Weight Loss Solutions Doctors Can Offer

We all know the struggle when it comes to losing weight, with the crazy hustle bustle of modern everyday life. Then, keeping the weight off with healthy dietary and lifestyle changes can be even harder. But if your BMI is mild-moderate, then these measures can still help with due diligence.

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However, if you’ve been diagnosed with morbid obesity, these changes are unlikely to make much difference. There are also individuals on the obesity spectrum who have certain health conditions, such as heart disease, physical limitations and type 2 diabetes, which make typical weight loss regimes useless or even harmful for them. Generally, if the obesity is at a BMI of 30 or higher, dieting and working out hasn’t been effective on its own, and you have certain health conditions that are causing difficulty, doctors will usually prescribe weight loss medications to help you on your weight loss journey.

Although the medications have been shown to help many overweight or even mildly obese people, unfortunately they don’t work on everyone. Therefore, if the patient has tried everything without success, or is so morbidly obese that his/her life is in real danger, then time is of the essence. In these extreme cases, healthcare professionals will most often cancel the medications and jump right into surgical weight loss procedures.

Listed below are some of the most effective weight loss solutions and procedures that doctors can offer you today.

Weight-Loss

Long-Term Pill: Orlistat (Xenical)

How it works: Orlistat prevents your body from absorbing about a third of the fat you consume in every meal. It achieves this by inhibiting pancreatic and gastric lipase, thereby decreasing fat absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. Xenical is available in doses of 120 mg.

Important info regarding Orlistat: You should be on a low-fat diet before you start taking orlistat. Also, you should take a multivitamin at least 2 hours before or after taking orlistat, because the drug temporarily makes it harder for your body to absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K. Additionally, Orlistat is the only drug of its kind that’s been approved in the U.S. All the others are appetite reducers.

Long-Term Injectable: Liraglutide (Saxenda)

Liraglutide is a higher dose of the type 2 diabetes drug, Victoza. It mimics an intestinal hormone that tells the brain that your stomach is full, thus curbing those pesky, all – too – familiar hunger pangs and food cravings.

Liraglutide (Saxenda) is a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor approved for treating adults with diabetes type 2 as Victoza, and for weight loss injection as Saxenda. Doses start at 0.6 mg to 3 mg a day. Liraglutide works by delaying gastric emptying, which helps you feel satisfied for longer periods of time.

Important info regarding Liraglutide: According to the FDA, If you don’t lose 4% of your weight after 16 weeks of taking Liraglutide, your doctor may tell you to stop taking it.

Procedure: Gastric Bypass Surgery (Roux-en-Y)

According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), Gastric bypass surgery divides a portion of the stomach away from the rest of the stomach, creating a small pouch. This causes food to bypass the rest of the stomach. A surgeon connects the small intestine to the smaller stomach, forcing you to eat smaller meals. The smaller stomach and small intestine are less able to digest and absorb food, thus inducing weight loss. However, it may mean that a person will extract less nutrition from their smaller meals, so proper dietary support is highly recommended.

Important info regarding Gastric Bypass: Most people who qualify for this surgery lose significant weight fairly quickly, improving their health and quality of life. However, it does require you to make long-term changes to your diet. Additionally, Gastric bypass is also a relatively complex procedure that requires a longer hospital stay.

Procedure: Adjustable Gastric Band Surgery

The adjustable gastric band wraps a band around the upper portion of the stomach. This shrinks the usable part of the stomach, producing similar effects to gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. A doctor tightens the band over time, so the effect is more gradual than traditional surgeries. Research suggests that the gastric band may not reduce the total amount of food a person consumes, because food may still pass through the band. So instead, the band is most effective with reducing hunger.

Important info regarding Gastric Bands: The adjustable gastric band is a reversible procedure, with the lowest rate of early complications of any weight loss surgery. It is also less invasive, and presents a lower risk of nutritional deficiencies. However, it often requires subsequent surgeries, and weight loss tends to be slower.

Procedure: Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery

Sleeve gastrectomy removes about 80 percent of the stomach. This has a similar effect to gastric bypass, reducing the amount of food a person can eat, which leads to weight loss. This surgery also affects the production of various hormones. This can help you feel satisfied faster, reduce feelings of hunger and food cravings.

Important info regarding Sleeve Gastrectomy: It works almost as well as gastric bypass, and is a less invasive procedure that requires a shorter hospital stay, according to the ASMBS. Like gastric bypass, it can cause nutritional deficiencies without proper guidance. It is also irreversible, so it’s normally not a first choice by doctors.

Final Thoughts

Regarding weight loss medications, It’s important to note that all kinds of medications are merely a helpful boost for weight loss. Therefore, they must be taken together with daily diet and exercise to be effective.

Furthermore, all medications and surgical procedures have potential risks and side effects, and some may not be suitable for you. Your doctor will know what’s best for you. Also, make sure he/she explains the risks to you.

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