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Are you overweight or obesity? Do you wish you could lose the extra body mass your carrying around every day? Obesity and overweight people are at risk of developing a host of adverse health conditions that severely reduce the quality of life in the individual.
Many obesity individuals eventually decide to try and lose weight. However, introducing diet and exercise to a daily routine is challenging, and many people find they can’t live up to the commitment. Others find that they can’t seem to drop the excess weight regardless of dietary adjustments and exercise.
Overweight or obesity individuals that struggle with weight loss may need some pharmacological help. Weight loss drugs present you with a solution to your weight loss efforts. FDA-approved weight loss drugs can help you shed the extra fat weight, returning your body to a healthy BMI.
This post unpacks everything you need to know about weight loss drugs. We’ll look at the type of weight loss drugs, effectiveness, safety, and the results you can expect when using weight loss compounds.
Obesity is a huge problem (please excuse the pun). Typically, obesity is rife in the western developed economies, with America leading the free world in cases of obesity per its population. The health industry classifies obese individuals as people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or over. Overweight individuals have BMIs of between 25 to 30.
The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body weight in relation to height. There are plenty of online calculators offering you a simple way of calculating your BMI. Understanding your BMI and how it relates to your health gives you an idea of the health risk to your well-being.
If you consult with a qualified nutritionist, they’ll calculate your BMI and assess the risk to your health. They may also recommend a plan of dietary changes and the introduction of exercise to reduce body fat and return your body to a healthy BMI.
Typically, your nutritionist or health professional will map out a diet and exercise plan to recover your health. However, some individuals may find they have metabolic disorders, such as metabolic syndrome, that throw you off your journey to losing weight.
If that’s the case, the health professional or doctor may prescribe weight loss drugs in conjunction with your diet and exercise plan.
Obesity is a chronic medical condition affecting four out of every ten American adults. Almost one in ten Americans are dealing with the effects of severe obesity on their well-being. Many health professionals believe that obesity is becoming somewhat of an epidemic in the American population.
This disorder is a serious threat to the health of many Americans, considering as many as four million obese individuals die of complications relating to the condition each year.
Unfortunately, the rate of obesity in children and adults continues to skyrocket. Between 1975 to 2016, the rate of obesity in children and teens increased four-fold in the global population, progressing from 4% to 18%.
So, what drives obesity in populations? Today, more people are overweight or obese in all regions around the globe, apart from Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Experts originally thought the obesity issue stemmed from developed economies where people have higher access to bad food choices and more disposable income.
However, cases of overweight and obesity people are on the rise in urban settings in emerging economies. Today, the majority of obese and overweight children reside in low and middle-income nations. According to research, rates of obesity in these regions are some 30% more than in the western world.
Obesity doesn’t happen overnight, it’s the cumulation of years of unhealthy living. Many people who start to gain weight don’t realize it at first, or they don’t have much concern about it. However, as their condition worsens, they may start to notice symptoms and signs of obesity creeping into their daily lives.
Some of the signs and symptoms of obesity include the following.
Individuals noticing these symptoms typically have a BMI greater than 30. Men usually have a waistline over 40-inches and 35-inches in women. Obesity individuals have a marker decline in their quality of life due to their weight.
These individuals may find they can’t participate in sports, hobbies, or physical activities. Their fitness level is poor, and they can’t meet the demand the task places on their body. Obesity and overweight individuals may also develop problems with self-confidence, causing them to recede from public life.
While obesity has a pronounced physical effect on the body, it also carries a risk of the individual experiencing psychological distress. Affected individuals may face the following challenges to their mental health due to their overweight or obese condition.
As mentioned, obesity is a severely unhealthy metabolic state causing several physiological issues in the affected individual. Several factors contribute to the development of obesity. Behavioral, genetic, hormonal, and metabolic disorders can affect bodyweight accumulation.
However, the biggest reason for the development of obesity is simply the overconsumption of calories in the person’s diet. Calories are a unit of measurement for the energy contained in food. Everyone has a set amount of calories they need to eat each day to maintain bodily functions and well-being.
Undereating your calorie total causes your body to draw the nutrition it needs from the body’s fat stores. As a result, the person eating a calorie deficit for a prolonged period will experience fat loss and a reduction in their weight.
Those individuals that consistently consume more calories than their threshold start to accumulate body fat. Considering that many American foodstuffs are super-high in calories, it’s not surprising to see the highest rates of obesity in the world in the US.
The “American Diet” of fast food, sugary sodas, and candy introduce thousands of calories to the body, and your system converts the excess energy in the food to fat stores. Many people with anxiety or stress disorders turn to food to comfort them.
