Millions of people take diet pills but health experts have repeatedly cautioned us against these products. Learn more in this article.
There are almost 80 million people in the US that are obese, approximately one third or 35% of the total population of the country. It is a severe problem that is costing the nation almost $150 billion every year. The need to trim down and lose weight is not just for looking and feeling better it is also about living longer. Obesity can complicate to diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and various types of cancer. There are of course tried and tested methods of weight loss such as proper diet and exercise however many people find this time consuming and requiring a lot of effort. This is why diet pills have a strong demand. But there are also diet pill side effects you need to be mindful about.
The safety issues of diet pills
Are diet pills safe? There are so many diet pills in the market and some are prescribed by doctors for some cases of obesity. Side effects are a reality of any drug people use today so these too need to be expected. However there are also diet pills that can be hazardous to one’s health especially when its use is abused.
Many people think that diet pills are all the same. But the truth is many pills have different mechanisms for weight loss. There are pills that suppress appetite while some are lipase inhibitors that prevent fats from forming inside the body.
If it is “generally” safe, what are the instances that it is unsafe or what are known diet pills that carry with it potentially dangerous side effects?
- Sibutramine which was already pulled out from the market since 2010 was associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Fenfluramine is also pulled out from the market which was associated with heart and lung damage.
- There are weight loss drugs that have the substance called symphathomimeticamines that causes the heart to beat faster which can lead to high blood pressure.
- Lipase inhibitors like Alli and Xenical (still in the market now) has been associated with liver injury. Although this is very rare, users of the said pills are warned of symptoms like jaundice, stomach pain, pale or tar coloured stools, urine with a brown colour, and itching as these can point to liver damage. These pills can also cause gallstones and kidney stones so it is best to weigh in the risks before you get into these for the long haul.
- Qsymia is an FDA approved drug for weight loss but is strictly used under the supervision of a doctor as this can cause serious birth defects. The drug however has a wider application so it remains to be out in the market.
- Aside from these serious side effects, almost all diet pills are associated with minor side effects such as dry mouth, restlessness and insomnia or inability to fall asleep, constipation, withdrawal effects and many more. So common inquiries like “should I avoid diet pills” is answered by a no. If your case permits it and your doctor deem it safe for you to take it, then you may use these pills to help you shed some pounds.
Are all diet pills dangerous? The answer is no. Not all are dangerous and if they do become dangerous, this often points to abuse and lack of knowledge how to use it properly. Whether you like it or not these pills are somehow needed on some cases of weight loss. For people who are morbidly obese these pills can help them lose weight faster but with the help of better nutrition and exercise of course.
Other dangers of diet pills
Other associated dangers of drugs can include dependence. There are diet pills that the body can easily get used to. The tolerance the body develops toward such pills can lead to addiction or increasing dependence so that when the user stops using the pill it can cause withdrawal symptoms.
This is the reason why some drugs demand the supervision of doctors. There are also diet pills that can cause personality changes, even psychosis. Withdrawal from some pills can also cause depression. This is the reason why diet pill use must be taken with care. Examples of such diet pills include Adipex-P, Bontril SR, Desoxyn, Didrex, and many more. It is best to use these pills in a very short period of time, just to help the body get used to a drastic diet. Long term use is never recommended.
The side effects according to the type of diet pills
- Appetite suppressants – these can cause insomnia, restlessness, nervousness and then dependence. It can also cause withdrawal symptoms. Constipation and dry mouth is also common when using these pills.
- Lipase inhibitors – these pills can cause fecal urgency, loose stools, flatulence, and oil spotting. It is best that when using these types of pills that you also take multivitamins to replace nutrition loss.
Diet pill side effects should be expected and monitored carefully when taking these pills. The more you know what to expect the safer you will feel when these symptoms do surface. However it is important to note that these pills do have some serious side effects and that careful use is the key to safety. Consult your doctor and always be straightforward about your medical history so that your doctor can suggest a diet pill that is best suited for you. The use of other methods to lose weight is always the better option but not always the easiest, diet pills do come with a price to your health in one way or another. It’s your choice as to whether they are worth the risk but make sure you know all the facts.