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Weight loss The truth about diet pills

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Diet pillsThere is loads to say about diet pills. Sadly, usually they aren’t good for a healthy weight loss.. even worse: most of the diet pills are very bad for your body.

While in general, one should try not to generalise, now I’d say: don’t do it. Diet pills are unhealthy, they should only be used in life-or-death-scenarios. So step away from the diet pills and put your hands in the air!

There are plenty of diet pills for sale, many of those pills, including those containing vitamins and minerals, are not effective for losing weight.

Some of these pills facilitate weight loss on short term, typically with unpleasant and possibly dangerous side effects. These drugs include certain herbal products (from health food stores), as well as over-the-counter medications or even medications prescribed by doctors.

There are two kinds of drugs that are included in diet pills: Diuretics and stimulants. The first will induce loss of water-weight. The latter (which includes adrenalin, synephrine) to increase the heart rate and reduce appetite. Both stimulants and diuretics can cause kidney and liver damage, heart attacks and addiction.
Diet pills should only be prescribed in case of morbid obesity, where the loss of weight could save lives.
Mechanisms of action
Diet pills function through one or more of the following mechanisms:

  • Suppression of appetite
  • Increase of the body’s metabolism
  • Interference with the body’s ability to absorb specific nutrients in food. For example, orlistat blocks fat breakdown and thereby prevents fat absorption.

Anorectics (aka anorexigenics) are mainly intended to suppress the appetite, but a lot of these anorectics also act as stimulants (like ephedrine).

Some diet pills have rigorous and sometimes even life-threatening side effects. (See, for example,Fen-phen) These side effects are often associated with their mechanism of action. In general, stimulants carry a risk of high blood pressure, faster heart rate, palpations, closed-angle glaucoma, drug addiction, restlessness, agitation, and insomnia.

Another drug, orlistat, blocks absorption of dietary fats, and as a result may cause oily spotting bowel movements, oily stools, stomach pain, and flatulence.

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