Obesity isn't Just Caused by Over Eating!

 
For most obese people, excess weight is not caused by poor diet and lack of exercise. There are, however, instances when obesity is caused by a specific medical condition or the medications taken to treat it.
 
Anyone can become obese because something unforeseen happens to their body chemistry, through no fault of their own.
Medication can cause obesity in several ways:
  • Metabolism changes: Some drugs can alter the body’s metabolism causing calories to be burned more slowly.
  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids are known to stimulate appetite while reducing the body's ability to absorb glucose, which can promote central obesity.
  • Beta-blockers: Beta-blockers can cause shortness of breath and fatigue, making it difficult for patients to exercise.
  • Calcium channel blockers: Calcium channel blockers taken for high blood pressure can cause users to retain water.
  • Antipsychotic medications: Drugs prescribed for psychiatric conditions or mood issues, such as depression and bipolar disorder, are among those most closely associated with weight gain. Among the more common drugs associated with weight gain are quetiapine (Seroquel), olanzapine (Zyprexa) and risperidone (Risperdal). 

The side effects of a few drugs include appetite stimulation.  Tranquillizers, anti-depressants and some diabetic medications can increase appetite therefore lead to weight gain.  Some medications influence nutrient absorption through various mechanisms, including transit time of food through the digestive tract, pH and bile acid activity as examples.  Weight gain caused by prescribed medication can be very upsetting and sometimes weight loss can be very difficult. Where people gain weight after starting a particular medication, it is very important that they discuss this with their doctor and they should on no account stop taking their medication.

DRUGS AND HORMONES ARE SOMETIMES PRESCRIBED FOR WEIGHT MANAGEMENT

In addition to the effect medications may have on causing weight gain, there are also medications that may assist with weight loss. Obesity medication and weight loss drugs refer to all medications and hormones, which reduce or control weight. These drugs alter one of the fundamental processes of the human body, weight regulation, by reducing appetite, altering metabolism, or reducing the absorption of calories. The side effects of obesity drugs vary and may include headaches, restlessness or nervousness, insomnia, diarrhoea or constipation. 

There have been reports of people experiencing high blood pressure, seizures and even strokes but these incidences are extremely rare. The potential side effects to a person’s health are a real risk which should be considered, therefore it is recommended that anti-obesity drugs only be prescribed for obesity where it is hoped that the benefits of the treatment outweigh its risks.  People should be fully informed before making a decision which drugs is best for them.

It is important to realise that many  medications should only be prescribed for individuals with specific medical conditions and they are not recommended solely for the treatment of obesity. Some further information on these medications has been included here for your interest.

Your Body Hormones might not be Functioning as they Should

Thyroid Hormone

Hypothyroidism is a condition characterised by abnormally low thyroid hormone production. There are many disorders that result in hypothyroidism. These disorders may directly or indirectly involve the thyroid gland. Because thyroid hormone affects growth, development, and many cellular processes, inadequate thyroid hormone has widespread consequences for the body. Thyroid disorders can be controlled and sometimes the symptoms lessened by treating with thyroid hormones, however, it has been found that thyroid hormones can potentially contribute to development of obesity.

Many studies have shown that excess thyroid hormone treatment can help produce more weight loss than can be achieved by dieting alone.  This of course is good news for obesity sufferers, but it is by no means a solution.  Once thyroid hormone intake is stopped, the excess weight which has been lost is almost always regained.  During the time when fat is being lost from the body, so too is muscle mass.  This is not a good outcome when trying to lose weight over the long term because, as you may remember, muscle tissue uses more energy than other tissue, thus increasing the BMR by building muscle mass through exercise! 

Somatropin (Growth Hormone)

Primarily this hormone is used to treat childhood and adult growth hormone deficiency.  Reported side effects for taking this hormone include decreased body fat and increased muscle mass.  Some others experience increased bone density, increased energy levels, improved skin tone and texture and immune function.

A dose of growth hormone can be prescribed to help obese people lose weight. Studies have shown that obese people often have lower-than-normal levels of growth hormone in their body, which may make it harder for them to lose weight.  Researchers found that by giving obese women low doses of growth hormone helped, they lost fat whilst maintained muscle mass.  This is a huge break through in terms of weight loss, as normally people lose muscle mass and fat tissue. 
 
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