However, this strategy of eating to feel good creates a negative feedback loop in the obese individual’s brain. They become addicted to the dopamine release from the brain when eating comfort foods. Interestingly enough, dopamine is also the primary neurochemical released in the brain when drug addicts use their chosen poison.
Drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, and uppers create a massive surge of dopamine in the brain, leading to a feeling of euphoria. It’s the same experience, only slightly milder, for obese individuals that find themselves addicted to eating junk food.
Like any other metabolic disorder or disease, there are a set of risk factors in affected individuals, making them more predisposed to the development of obesity.
People with obese parents are likely to experience excess weight gain in early childhood and adolescence into adulthood.
Diets high in processed foods are calorie-dense, leading to the development of obesity.
Sugary soft drinks and milkshakes contain hundreds, if not thousands, of calories in a single serving.
Individuals devoid of exercise and physical stimulation don’t burn off the extra calories, leading to weight gain.
Prader-Willi syndrome and Cushing syndrome are examples of metabolic problems causing the affected individual to gain weight. Medications like beta-blockers can also disrupt metabolism, leading to weight gain.
With nutritious organic foods becoming expensive, many Americans only have the choice of eating a fast-food diet. The lack of fresh fruits and veggies in some states leads to the development of “food deserts,” where fast food becomes the only option for your meals.
Pregnant women need to eat for two. After birth, they may continue with overeating, resulting in weight gain. The changes to hormones in the body during and after pregnancy may also make it hard for some women to lose the “baby eight” after birth.
Quitting smoking increases your metabolic rate. As your body flushes out the toxins in the body, it begins to recover from self-poisoning.
As metabolic rate increases and tissues and organs recover, they require more food. As a result, people who quit smoking may need to fill the gap left by the habit by over-eating or snacking.
Poor sleep quality affects the hormonal system, causing the over-production of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. As a result, the affected individual may feel more hungry during the day and have cravings for unhealthy foods.
Overly-stressed individuals may start overeating as a way to cope with their emotional and psychological stress.
Our digestive system is home to millions of beneficial bacteria, known as “biomes.” Biomes adapt to your diet to pull the nutrition from your food, shuttling it into the bloodstream.
However, biomes adapt to your food choices. Therefore, if you eat a fast-food diet, you’ll find it hard to start eating healthy. That’s because the biomes resist the new food, making you crave the food they are used to consuming.
Overweight and obese individuals are living a lifestyle that eventually leads to poor health. Some of the health risks facing overweight and obese individuals include the following.
Obesity leads to higher blood pressure, resulting in “hypertension” in the affected individual. People suffering from hypertension are likely to experience heart damage and the potential for a stroke or heart attack due to the impact on circulation.
Obese and overweight people have problems maintaining their “insulin sensitivity.” As a result o0f constantly high blood sugar levels, the affected individual loses the normal function of the pancreas and its ability to produce insulin.
Obese individuals have a higher risk of developing the following forms of cancer.
Obese individuals are at a higher risk of developing digestive problems like gall bladder disease, heartburn, GERD, and liver issues.
Obesity contributes to irregular periods and infertility in women and erectile dysfunction in men.
Obese individuals have more body fat around the throat, constricting the airways during sleep. As a result, the affected individual may experience low blood oxygen levels. The lack of oxygenated blood leads to fatigue, a host of metabolic and physiological disorders, and even death.
Obesity adds more weight to your frame, and the skeletal system absorbs this burden. As a result, the cartilage in joints wears out faster than in people with normal body weight. As a result, obese individuals may experience the onset of osteoarthritis in their joints, with the lower back, hips, knees, and ankles being the most affected joints.
According to research, obesity is a leading factor in serve complications arising from COVID-19. People with obesity often have several “comorbidities,” such as diabetes, hypertension, and those listed above. As a result, they have a harder time dealing with the disease and risk developing severe outcomes.
Therapies designed to treat obesity involve modifying the affected individual’s diet and the introduction of exercise. However, these therapies require commitment and dedication to achieving weight loss goals.
The obese or overweight individual will find it very challenging to make these adjustments. For this reason, the medical practitioner monitoring the weight loss results in the patient makes small changes in the beginning.
Starting slowly with the weight loss allows the person’s metabolism and gut biome to gradually adjust to the dietary and lifestyle changes made by the obese individual. Health practitioners target a 5% to 10% weight loss in six months, reducing the patient’s BMI and resulting comorbidities.
