When you are trying to lose weight, it seems like everywhere you look someone is advertising the latest, greatest fat reducing discovery. But how do we know which ones are effective? Which ones are safe? Taking any medication for weight loss can be tricky or even dangerous if we don’t educate ourselves about how they will work in the body. While many medications that were once prescription-only now have an over the counter (OTC) version, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are right for everyone. Even OTC brands can be dangerous if misused. To help protect yourself, you should always seek the advice of a physician before trying any diet or weight loss plan.
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What Are Weight Loss Drugs?
Prescription weight loss pills (diet pills) are typically prescribed for individuals who need additional help to shed unwanted pounds. The medications approved by the FDA for obesity are intended for patients with a BMI of 30 or above or of 27 or above with a weight-related risk behavior such as diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Currently, half the US population is considered overweight with at least 30% of those individuals diagnosed as obese. With such a staggering number, there’s no wonder why diet pills are one of the fastest growing markets in America.
Although there are several different types of weight loss pills, two of the most commonly used are anorexiants and non-stimulants. Anorexiants have been around since the 1950s with the FDA approval of phentermine. Diet pills of this kind work by stimulating the hypothalamus gland and affecting certain neurotransmitters to decrease the appetite. This manipulation tricks the body into thinking it is not hungry, thereby reducing hunger pangs. Some of the most popular anorexiants include Belviq, Contrave, and Phentride as well as many others.
While anorexiants are often avoided due to the dangers associated with stimulants, other non-stimulant medications have come to the forefront of weight loss. Like stimulant weight loss medications, non stimulant appetite suppressant can help individuals lose weight. Non-stimulant drugs inhibit the body’s ability to absorb fats from foods as we consume them. These medications will help patients thin down; however, without changes in the way we consume food or adhering to a routine exercise plan, any weight loss is often gained once taken off the medication. One of the most popular non stimulant weight loss medications is Xenical.
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How to Keep the Weight Off?
As any physician will tell you, the key to a healthy, slimmer body is lifestyle changes. While most will agree that it is hard to change our habits and begin exercising when we are burdened down with so much extra weight, it is a necessary part of any diet. Diet pills are not something that should be taken for long periods of time. In fact, most doctors will limit their use for no more than twelve weeks, depending on which medication has been prescribed.
Prescription diet pills are intended to jump-start weight loss. Long term use, especially stimulant varieties, can be habit-forming if not used correctly. Addiction to these medications can cause other health conditions such as liver or heart disease and even death.
Where to Seek Treatment?
If you live in the San Francisco area and are overweight or obese and would like to seek professional help, contact EZCare Clinic today. Our experienced staff of doctors and therapists can help you design an effective weight-loss plan. Practitioners will complete a physical and determine if any additional healthcare concerns should be addressed before beginning a diet. If appropriate, a medication will be prescribed with your specific health and goals in mind. Therapists are also available that can work with patients to determine who may have a mental condition such as depression that exacerbates the unhealthy weight gain. At EZCare Clinic, we believe in treating the whole person, not just the disease.
Lastly, the clinic has an exercise program that patients can participate in that will help them continue losing weight and feel good about themselves once again. The caring and confidential staff are available to encourage and motivate our patients throughout every step of the process.
The clinic is open Monday through Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm to ensure that patients have access to our services when other practices are closed. Though we encourage appointments, walk-ins are always welcome. You can schedule an appointment online, or give us a call at (415) 966-0848.
Weight management is not just something we should look at in individuals who are overweight; it is a lifestyle that promotes good health and a positive self-image. Don’t let excess weight define who you are, take control today, and enjoy a healthier life.
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