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One of my coworkers said to me today that I've looked like a lost soul the last few days. I told him I've lost my belly, not my soul.

Among the side effects of Byetta (the diabetes drug I started taking in October) are nausea, appetite suppression, longer stomach retention of solids and weight loss. My nurse practitioner started me with a one month sample of half the dose she ultimately wanted me on, to make sure I'd take to it ok. I did adapt all right... but then I finished the sample over the weekend and went to get the scrip for the full dose filled.

I had already been trying to get over some fairly ugly indigestion when I switched to the new increased dose. The rest of the weekend was really not fun, and the week has not been so great either. Normally I confront nausea with a short-term diet of almost solely carbohydrates, but considering that half the cause in this case is my diabetes meds, that didn't seem like too great a plan (though I did have oatmeal with chocolate chips once in there, which was pretty ok). I have never been picky and like to eat a wide variety of foods; it was disconcerting to feel that there was nothing that I was both willing AND able to eat.

I'm progressing, with a notable improvement each day so far, but there's a ways to go. The nausea is a ghost of what it was five days ago, but my appetite has not been in evidence much at all this week. I had to make myself eat breakfast and lunch yesterday, and couldn't bear to do it for dinner - I had a glass of chocolate milk to soothe my stomach and trigger my meds, and went to bed very early. I had to do the same today, and I haven't been able to eat any normal size servings yet, either.

The only other time this has happened to me was in early 2004 during a period I like to call "The Lovesick Diet." Then as now, it's a damned strange sensation to feel that my belly is empty and not also be hungry. That usually only happens when I am sick. I suppose, in a way, side effects are kind of like a sickness in themselves, which is not really a thought I'd had before - I didn't have to.

However, on the bright side, after a scanty lunch of about 2 oz. of tuna and a handful of celery sticks, I got hungry again about three hours later. Of course, the only thing I could stand the thought of eating was the remaining 2 oz. of tuna, but I'll take what forward motion I can get.
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