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Diet Pills: Do They Really Work?

HI5 Lean

Diet Pills: Do They Really Work?
from HealthyWomen.org’s Obesity Health Center

Some do, some don’t—and it’s important to understand the difference. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three drugs to aid long-term weight loss. They are: orlistat (Xenical and Alli), lorcaserin (Belviq) and phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia).

There also are many over-the-counter appetite suppressants and other drugs and supplements that promise rapid weight loss, but they have not proven effective for lasting weight loss, and some can cause potentially dangerous side effects.

The cornerstone of successful weight loss involves lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthful, high-fiber, lower-calorie diet, being physically active and modifying negative behaviors. Numerous studies prove the health dangers of excess pounds, so it’s important to try to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

If you are among the nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults age 20 and older who are overweight or obese, the prescription weight-loss medications may help you get to a healthier weight. However, they won’t help everyone. Weight loss is a serious, long-term endeavor. Always discuss  your options with your health care provider or consult a registered dietitian.

No weight-loss medications should be used if you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Some medications may be restricted if you are less than 18 years old or have certain medical conditions. Like most medications, weight-loss medications have potential side effects. None of the long-term weight-loss drugs is considered high risk for developing a drug dependence, but you should take care if you have a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

Here’s a primer on weight-loss medications:

  • Orlistat works by preventing your body from absorbing about one-third of the fat you eat. It can interfere with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, so you should take a multivitamin while taking orlistat. It can cause diarrhea, stomach  pain, gas and other gastrointestinal symptoms. These symptoms are usually mild and temporary but may be worse if you eat high-fat foods. In rare cases, orlistat may cause liver damage, so stop taking the drug and contact your health care professional if you notice any symptoms of liver problems, such as dark urine or yellowish eyes or skin. Xenical is the prescription version of orlistat, approved for adults and children 12 and older. Alli is the lower-dose over-the-counter orlistat. It is not approved for children. Do not take orlistat while taking cyclosporine.
  • Lorcaserin affects the chemicals in your brain that help decrease your appetite and make you feel full, so you eat less. It does not work for all people, so if you do not lose 5 percent of your weight within 12 weeks of starting the drug, the medication may not work for you, and you should talk with your health care professional about other options. Side effects of lorcaserin may include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, dry mouth, cough and constipation. If you are also taking an SSRI antidepressant or MAOI, ask your health care professional about the risk of serotonin syndrome.
  • Phentermine-topiramate combines two FDA-approved drugs. The phentermine suppresses appetite, but used alone, it is only approved for two weeks. By combining a lower dosage of phentermine with extended-release topiramate, the drug has been shown to be safe for up to two years. The medication comes in three doses: starting dose, recommended dose and higher dose. Similar to lorcaserin, it is not effective for everyone, so if you have not lost at least 5 percent of your body weight after 12 weeks on the higher dose of phentermine-topiramate, talk to your health care professional about other options. Common side effects may include tingling hands and feet, dizziness, changes in taste, trouble sleeping, constipation and dry mouth. Rare side effects may include allergic reactions, memory or mood problems, suicidal thoughts, vision problems and kidney stones. It is not recommended if you have an overactive thyroid gland, glaucoma or have recently taken an MAOI antidepressant (though it was safely tested with other antidepressants).

There also are several over-the-counter FDA-approved appetite suppressants that affect the brain chemicals that regulate your appetite. They include:

  • phentermine (Adipex-P, Oby-Cap, Suprenza, T-Diet, Zantryl)
  • benzphetamine (Didrex)
  • diethylpropion (Tenuate, Tenuate Dospan)
  • phendimetrazine (Adipost, Bontril PDM, Bontril Slow Release, Melfiat)

These medications have the potential for abuse and are only FDA-approved for short-term use of up to 12 weeks, though some health care professionals may prescribe them for longer “off-label” use. Side effects can include dry mouth, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, headache, nervousness, restlessness, upset stomach and diarrhea or constipation. Severe side effects may include chest pain, fainting, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, confusion and swelling in your ankles or feet. You should not take appetite suppressants if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, overactive thyroid gland or glaucoma.

These appetite suppressants, along with other over-the-counter remedies like diuretics and supplements, have not been found to be effective long term and some have been linked to serious side effects.

Some issues to think about before considering a weight loss medication:

  1. Your degree of overweight: weight loss medications are usually prescribed for people with a body mass index (BMI) over 27 who have additional complications, such as diabetes; or for those with BMIs over 30 without complications. BMI is a measure of weight status: people with BMIs from 25 to 29.9 are considered overweight; those with BMIs of 30 and above are considered obese.
  2. Your degree of success with other weight loss programs or methods.
  3. Your ability to comply with taking the medications and making long-term lifestyle changes.

