Side Effects of Diet Pills
You don't have to do anything except pop it in and wait for the weight to fall off.
It's that easy. It's just a pill.
It's not hard to understand why it has become so popular...but like many drugs, prescribed or otherwise, taking them can have serious side effects, as well as not actually being very successful in the long-term.
The diet pill works by suppressing your appetite. Chemicals in the brain are released that in turn reduce the feelings of hunger.
In other words, you take a pill, and this causes you to eat less.
It's a form of starvation really, so it's going to work...for a while.
But there is a limit to how long the body can withstand such treatment, and reliance on something like a pill that tampers with your body's natural mechanisms and doesn't always go down well with your body's defense system.
Many of the side effects associated with taking diet pills are the same as those experienced when taking anti-depressants and other drugs or medications and can cause strokes, convulsions, panic attacks, hallucinations, stomach pains...and death.
It's been well documented in numerous medical journals and research papers that as soon as people stop taking diet pills, they are back where they started, eating like they normally did and putting the weight back on - instantly.
So, is it worth it?
Strangely enough, many people desperate to lose weight think it is...but they just don't know how harmful it can be.
Dangers of Phentermine
The dangers of taking a fast weight loss diet pill such as phentermine (which is banned in Britain but still readily available on the Internet from over 2,300 websites and in the US as a controlled substance) is well illustrated in the case of one woman who wanted to lose 28 pounds (2 stones).
She started taking phentermine and within days was starting to feel "odd."
She spent $200 for a two week supply, but soon found herself suffering from shakes, and teeth-grinding, and she couldn't eat more than a few apples and a slice of toast, and if she did manage a decent meal she would feel boated and nauseous right afterwards.
Agonizing stomach pains followed, as well as sleepless nights...but the weight did come off, and her target of 28 pounds was reached.
However, as soon as she stopped taking the pill the weight came straight back on. And that's when she began taking double and triple doses, which led to even worse side effects.
She started hallucinating then, and even passed out on various occasions.
Her condition grew so bad her doctor eventually booked her in for a course of intensive psychotherapy when her weight plummeted.
Feeding the body anything that isn't natural is just asking for trouble.
Yes, our bodies may consist of chemicals - but these are naturally occurring. They are not manufactured by robots and made by people in factories.
Diuretic Pills for Super-Fast Results?
Yes, ridding the body of water will lead to loss of weight.
Well, kind of. But not really.
Fluids are not fat for one thing, and although losing fluids will make you lighter, it is not actually a very good idea as the body relies on water to function…in fact our bodies are made up of 90% water!
We need water to survive plain, and simple.
So shedding water in an effort to lose weight is a bit of a mixed up theory because it can lead to dehydration which is very dangerous.
You can die if you become dehydrated.
And really it makes no sense when you consider that the general medical consensus these days is that we should all be drinking at least 2 liters of water a day to maintain a healthy body, and lifestyle.
Nevertheless, there are pills that will help the body lose water. Funnily enough, these are called ‘water pills,’ or diuretic pills to use the more technical expression.
Diuretics certainly have their place when treating edema (water build-up in the body most notably around the feet, and legs which causes uncomfortable swelling), and salt retention issues, which leads to heart, and liver problems.
But as a weight loss measure, it can lead to dangerous situations.
Talking of dangerous pills, Fen-Phen is probably one of the most dangerous ever invented.
A combination of dietary drugs Fenfluramine and Phentermine, it was all the rage (with 18 million prescriptions being filled in each month in 1996) and became a much-loved weight loss pill…for about a year.
Until 24 women developed serious heart disease as a direct result of taking the drug, the drug company was sued to the tune of $4.75 billion, and the guilty product was removed from harm's way forever.
Ironically, Fen-Phen was created because some bright pharmacist had the clever idea that by combining the two drugs the side effects of each could be nullified. For instance, the constipation caused by phentermine was offset by the diarrhea caused by fenfluramine.
Oh, happy days! Well, for a while.
Not so happy for American Home Products when that lawsuit dropped through the letterbox onto their marble entrance hall.
The Alli Pill
On another ‘lighter’ note, and following on from the laxative theme, is the new Alli pill, a drug derived from the prescribed medication Xenical.
This over-the-counter, available to all ‘weight loss pill’ has taken the world by storm by people excited at the prospect of controlling their weight easily, and super quickly (although it is a pill that will make light work of emptying your purse too at $55 for 20 days' worth).
