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August 04, 2008

Are Weight Loss Drugs Safe?

Posted in: Health

Obesity is fast becoming the number one health problem in developed and developing countries around the world; the problem has now extended to younger and younger children who are affected, with the fear they will grow into overweight adults. The two main methods that people currently employ to shed excess pounds are surgery which might be considered excessive by some, or exercising and eating more healthily. Of course if you are really in a hurry then you can always use weight loss medication to speed the process up.

The process is relatively simple as the drugs act upon the brain’s own chemical, serotonin, fooling the brain into believing it’s not hungry and at the same time increasing the body’s metabolism. It was only after scientists discovered that these drugs had side effects and were related to heart valve disease that they were taken off the shelves. Newer drugs were developed and started to be prescribed by physicians and dieticians, some of these drugs are currently waiting for the Federal Drug Administration go ahead.

Most people have known friends or family members who have tried using diet pills and have seen tremendous improvement. To many it is a wonder drug and let’s be honest, if you could lose weight that easily without having to sacrifice anything in the process, you would take them as well. Many millions of dollars are spent each year in The United States alone whilst the drug manufacturers spend huge sums on further research into weight loss drugs.

Even with all the testing and new techniques available for manufacturers, many side effects like nausea and diarrhea still exist with the new generation of weight control pills which, incidentally, can still be purchased over the counter. Surprisingly more dangerous side effects exist including stroke, heart attack, renal failure to name only a few, so these drugs are still far from safe to use.

The side effects will depend on the person taking the medicine and can be related to their lifestyle; a consultation with the doctor first, rather than buying them over the counter, can help to reduce side effects; stopping using the drugs completely may not eradicate all the problems they may have caused. Problems like depression, nausea, bad mood swings, nightmares, insomnia for example have all been reported when a person has stopped taking the weight control pills.

Many clinical tests will show that the weight loss drugs taken to reduce weight really work but this can only be done in conjunction with a low calorie diet and an exercise plan. A diet that is full of foods such as oats, rice, cereals, potatoes, vegetables and fruits contain a good supply of vitamins, minerals and essential fiber.

Of course this should always be combined with a good exercise routine which will use up excess calories and provide a good all round fitness workout. The best exercise plans should have cardiovascular and weight training exercises as this helps burn calories and increase the muscle to fat ratio that will increase a person’s metabolism and assist with weight loss.


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