Health professionals will monitor the process, weighing and measuring the individual at weekly or monthly intervals to check their progress. As the treatment progresses, the practitioner may introduce weight loss supplements. These supplements help individuals break through weight-loss plateaus where weight loss slows.
A weight loss supplement helps boost metabolism, even when the user is in a depleted state of low calories. Eating a calorie deficit eventually slows the metabolic rate and fat loss. The introduction of a weight loss supplement can jumpstart the metabolism, speeding up weight loss.
Let’s take an in-depth look at home diet, exercise, and supplements can improve weight loss.
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While weight loss might seem complicated, it boils down to one simple principle; eating lower than your daily required calorie intake. When visiting your health professional for an assessment, they calculate your BMI and your daily calorie needs.
For example, if you have a daily calorie requirement of 2,500-Calories, eating under this limit results in weight loss due to the calorie deficit. The body starts metabolizing fat stores to make up for the energy deficit in your diet.
Your health practitioner will map out a diet for you based on the healthy foods you like to eat. It’s important to note that you can lose weight by eating any food, as long as you eat under your daily calorie limit.
A 2010 study by Mark Haub had him eat nothing but twinkies for ten weeks. You probably think that that diet had him gain massive amounts of weight. However, the results of the study showed he lost a staggering 27-pounds during the ten weeks. How did he pull it off? Simple, he ate under his calorie threshold.
Before you think that’s a license to eat Twinkies and junk food, think again. The quality of the food in your diet also plays a big role in your weight loss. For instance, Twinkies are nothing but sugar, preservatives, corn syrup, unhealthy fats, and carbs.
Your body can’t thrive on a diet deficient in minerals and vitamins. Eating a Twinkie diet may be fine for an experiment, but it’s going to harm your health if you only eat Twinkies and junk food. You could end up with blood sugar problems, vitamin deficiencies, and metabolic problems.
Eating a healthy diet with fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and slow-digesting carbohydrates ensures your body gets the nutrition it needs to remain healthy during your weight loss.
Exercise is an essential ingredient in the battle to treat obesity. While it’s possible to lose weight through diet alone (by eating under your calorie threshold), you’ll experience faster weight loss results by adding exercise into the program.
Exercise stimulates the metabolism, causing you to burn more energy and fat stores. Obese individuals also lead a “sedentary” lifestyle, devoid of exercise and physical stimulation to the muscular system.
As a result, the muscles undergo a process known as “atrophy,” where they lay dormant. Therefore, obese individuals need to work their way into an exercise program gradually.
Hiring a personal trainer to help you with your body transformation gives you the support and knowledge you need to increase your weight loss and help the muscular system recover from atrophy. The trainer will start with stretching and light cardio work on a treadmill, increasing the intensity of your workouts as your muscular system and skeletal system strengthens.
Some overweight and obese individuals may not respond as well to a restrictive diet and exercise as others. If you’re struggling to lose weight, you may need a pharmacological intervention to help you drop the excess fat stores in your body.
Obese individuals with BMIs greater than 30 may require prescription weight loss drugs to assist them with jumpstarting the metabolism, inducing weight loss.
Metabolic syndrome is a collection of adverse health disorders. The combination of these disorders slows the metabolic rate in the affected individual. Therefore, they have trouble losing weight, even with a restrictive diet, exercise, and the use of a weight loss supplement.
According to health professionals, weight loss drugs are suitable for individuals dealing with contributing health disorders relating to obesity, such as dyslipidemia, high blood pressure (hypertension), or fatty liver disease.
Introducing these drugs alongside a healthy diet and exercise program can help boost the metabolism. As a result, the unresponsive patient will start to see weight loss.
Anti-obesity drugs help medical practitioners treat obesity in affected individuals. Your doctor will evaluate you to see if you’re a candidate for weight loss drug therapy. Doctors prescribe weight loss drugs to patients with one or both of the following issues.
When consulting with your doctor about your weight loss, they’ll conduct a full physical examination on you to see if you’re a candidate for weight loss drug therapy. The physician goes through your medical history, asking you important questions about your health.
If you are a suitable candidate, your doctor will; go over the pros and cons of using weight loss drugs in your program.
It’s important to note that weight loss drugs are not suitable for use in all scenarios. For example, pregnant women, or those trying to get pregnant, should avoid the use of weight-loss drugs. These compounds can affect fetal development and result in miscarriages in some cases.
Prescription anti-obesity drugs have FDA approval for long-term use in cycles of 12-weeks or longer. Research shows that these drugs create a significant impact on weight loss compared to placebos in control groups.
