Has your doctor advised you to lose weight? Have you tried various weight-loss programs but never seem to be able to lose weight and keep it off? Is your long-term health in jeopardy because of the excess weight you are carrying around? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are among the millions of American who are currently struggling with unwanted and unhealthy pounds. Prescription weight-loss drugs may be an option for you. However, it is important to know, though, that prescription weight-loss drugs don’t replace the need to make healthy changes in your eating habits and activity level. Every journey to better health begins with mindful eating and regular exercise; prescription drugs should inly be used as an aid and not solely relied on for achieving weight-loss.
Are you a candidate for weight-loss drugs?
Prescription weight-loss drugs are generally reserved for people who haven’t been able to lose weight through diet and exercise, and who have health problems because of their weight. They’re not for people who want to lose just a few pounds for cosmetic reasons.
Generally, your doctor will consider weight-loss drugs for you if our body mass index (BMI) is greater than 30. However, if you have a serious medical problem related to obesity, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, and a BMI of 27 or more you may benefit from a weight-loss prescription.
Before selecting a medication for you, your doctor will consider your health history, possible side effects and potential interaction of weight-loss drugs with other medications you’re taking.
It’s important to keep in mind, however, that these medications may not work for everyone. And when you stop taking these medications, you’re likely to regain much or all of the weight you lost.
With any drug, it’s important to keep in mind that concerns or side effects not seen in the initial trials may come to light as more people use the drugs. As you consider weight-loss drugs, make sure that you make every effort to exercise, change your eating habits and adjust any other lifestyle factors that have contributed to your excess weight.
Weight-loss drugs aren’t the easy answer to weight loss, but they can be a useful tool to help you make the necessary diet and lifestyle changes. Keeping off the pounds you’ve lost, however, is an ongoing concern.
How well do weight-loss drugs work?
When combined with a low-calorie diet and regular exercise, weight-loss drugs produce an average weight loss of 5 to 10 percent of total body weight within a year, which is a typical weight-loss goal. Diet and exercise are responsible for part of this weight loss, and medications are responsible for part as well.
Losing 5 to 10 percent of your total weight may not seem like much, but even modest weight loss can improve your health by:
• Decreasing blood pressure
• Decreasing lipid levels
• Decreasing blood glucose levels
• Increasing insulin sensitivity
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