Trouble is – it makes you poop. And quite suddenly too. Which in effect makes it just a laxative.
Even drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline warn you that it’s best to start taking Alli on your day off to avoid any embarrassing explosions.
Oh, yes, they even advise you to wear dark clothing!
The Alli pill works by decreasing the amount of fat your body absorbs.
In effect this pill holds your body accountable with the threat of filling your pants if you eat above 15g of fat at any meal.
If you stray over that magic figure, you can end up with a messy figure from the bottom down!
A revolting thought, no?
It may not be strictly speaking ‘dangerous,’ although it could cause irreparable harm to your public image. Although having said that, Alli does have side-effects (like most all man-made chemical-based drugs), including stomach pain, gas, and…wait for it…uncontrolled seepage of anal oil!
And of course, this pill is not exactly for “everyone” as people with diabetes, thyroid, gallbladder or kidney stone problems must seek medical advice before using Alli.
The funny thing is, the Alli pill is actually approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
It’s as if they are having a laugh at the public’s expense, you can just see the government bod's sitting behind their desks leaning out of the window of their high-rise HQ waiting to chuckle at the sight of citizens scurrying to find the nearest bathroom so they can change into the spare underpants they have been carrying around.
Now there’s a skit fit for Saturday Night Live if ever there was one!
But is this really the answer to losing weight? Keeping your weight down under threat of public humiliation?
Is that really any way to live your life?
Should you really have to carry a spare pair of undergarments with you everywhere you go when you go out?
No, of course not, because what you are not told is that once you stop using fast weight loss products (which you surely will want to eventually), you are simply going to put all that weight you lost back on – immediately!
And, the whole point of using a drug like the Alli pill is that it must be combined with a healthier diet and regular exercise.
It’s part of the deal.
In other words, it all boils down to having a balanced diet, and sustainable exercise routine.
Unless you start changing your eating habits and combine it with regular exercise using an Alli pill or any other drugs is just not going to work anyway.
Do you really think you are going to pop an Alli a day to keep fat away for the rest of your life?
Of course not.
New Research Finding
Even now researchers are busy exploring the new possibilities and potential for weight loss heaven following the recent discovery of two hormones leptin and ghrelin that affect hunger and appetite.
Ghrelin is produced in the stomach and is said to have a role in the stomach-brain communication that alerts us when to eat and when to stop.
Ghrelin levels rise after about three hours and cause us to feel hungry. After eating, these ghrelin levels drop again, only to rise once more about three hours later.
Leptin is another hormone that comes into play to let our brains know how much fat we have stored in our bodies. Leptin is made by fat cells, so as fat stores rise more leptin is secreted and makes its way to the brain with the command to stop eating because the fat levels are enough.
When fat levels fall, so does leptin...and then appetite increases.
- Researchers believe that a glitch in someone's individual body make-up could be the reason why people gain weight.
- They also suggest that obese people may have a resistance to leptin.
- In other words, the leptin message to stop eating isn't getting through. This appears to have been proven in tests on mice. Mice don't have any naturally occurring leptin, so they can grow enormously obese if given the chance.
- Another avenue of thought suggests that our body weight has a "set point" because of our genes, so that people who become obese do so not because of bad lifestyle but because that is always going to be their natural genetic state.
Thus losing weight is always going to be an uphill battle as will power alone will not be enough to stop obese people from eating.
So, naturally enough, the quest is now on to find a way to limit ghrelin and stimulate leptin...and you guessed it...with drugs!
But although these new drugs to help obesity may prove successful, one doctor involved in the research has been quoted as saying the body would more than likely find other ways to stimulate appetite anyway through genetics and evolution!
Hence, it does beg the question, is it all really worth all this time and effort on research when nature usually finds a way to triumph over man's efforts to tinker with it?
Well, yes and no.
Yes, because the latest revelations about ghrelin and leptin are important because it gives those providing healthcare and nutritional expertise another avenue to explore when ascertaining the best course of exercise or weight-loss programming.
No, because when it comes to reliance on drugs the bottom line is the drugs just don't work for long term benefit.
Drugs don't cure anything. They just provide short-term relief.
No weight loss wonder pills sold here. No fad diet plans. Neither are "magic bullets" or quick fixes that work for all. You’re unique and so should be your nutrition and exercise plan.