Adding weight loss drugs as a tool to assist a healthy diet and exercise program can supercharge weight loss. According to research, the addition of weight loss drugs to your program may increase your rate of fat loss by 3% to 7% over a year.
While that might sound like a small increase in fat loss, it’s actually a significant amount.
Anti-obesity drugs have several benefits for improving weight loss rates in obesity and overweight individuals. Combining these drugs with a healthy diet, calorie deficit, and exercise program, the patient experiences faster weight loss.
Typically, those obesity individuals using weight loss drug therapy alongside their health plan experience a 3% to 12% greater rate of fat loss than those not using the medication. Results vary from person to person, but research shows an average weight loss of around 10% of total body mass in 12-weeks after starting the treatment.
As a result of the rapid weight loss, the obese individual reduces blood sugar and cholesterol levels and improves blood pressure. The patient will also notice improvements in sleep quality, joint mobility, and energy levels during the day.
Typically, the majority of the weight loss occurs in the first six months of using the medication.
Anti-obesity drugs come in several different compounds, each with unique properties. Deciding on the right medication for your weight loss is a discussion you need to have with your doctor. Some of the vital considerations involved with taking the medication include the following.
Your doctor will run through all of these questions and more when assessing you for weight loss drug therapy.
It’s important to note that not everyone is a suitable candidate for weight loss drug therapy. Taking any form of weight management medication without your doctor’s consent is a foolish and dangerous choice.
While there are dozens of anti-obesity drugs, only a handful have the coveted approval of the FDA. As of 2021, the FDA approves the following four drugs for use in weight loss therapy.
The FDA currently is evaluating the efficacy and safety of a sixth drug, setmelanotide (IMCIVREE). This compound is suitable for use in individuals obesity with rare genetic disorders. However, your doctor need to test for these disorders before approving you to use the drug in your weight loss program.
Patients can use any of the five FDA-approved weight-loss drugs when they experienced a noticeable results and no severe weight loss side effects. These weight-loss compounds that curb appetite in users are only suitable for short-term use in 12-week cycles.
Orlistat (Alli) is an over-the-counter medication available without a prescription. Research shows that Orlistat effectively assists weight loss in obese individuals when used alongside a healthy diet and exercise program. The study also indicates that Orlistat will fast-track fat loss compared to not using the drug.
This anti-obesity drug is suitable for overweight and obesity adults over the age of 18. The drug is effective when used alongside a calorie deficit, and it performs best with a low-fat diet. Xenical is a more potent version of Alli, available through prescription.
Orlistat is also suitable for use in individuals undergoing weight loss surgery. The drug assists the body with handling the rebound effect after the surgery, ensuring the patient continues to lose body fat. Orlistat is part of a family of medicines called “lipase inhibitors.” Orlistat blocks fat absorption in the digestive system, flushing any unabsorbed fat out with your bowel movements. It’s for this reason that doctors prescribe orlistat therapy alongside a low-fat diet.
Studies suggest that Orlistat reduces “visceral fat,” the dense fat stores that collect around the lower abdomen and the love handles. This visceral fat is dangerous and may lead to health disorders like hypertension, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease in patients.
This anti-obesity drug is an experimental obesity treatment developed by Alizyme. This specialist biopharmaceutical company collaborated with Takeda Pharmaceutical to create the drug, known formally as “Cetilistat” or (ATL-962).
Cetilistat usage alongside a healthy diet and exercise plan limits pancreatic lipases, acting as a potent treatment for patients dealing with diabetes or dyslipidemia alongside obesity. Like Orlistat, Cetilistat absorbs the fat in your diet, excreting it from the body in bowel movements.
Cetilistat is also a powerful appetite suppressant without having any impact on neurochemistry in the brain. Medical trials conducted on Cetilistat in 2008 show it promotes weight loss significant in patients. The research also shows that obesity people have a good tolerance on Cetilistat, with minimal Cetilistat side effects.
Lorcaserin is another anti-obesity drug available for use in adults. Research shows that Lorcaserin effectively promotes weight loss and prevents the rebound effect after completing the medication. Officially, medical science classifies Lorcaserin as a “serotonin 2C (5-HT2C) receptor agonist.”
Medical science is unsure about the exact biological mechanism causing the weight loss in the patient. However, experts think that Lorcaserin selectively stimulates the 5-HT2C receptor in the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the region of the brain responsible for managing your hunger and food intake.
Lorcaserin activates these receptors, helping the patient decrease their food consumption. It does so by creating the feeling of satiation earlier while eating. As a result, the patient feels full while eating less food than they normally would. This strategy makes it easier for an obese individual to remain in a calorie deficit.
