When Losing Weight, Medications Can Be Crucial

It can be a tough battle if you’re losing weight, but well worth the effort. Today, more focus than ever is focused on it, since obesity is now the leading cause of preventable death, overtaking smoking. Just like patches and medications for smoking cessation, there are medications to help boost weight loss. However, like quitting smoking, the big difference comes from the changes you make in life. For smokers, it may be going to the gym and getting more exercise to help resist the urge to smoke. For people trying to lose weight, it includes that, plus changing eating habits.

Lifestyle changes are the most important, but when you add weight loss medication it makes a big difference.

Studies on the best approach to weight loss say that lifestyle changes are necessary, but that when you combine that with medication, it boosts the weight loss by as much as 10%. Those changes in eating habits, sleeping habits and the addition of a regular workout program also increase the potential for keeping weight from returning.

Sustaining weight loss is important.

Losing weight is tough enough but keeping it off is even tougher. In order to dramatically affect health, weight loss has to be sustained. Not only does losing weight help reverse insulin resistance, but it can also help reverse type 2 diabetes or reduce the need for insulin and medications. Sustained weight loss can also improve cardiovascular conditions and help limit the effect of other diseases.

Do the drugs have any side effects or long term dangers?

There are approximately four medications that are approved for use. Bupropion-naltrexone under the name of Contrave, Liraglutide, sold as Saxenda, Orlistat called Xenical and Phentermine-topiramate sold commercially as Qsymia. Bupropion-naltrexone is an antidepressant and carries side effects of increased risk of suicide, nausea, constipation and headache. Liraglutide is used for diabetes, given by injection and may cause nausea. Orlistat can be purchased over-the-counter as Alli. It can cause gas and digestive issues and may damage the liver. Phentermine-topiramate combines two drugs, one of which is an anticonvulsant. It can be abused, since it acts like amphetamine. It also can increase blood pressure and heart rate, while increasing the risk of birth defects.

  • In order to get the right type of drug that really helps, you need to work with your health care professional. Most of these drugs are available only to the severely overweight and obese.
  • While there are risks to many of these drugs for weight loss, often the benefits outweigh the risks, particularly in the severely obese. It’s always important to work closely with your health care professional.
  • Some people using weight loss drugs take a combination of several drugs. If there are side effects, such as nausea, adjusting the dosage or combination often solves the problem.
  • Some medical professionals believe that in order to maintain the weight loss, the drugs must be taken the rest of the life of the patient. Others suggest that medication is only a supplement to aid in weight loss, for initial weight loss and until lifestyle changes become habit.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

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