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The Diet Pill Debate

Friday, December 12, 2008

Imagine if you will, being 100 pounds overweight. Everywhere you go you can feel people gawking at you, snickering, whispering lewd comments at your expense. You've tried every diet plan out there, but nothing has worked. You've joined gyms, or purchased aerobics videos, a treadmill, a bike, and still nothing works. The frustration is tiresome and you feel like giving up, but you don't, you do the only thing that's left...you talk to the only person who can help you, your doctor.

You're given several options, one being the standard 'try harder' only put in eloquent doctor language. Another is that you can begin the year long (perhaps two) process of obtaining a gastric bypass, or lap band. Yet a third is that he/she can prescribe you a pill that works predominantly as an appetite suppressant. So, if you are desperate, what do you do?

I pose this question because I've seen threads here and there related to the diet pill topic, and nine times out of ten the respective diet pill is slammed while still others who have gone through bypass or lap band surgeries are commended on their success. Yes, credit is due where it is due...you don't just wake up from these types of procedures with the weight magicaly gone, it takes tons of hard work and has effects that, let's face it, last you the rest of your life. Okay, okay, I can already hear people screaming things about "the procedure being safe, and diet pills aren't". I have a response for this as well...

Safe is a relative term. Surgery, even the small ones, have the potential to be life threatening...yet hundreds of thousands of people across the country are subject to surgeries on a daily basis.. And why? I ask. Simple, it's because they are under the care of a trusted physician. Now, here's my point. When you see your doctor and he suggests a prescription diet drug to you, monitors your progress or lack thereof, assesses your health benefits or risks...then why not at least give it an opportunity to work?

I wouldn't ever suggest that a person goes online and buys generic forms of ANY medication, you never know what you're buying that way and in that case I agree with all the posters who are saying 'don't do it' 'don't try it' or 'absolutely not'.

So in the end, if you've been considering any of these options the best advice I can give you is this...don't rush into judgement, talk to your doctor.

What's your take on it?
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  • MKPQ51
    I've met several people who've had the surgery and many who've tried the diet pill route. In both cases, if there hasn't been a change in their (eating and exercise) habits, most of them not only put the weight back on, but they added to it.

    Though I do believe the best way to go is to put your nose to the grindstone, I don't see anything wrong with taking diet pills to assist in your weight loss; however, it is an absolute necessity to make lifelong changes to be sure the weight stays off.

    4323 days ago
  • JIBBIE49
    Fifty percent of the people who have weight loss surgery gain it ALL back within 2 years of losing it. It is expensive and it doesn't solve their problems.
    Rather than the diet pills, I'd look into being treated for depression, if that could be a problem for you. Some people claim they go on Prozac and GAIN weight, but from all I've read it is because they feel BETTER and so they eat.

    Depression is a real issue. Read the article I posted on my last blog. The mind-body connection has a real point.


    4323 days ago
    My.....what a loaded question! Okay, Ms. Patterson! LOL! I'm not a big proponent of either diet pills or surgery, but then that's just me. We live in a convenience-oriented society anymore that wants the 'quick fix' to everything.....it's all 'labor saving', and basically, we've become too sedentary in our lifestyles, along with all of the high fat and processed convenience foods that have become so prevalent. Kids don't go out to play anymore....they sit in front of the TV or computer doing the video games. Everything today is geared to make us sedentary and reclusive. We've forgotten what it was like to have to work physically for anything we need to survive.....we just go to the store and buy the convenience stuff and pop it in the microwave so it'll be done in five minutes. We've really lost ourselves in the process. I'm to the point where it feels more fulfilling to me to take myself in hand and begin working to alter my lifestyle back to a more basic one, and take the road less traveled. My goal is to eventually go back to making my own bread, growing my own food, and having to get my can off the couch to work at succeeding at this. I'm rebelling against the conveniences of today, in my own way, but I'm much happier with myself now! Bottom line, even with pills or surgery, there is still work involved in monitoring your own habits......which you can do without going thru any pills OR surgery. It's the more worthwhile road, to my way of thinking.
    4331 days ago
    My doctor once gave me a 30 day free sample of meridia. I absolutely loved it. I lost about 10lbs which was awesome but what I loved the most is it made my moods so much better. I was a happier person. The problem with meridia is it's expensive and most insurance companies wont cover it. Even Tri-Care.

    Although I can say this, when I lose weight the old fashioned way, I feel a greater sense of accomplishment. I think I like that feeling of pride in myself better than I do the diet pills.
    4335 days ago
  • PSALM22
    Good points. Personally, I prefer to try the old way, watch what I eat and exercise. I considered and decided against the pill or surgery route. My problem, while not helped by family genetics, is lack of self-control more than anything. A pill or surgery will not help there.

    I took metformin for a 2-3 years. And I was so glad to get off it. I now take Januvia for pre-diabetes. I pay more for my copay but it's worth it to feel better. I had sugar craves with metformin. It's as if I had to eat a certain amount of sugar in order for the metformin to have some to work on.
    4337 days ago
  • KRISTINB1977
    When I schedule my doctor appointment that I had in November, I told the receptionist that I wanted to ask the doctor about Meridia (that's the pill my brother-in-law was taking). The response that I got was my doctor never subscribes diet pills. She said she's treated patients and watched patients die from the effects of these drugs. She also said that most patients put the weight back on (plus some) when the stop taking it. That was good enough for me.
    I can also tell you that she told me a side affect of the prescription Metformin is weight loss. Metformin is a drug that doctors prescribe to patients who are pre-diabetic. Heck, my dad is type 1 diabetic and he takes it along with his insulin.
    So, my opinion? I will heed my doctor's advice.
    From my starting weight, I would have to lose 125 pounds to make it out of the "obese" and "overweight" categories, so I know where people are coming from when they're searching for that one thing to help them lose weight. Thankfully, following the calorie range that SP has recommended for me, along with exercise, has helped me lose almost 15 pounds so far.
    4338 days ago
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