your doctor whether your weight changes are something to address or represent a positive effect of renewed health. 

It’s important to note that weight gain during MAT may have many causes not connected to your methadone intake. 

How Does Methadone Affect Metabolism? 

Methadone may slow down your metabolism and cause water retention, which can lead to weight gain. The good news is, you can keep the pounds off by nourishing your body. Exercise regularly and choose foods high in fiber, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains. 

How to Maintain a Healthy Weight During MAT

If you’re in treatment for opioid addiction, you have taken a significant step forward on the journey to recovery. To celebrate your success, try adding these practices to your daily routine:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water rinses the toxins in your body that have accumulated over time. 
  • Eat three full meals per day. Skipping meals may make you crave carbohydrate-rich foods and overindulge, so make sure you eat balanced meals throughout the day. 
  • Try a new exercise routine. Regular exercise can generate the dopamine production your brain is craving, burn calories and help you sleep better at night.  

Seek Treatment From Health Care Resource Centers (HCRC)

At HCRC, we want to help you take care of every aspect of your health while in MAT at one of our facilities. If you’re worried that taking methadone may affect your weight, let our medical staff know. By acknowledging your full medical history, we can help you make lifestyle and treatment changes to achieve better overall health. 

If you’re considering methadone maintenance or need help recovering from opioid addiction, know HCRC can help. Find a HCRC clinic near you or contact us online to learn more about how methadone affects metabolism. 

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