Saturday, December 16

Beyond Diets, Pills And Exercise: Seven Medical Reasons Why Your Weight Loss Management Program is Failing

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Of Weight Loss, Diets, Exercise and Miracle Weight Loss Pills

The plethora of weight loss management programs, focus on diets, miracle weight loss drugs, weight loss herbal supplements, exercise and gory sounding surgical operations carried out in weight loss clinics for cases that demand such drastic interventions.

For largely cosmetic reasons, women and men alike, blindly take hike on to the weight loss gravy train oblivious of the dangers some of these interventions posses.From high protein diets to low carbohydrate diets, with each passing day, nutritionists with unclear mandates and questionable training, come up a new diet which promises the user that they will lose the weight they have gained over periods of months in no time.

The medical knowledge that has fueled the diet weight loss craze has been the fact that weight gain and obesity emanate from an imbalance between food intake and body requirements, resulting in storage of excess calories as fat.

Are you gaining weight In Spite of Adherence To Your Weight loss Program?

True as this may be; that weight loss diets, exercise and weight loss supplements are considered to be the silver bullet when it comes to losing weight. Some medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism may underlie weight gain. In such instances, the individual may have noticed rapid weight gain in a short period or the absence of weight loss despite high levels of discipline in following the standard weight loss management  program consisting of diet +/- exercise. This frustration may boil up leading a person towards a vicious cycle of emotional eating due to stress and thus more weight gain.

Is The Obsession With Weight Loss Justified?

Even in the backdrop of individuals profiting from the establishment of weight loss support groups and medical clinics, the obsession with the size of the midriff is a healthy practice and should be encouraged. This is because fat tends to prefer the abdominal areas, accumulating both subcutaneously [below the upper layers of the skin], around abdominal organs and on a layer of tissue that overlies abdominal organs, the greater and lesser omentum. In clinical practice, measurement of the midriff circumference, has some use in detecting excessive weight gain and obesity. An expanding waist not only triggers the alarm on the individuals gravitation towards obesity and weight gain, it may also be an indicator of an underlying medical problem.

Medical reasons Why That Weight Loss programme is not Working

Though these conditions may account for only 1% of the cases of overt weight gain and obesity, they represent an important constituency due to the independent medical intervention needed to mange them. In well run weight loss clinics, a multitude of doctors such as endocrinologists, oncologists and pharmacists should be all involved in a multidisciplinary approach.

1. The lazy Thyroid: Hypothyroidism

The butterfly shaped thyroid gland lies anteroom in the neck. Under the influence of hormones released by the anterior hypothalamus [a region of the brain that releases hormones that regulate the release of other hormones in the body], the throid releases thyroid hormones T3 and T4 which are involved in regulation of body metabolism.  In hypothyroidism, weight gain occurs due to derangement in carbohydrate and fat metabolism; resulting in deposition of fat and other by products in tissues.

2.Cushing’s syndrome

The patient has the pathognomic ” Buffalo hump ”  appearance as derangement in the levels of the hormone cortisol leads to deposition of fat around the midriff, the back and face. Contrastingly, the extremities like the legs thin out. Cushing’s syndrome is a multi-systemic disease recognisable by other features such as development of glucose intolerance and diabetes mellitus, presence of purple marks on the abdomen, high blood pressure, irregular menses and easy bruising.

3. Depression

Depression tends to lead to emotional eating. According to Susan Bowerman, assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, stress eaters tend to prefer high-carbohydrate foods because these foods trigger an increase in the brain chemical serotonin, which has a calming effect. “It is almost like self-medicating….Many people binge on starchy foods to make themselves feel better.”|

4. Chronic Disease

  • Abdominal Cancers for example ovarian cancers like the benign dermoid cyst may cause weight gain due to their sheer size. Polycystic Ovarian Disease has also been implicated in cases where there is weight gain in women, in spite of attempts at weight loss. The reason for weight gain when suffering frompolycystic ovarian disease is still under review, but it is thought to be due to attendant pancreas abnormalities and insulin resistance.

  • Fluid retention due to circulatory compromise secondary may lead to weight gain. This may occur in the setting ofKidney failure which causes retention of water in the body as the urine formed in the kidneys is inadequate for proper diuresis. longstanding liver disease like alcoholic cirrhosis caused by chronic alcoholismmay lead to circulatory collapse by causing right sided heart failure and ascities.  Heart failure which may only manifest subtly as a feeling of tiredness most/ all of the timeor with increase in physical activity, may lead to fluid overload that presents as weight gain. >

5. Sleep Disorder

Poor quality sleep by its own right can be a pointer towards conditions that may lead to weight gain such as depression. Sleep disorders may additionally negate the efforts at weight loss, as the victims in an attempt to get back to sleep following another disrupted period of sleep, may engage in some unhealthy habits such as snacking in the middle of the night.

6.Chronic medication

With Drugs Being Used To Treat Another Medical Condition. Oral contraceptives and other high estrogen therapies like hormone replacement therapy cause temporary retention of water in the body akin to the peri-menstrual period. Appetite may also increase due to the high levels of estrogen in birth control pills. To manage, shifting to pills with lower hormonal levels under supervision of your medical doctor is recommended.

  • Steroids: The weight gain observed with long term steroids use during the management of medical conditions like autoimmune disease, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease; progress slowly and takes a while to be noticed. The patient should be informed of this possible side effect when being placed in long term steroid therapy to improve on vigilance on side effects. It should be remembered that medical attention should always be focused on controlling the underlying condition, thus medical supervision is mandatory before drugs are swathed or discontinued.

  • Chronic Nsaids use: Like when treating arthritis. Nsaids, through their effects on the blood filtering ability of Kidneys, may lead to fluid retention in the body.

  • Ant- depressants: These are common culprits, due  to their overlapping effects on many receptors in the body. Change to newer agents like Buproprion is recommended. Buproprion unlike most anti-drepressant drugs, has actually been shown to lead to weight loss. The anti-depressant,paroxetine, has the highest margin of weight gain.

  • Mood stabilizers like Lithium salts used in managing bipolar mood disorders have been associated with a side effect profile that includes weight gain.

7. Pregnancy

In pregnancy, the weight of the developing fetus+ circulatory overload due to increased demands+ weight gain associated with increased appetite and hormonal imbalances which encourage retention of water by the body, cause significant weight gain. Some pregnancies are devoid of the normal early pregnancy symptoms of morning sickness. If the woman has irregular menses, early pregnancy can be missed.


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