 

For more information on the health topics mentioned in this article visit

the HealthyWomen.org areas below.

 

Obesity Health Center: www.healthywomen.org/healthcenter/obesity

 

Weight Management: www.healthywomen.org/condition/weight-management
Metabolic Syndrome: www.healthywomen.org/condition/metabolic-syndrome

 healthy women

© 2014 HealthyWomen.  All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from HealthyWomen. 1-877-986-9472 (toll free). On the Web at: www.HealthyWomen.org.

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The Good, The Bad and The In Between!

These days everywhere I turn someone I know has cancer, or someone I know, knows someone who has cancer. Cancer has no preferences.

I have only heard about these people but I have never knowingly met any Cancer patients until recently, and these are my experiences.

A couple of months ago I became friends with a very devout Christian lady whom I found out later has Cancer.  I greatly admire this lady as no one would ever know that she has Cancer.  She recently indicated that she might have to undergo surgery for the Cancer, but she would allow the doctors to operate on any part of her body except her brain. She happily said, and with confidence ‘once it is my brain, no, let me go to meet my Lord’. She is always very cheerful and always deeply devoted to being a soldier for the Lord’s works. When I look at her, I think God gives us troubles but also gives us the courage, strength and attitude to deal with it. This lady reminds me somewhat of Job from the Bible who was plagued with illness and troubles, yet he continued praising the Lord incessantly. It is with her in mind I am moved to write this article.

I am of the view that when you are stricken with illness or life’s troubles you either, put your hands up in the air and give up or wallow in your troubles and dwindle away quickly or you fight.

 

Change the way you look at things, change your attitude and make peace with your creator. Of course this may be easier to say than do, but you soon realize that there are only two choices.

I also heard of a Priest who is battling with cancer. How can this be? Priests, Pastors all the people who spread God’s word teach us how to pray and even pray for healing for us. I was talking to a ninety-six year old lady and she said ‘we all have to suffer’, so I guess there are no exemptions.

My next encounter was in February 2012 when I met a sixteen year old girl named Lisa. She had a rare type of cancer. This affected her muscles. The Doctors had decided that they could do no more for her so she was at home being looked after by a Caretaker, her older cousin.

I visited Lisa on a number of occasions, and what I admired about her was her courage. She was always smiling despite the excruciating pain she endured. She had very huge bulges over her legs and under her neck. I remember praying with her and for her and also fighting back the tears when I saw her grimacing in pain.

I would take fruits for her, and got her Caretaker to give her a blend of apple, carrot and potato juice (this organic blend helped eased her pain), together with chai seeds, and Green Tea with Ganoderma. I regretted that I did not meet her before.

I recall the week before Lisa moved on, her Doctor said she thought she would have been worse, and for the last week before leaving this life she had no pains.

She spent the day before her passing with her Grandmother and Uncle and some other family members who visited and finally spent the rest of the night, up till two am bonding with her mother and Caretaker. Early that morning Lisa moved on in her sleep, very quietly. For me such courage is indescribable.

I also know of people who have been very mean and hurtful to other people, who have been struck with cancer. At one time it would not bother me that people who hurt others get sick even with Cancer, but I realize that we do not know why these people hurt other people and we must have an open mind and heart. We must also learn to forgive.

Quite alarming was the fact that the Bahamas Daily Newspapers a few months ago reported that Bahamas is one of the countries with a very high rate of persons who have been diagnosed with cancer. So those destructive bastard cells do not differentiate between the good, the bad or the in between but they have victims in every country.

 

 

What is Cancer?

The best explanation I have seen for Cancer is one from Gary Null ,Ph.D in his book ‘The Complete Encyclopaedia of Natural Healing’. According to Null Cancer is really a group of diseases in which cells do not follow the regular growth and reproduction that is common to diseases. Instead they multiply more rapidly than normal killing other body cells, and they spread from their primary location to other parts of the body by using the bloodstream and lymphatic system. The most common are tumours that start in the skin or in glandular tissue like the breast or prostrate gland.  There are other types that affect the bone, muscle and cartilage like in the case of Lisa.

It has been said that while there are some Cancer that are hereditary, because our diet lack adequate nutrients causing an acidic environment in our bodies, we have  introduced various chemicals for producing our foods,  and most of us live in the fast lane we set the stage for Cancer.

What can you do?