Lorcaserin has classification as a schedule IV controlled drug, and it’s only available through your doctor by prescription. Some research shows Lorcaserin may cause dependence on the drug, so your doctor will carefully monitor your progress after take Lorcaserin .
Sibutramine is another weight loss drug that plays on the brain’s neurochemistry. Sibutramine can alters the behavior of neurotransmitters in the brain, affecting the communication between the brain and nerves in the digestive system.
Using Sibutramine blocks the reuptake of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These potent neurotransmitters produce the pleasure effect in the brain when eating your favorite foods. As a result, patients find they no longer crave their favorite fast food and candy or soda, making it easier to adjust to their new lifestyle.
Sibutramine is effective, with most patients seeing a 5% to 10% reduction in body weight with extended use for six months. Research shows that Sibutramine work in weight loss plans than can improve the lipid (cholesterol) profile in users.
When it comes to choosing a right anti-obesity drug, you need to speak with your doctor. We think that the most effective weight loss compounds to treat obesity are Orlistat, Cetilistat, and Lorcaserin, and we’ll compare the efficacy of each to treat obesity.
Orlistat works by slowing the absorption of dietary fats by the digestive system. Lorcaserin reduces hunger and food cravings, and Cetilistat offers both appetite reduction and slower fat absorption.
Research into the efficacy of these weight-loss drugs shows that Lorcaserin is the most effective of the three at reducing waist circumference after 12-months of use. However, some research also shows that around 5% of patients cease using Orlistat and Lorcaserin due to the onset of adverse side effects.
Another study compared the effects of Cetilistat to Orlistat in obese patients with diabetes complications. After 12 weeks, weight loss in the Cetilistat group was greater than the placebo and about the same as Orlistat.
However, the study also shows that adverse events are more common with Orlistat, with the Orlistat group developing a higher number of adverse events.
Overall, it seems that Cetilistat is a better option. Users get fewer adverse events and side effects while maintaining the benefits of Orlistat and Lorcaserin.
Q: How long I need to see result after using weight loss drugs?
A: The duration of your treatment depends on your tolerance of the drug and its efficacy in helping you lose weight and keep it off. If you’re handling loss weight drug without any side effects and see results, your medical practitioner will likely keep you on it until you report adverse events or reach your weight loss goals.
If you start using the drug and have no noticeable results after three to four weeks on a full dose of the medication, speak to your doctor. Your physician may change the drug or advise against you taking any form of anti-obesity medication.
If you’re not losing weight while using an anti-obesity medication, your doctor may adjust your diet and exercise program. They may also refer you to a bariatric surgeon who will evaluate you for bariatric surgery to lose weight.
Since obesity is a chronic condition, patients will need to make permanent lifestyle and diet adjustments to ensure they don’t end up back where they started.
Q: Will I start gaining weight again after stopping my use of anti-obesity drugs?
A: Patients can expect some level of “rebound” after stopping the use of the medication. However, in most cases, the patient will find it easy to transition off the medication without putting on more than a pound or two.
It’s important for patients to build new eating and exercise habits to help them keep the weight off after transitioning off the drugs. According to federal physical activity guidelines, people should get at least 150 to 300-minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. Patients should also incorporate strength training into their exercise program twice a week.
Q: Will my health insurance cover the costs of my anti-obesity medication?
A: It depends on your insurer and the terms in your policy. Typically, all health insurers will pay at least a portion of the costs of the medication. Contact your health insurer and ask them if you have cover for weight loss drugs.
Q: Why do health care professionals use medications “off-label” to treat loss weight?
A: In some cases, doctors may decide to use a loss weight medication for a purpose other than its intended use and FDA approval. This method is known as “off-label” use of the medication. Your doctor may prescribe a drug suitable for treating another condition and use it to treat obesity.
However, there are very few drugs suitable for off-label use in weight loss. Your doctor will likely recommend one of the four weight-loss drugs mentioned in this post for your weight loss program. It’s important for people to understand that they should never use any weight loss drug without speaking to their doctor about it.
After meeting with your doctor, they’ll issue you a prescription for the ideal loss weight medication based on your situation, to fill your script, you have the option of going to pharmacy store or online pharmacy. Weight Loss Online Pharmacy also are very convenient, they can send the medication to your door, saving your time to pharmacy store.
It’s a critical thing that you only buy weight loss medication online from a reputable weight loss drugs supplier, and online pharmacy should offer you a method of checking the quality of their weight loss drugs. Never order their medications from weight loss online dealers without completing basic information you survey.