The Athlete

Weight Loss Drugs

There are many reasons to diet. Health of course, being first and foremost, but we are also influenced by the media. We see celebrities we admire and we notice they are rich, they are influential and they are thin. Our doctors tell us that we must lose weight. Companies discriminate by not hiring the overweight and are now even firing overweight employees to cut down on their health insurance costs. We have become a society fixated on conquering the battle of the bulge.

Athletes also, unfortunately, as fit as they may be , or perhaps coming off a injury, where they have gained extra weight are under pressure to lose weight so they can perform at their maximun potential.In a society that demands instant gratification so losing one or two pounds a week with a healthy diet and exercise isn’t fast enough for us. We want to lose a lot of weight and we want to do it quickly, and we turn to weight loss products to help us along.

There are many weight loss products on the market today and they work in different ways. Knowing how they each affect your body can help you make an informed decision as to which product would be most beneficial and least detrimental to your overall health.

Classifications of Weight Loss Drugs

1. Appetite Suppressants such as fastin, adipex or ionamin promote weight loss by tricking the body into believing that it is not hungry or that it is full. They decrease appetite by increasing serotonin or catecholamine -- two brain chemicals that affect mood and appetite. This is not without it’s drawbacks.

These prescriptions are controlled substances which means the risk of addiction is there. Tolerance can also be developed, which means that after a relatively short time, more of the drug is needed to get the same effects. There are also many side effects including increased heart rate and blood pressure, insomnia, dry mouth, and anxiety. These drugs should only be used short term and your doctor should closely monitor treatment.

2. Cerebral stimulantssuch as Didrex, Bontril, Melfiat, and Plegine are similar in structure to amphetamines. The actions of these drugs are similar to other appetite suppressants, but with strong side effects and addictive qualities. These will cause a very high increase in blood pressure and heart rate. There is also the possibility of depression and psychotic episodes during withdrawal. Again, these drugs should be taken under strict medical supervision.


3. Fat-absorption inhibitors such as Meridian and Xenical work by preventing your body from breaking down and absorbing fat eaten with your meals. This unabsorbed fat is eliminated in bowel movements. As with all medications, thereare side effects. Some side effects include gas with discharge, an urgent need to go to the bathroom, oily or fatty stools, an oily discharge and spotting, increased number of bowel movements and the inability to control bowel movements. These side effects are generally mild and temporary, but may be worsened by eating foods that are high in fat.

How overweight should you be before using weight loss meds?

A person is determined to be overweight by the Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is calculated by dividing a person's weight (in kilograms) by his or her height (in meters, squared). A person with a BMI of 24 or less is considered to be an ideal weight. A person with a BMI of 25-29.9 is considered to be overweight. Individuals who fall into the BMI range of 25 to 34.9, are considered to be at especially high risk for obesity-related health problems (high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, diabetes, gallbladder disease and gallstones, breathing problems, such as sleep apnea and asthma). A BMI over 40 indicates that a person is morbidly obese.

Prescription weight loss meds should be considered as an option for people with a BMI of over 30 with no obesity-related conditions, or a BMI of over 27 if conditions are present.

What your doctor needs to know.

Since these drugs can have strong effects on the body, your doctor should be asking you about any drug allergies you may have, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and if you are taking any other drugs. Since existing conditions can affect the way these meds work your doctor also needs to know if you have any of the following conditions:
• Diabetes
• High blood pressure
• Heart disease
• Epilepsy (seizures)
• Kidney disease
• Glaucoma
• Alcohol or drug abuse (or a history of)
• Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
• Depression or other mental illness
• Migraine headaches requiring medication
• Planning to have surgery requiring general anesthesia
• Pregnancy or planning to become pregnant

The most sensible way to lose weight is with diet and exercise, but should you need some help along the way, remember to follow the prescription directions carefully, have your doctor monitor you as long as you are on the drug and stop if the side effects become uncomfortable or your doctor tells you that your body can’t handle it.Related Information Anti Depressants

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