There are so many options available now, so I will just list a couple that I have noticed people are trying and getting results. Of course each of our bodies are different so what works with one person may not necessarily work for you, but where health is concerned once it is natural there is no harm in trying it. I am not a Doctor but a lot of these options you can do while continuing on your medication until you experience the results you want. Even if you do not have Cancer the following can still be used to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

 

  1. When your body speaks to you do not be afraid to go to the Doctor to check out what is happening.

Many times we have a pain or we feel something different with our body and we let it linger. Your body knows when something is wrong, so take the time to find out, and then with this information you can decide how to deal with it.

2. Be sure to have a cleanse every two to three months. Build-up of waste in the body causes excess fat and toxins to pile up. This can result in diseases. My mother always says ‘make sure and take some Senna Leaves every now and again’. I did not pay much attention, but as I mature there is wisdom in what she said.

 

3. Watch what you eat

You may want to change to a healthier diet, cutting out the fast foods and ditching the fried stuff for grill or broil. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Some people have found it beneficial to use whole foods, whole grains etc. If you are not discipline enough take a daily supplement that has powerful ingredients to help you get all the vitamins you need.

4.  Exercise. Exercise. Exercise.

I am at times guilty of this, but every health practitioner stresses this.  There are three things about good health – proper nutrition, adequate hydration and adequate exercise. I learnt that Cardio exercise gets the heart rate up and resistance exercise builds muscle and strengthens bones. Of course as we mature we need the muscle and our bones must remain strong. Exercise not only burns calories but keeps the blood and lymph fluids circulating and this helps to get rid of toxins. Sometimes we are not discipline enough to exercise, so having a Mentor helps with this.

5. Take Acidophilus. This is a probiotic which helps to eliminate or reduce the production of cancer causing chemicals. It also helps to deactivate cancerous causing enzymes. When you are on antibiotics or any medication for a prolonged period of time, both the good and bad bacteria are killed off. You will not be able to consume adequate nutrient based foods to replace the good bacteria so the Acidophilus replaces the good bacteria for you. I recall having been on Antibiotics for several years. When I eventually had a blood analysis done, the Nutritionist indicated that my body was lacking of good bacteria and this was causing some health problems for me.  Whenever you take Antibiotics you should replace the good bacteria. If your body is low on good bacteria you are exposed to all types of illnesses starting with your digestive system.

6. Boost the immune system with Co Q10. Health experts claim that this is a nutrient that is used for healthy immune system.

7. Avoid sugars, and excessive fats.  We all have that sweet tooth and we know now that sugar is acidic and affects our insulin level which in turn causes Diabetes. Excessive fats especially animal fats contribute to those extra pounds and puts a strain on our body which brings on all types of ailments.

 

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8.Reduce or avoid red meat, unless you can be absolutely sure this is from animals that have been grass fed. You will notice a big difference if you can achieve this.

 

9. Keep the body hydrated; drink your six to eight glasses of pure water daily. You can also use Lemon juice in water, wheat grass or Chai seeds. Cancer or any other disease cannot strive in an alkaline environment, so the trick is to keep your body alkaline in order to balance the pH of the blood.

 

10. If you have been diagnosed start thinking organic e.g  a  blend of potato, carrot and apple may  help with your pains. This also helps eliminate tumours and help with acid reflux. I have personally used it for acid reflux. Take it on an empty stomach in the morning and before five pm in the afternoon. Some people also claim that eating Soursop and drinking tea made from Papaya or Pawpaw leaves help. As with everything else if you have been diagnosed make sure your Health Practitioner is aware of your diet.

11. Use Green tea or Coffee with Ganoderma. Ganoderma mushrooms are known to be effective for controlling cancer cells of the breast, lung and prostrate. Green Tea also counters the effect of radiation.

12 .Start daily forgiveness. Do not hold anything against anybody. Make   a list and forgive and let go. Research has shown that some people with Cancer had been harbouring a number of grudges and un-forgiveness.

13 .Do some deep breathing exercises daily. This helps to put more oxygen back into your system. Inhale through your nostrils and fill the stomach and then exhale through the mouth. You should see the stomach getting larger when you inhale and being reduced when you exhale.

14 .Meditate. Take time off daily and just sit still and be at peace with  yourself and everyone and ask for guidance from the creator.

15.Start being grateful for what you have and give back. Help someone in need without expecting them to repay you. Smile and be courteous. Laugh more and enjoy life. After all you only pass this way once so make the best of it!

 

References: The Complete Encyclopaedia of Natural Healing. The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapy by Mark Stengler. The US National Library – pubmed.gov.


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