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About this site

Benzo Belly (Weight Gain)

These are descriptions of how individuals experienced various symptoms during withdrawal. While everyone's withdrawal is unique and symptoms will be different for everyone, it may be useful to know what others went through.

All withdrawal symptoms can be caused by things in addition to withdrawal. If a symptom is persistent or you are worried by it, it is always a good idea to get it checked out by your doctor to ensure nothing else is going on.

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Definition: An increase in body fat around the abdominal area. Cortisol, which rises with stress and benzos use may cause fat to accumulate around the abdominal area and then around the area above the hips.

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What I've Felt:

"I remember seeing a picture of a gentleman's benzo belly and thinking, 'I wouldn't want to look like that.' I've been climbing for 22 years, so have almost always had a pretty flat stomach, about which I used to be absurdly vain. As I neared the end of my taper, I began to develop a healthy benzo belly. I don't weigh myself, so I'm not sure if I'd gained weight or not, but my pants rode lower in front as my waistline pressed farther out. Sometimes I'd stand in the shower and wonder what happened to my toes. And when I looked at my profile in a mirror, I most definitely had the  profile of a pregnant woman or a chronic beer drinker." - Matt

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What I've Felt:

“In the initial stages of my getting off benzo I lost quite a lot of weight. At the end of my taper I started to gain weight especially around that middle abdomen area” - Anthea

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My Coping Strategies

bullet Acceptance

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Disclaimer:  The information contained in this website was not compiled by a doctor or anyone with medical training. The advice contained herein should not be substituted for the advice of a physician who is well-informed in the subject matter discussed. Before making any decisions about your health or treatment you should always confer with your physician and it is always assumed that you will do so.

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Last updated 23 May 2013