Weighing risks and benefits on weight loss pills.

Excess of weight is a chronic disease that increases the risk of health problems.

More than two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese. Excess of weight is a chronic disease that increases the risk of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Prescription medications contribute with weight loss, and some are available OTC.

Here´s a look into weight loss pills:

  •  Both prescription and over-the-counter versions reduce about 1/3 of digested fats. If fats are not in an absorbable form, fewer calories are taken in. Patients may lose from 5 to 7 lbs. after 1 or 2 years of taking Orlistat – not a very optimistic stat, isn´t it?  From all the suppressing appetite pills only Orlistat works in the gastrointestinal tract. In addition to some digestive side effects (pain, gas, diarrhea), there are 2 conditions that are a concern:
  • The leakage of oily stools, even visible thru clothing and;
  • Decreased fat-soluble vitamin absorption. With an estimated 72% of vitamin D3 (a fat-soluble vitamin that also acts as a hormone) deficiency in people with obesity, reducing its availability increases risks of chronic inflammation, depression, cancer, diabetes and autoimmune diseases.
  • Patients taking it lost about 5% of their total body weight in 1 year. It may help by eating less and feeling full sooner. If weight loss doesn´t happen within the first 12 weeks, it should be stopped according to FDA recommendations.
  • Phentermine and topiramate. Approved in 2012, it helps lose about 5% of the total body weight. It works by making patients feel full and make food taste less appealing.

If patients combine an adequate diet and physical exercise under a health care supervised weight loss therapy, weight loss pills may reduce health risks. Any OTC or self-prescribed pharmaceutical treatment has a potentially dangerous drug interactions and side effects, and is considered an unsafe practice.

From a weight loss perspective, a 5% of total body weight means improvement on metabolic responses and life quality; though it may be a very low goal for patients with higher BMI´s when compared to extreme weight loss from bariatric surgery, which has proven to be the most effective tool for long-term weight loss.

 

References:

http://www.win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/prescription.htm

http://www.drugs.com/article/prescription-weight-loss-drugs.html


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OCC’s epidemiologist is closely monitoring the COVID-19 status and is actively issuing updates as they are available. The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization are the most trusted sources online.  While the CDC has announced new mask protocols for vaccinated individuals, there will be no changes for our office protocols for patients, guests, and staff members as the announcement does not apply to hospitals or medical facilities. Masks are still a requirement for all patients, guests and staff at our facility.

As we reinitiate weight loss surgery, we are constantly adapting and installing new and updated safety measures.

Weight loss surgery is medically necessary.

Bariatric Surgery and the clash of two pandemics.   

Major metabolic and bariatric surgery Societies and colleges globally are now calling for the safe resumption of bariatric and metabolic surgery before the COVID-19 pandemic is declared over. 

The sooner bariatric surgery can be safely performed, the quicker obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other diseases can be reduced or resolved as they are not only chronic they are also progressive.  Obesity is also linked to more than 40 diseases including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and at least 13 different types of cancer.

A recent statement from the ASMBS says “Before COVID-19 began, it was clear that patients with obesity were ‘safer through surgery.’ In the era of COVID-19, ‘safer through surgery’ for patients with obesity may prove to be even more important than before.” Obesity and Metabolic syndrome have been identified as an independent risk factor for adverse outcomes including death among COVID-19 patients.

See here for full COVID-19 update. 

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