Weight loss pills and supplements seem like a tempting way to lose weight quickly.
However, many of these pills can cause unwanted side effects that can be dangerous – especially if you live with diabetes.
This article will explain everything you need to know about taking diet pills if you are living with diabetes.
The growing popularity of diet pills
In recent decades, the popularity of diet pills has increased. In fact, 15% of American adults have admitted to using diet pills at some point in their lives.
The driving force behind this trend is the rising epidemics of obesity and diabetes.
One-third of adults in the US live with prediabetes, and without intervention, many cases of prediabetes develop into type 2 diabetes within a few years.
Nearly 40 million Americans live with diabetes, 90% of which are type 2 diabetes.
This is especially noticeable in the United States, where more than 40% of American adults are considered obese and a third are overweight.
In addition, being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for insulin resistance, pre-diabetes and diabetes.
Diet pills seem to be the answer to quick and effortless weight loss.
Are slimming pills safe?
Over-the-counter weight loss pills and dietary supplements are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as foods, not as drugs.
Safer options are available with a prescription. They are more regulated by the FDA.
This means companies have more freedom to make crazy claims about the success of their products without any real repercussions.
Unlike drugs, diet pills do not require premarket review or FDA approval. Only after a product is determined to be unsafe does the FDA intervene to recall the product or remove it from the market.
The FDA does not allow weight loss pills to contain pharmaceutical ingredients, and the products cannot promise diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of any disease.
The FDA and Federal Trade Commission can take regulatory action against any manufacturer that breaks these rules, but the industry is largely unmonitored.
Finally, over-the-counter slimming pills mostly don’t work; they are full of filler ingredients that are ineffective and dangerous.
In a report on the safety of weight loss pills, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said that “little is known about whether weight loss supplements are effective, but some supplements are associated with potential physical harm.”
What are the side effects of diet pills?
Because this industry is largely unmonitored, many side effects of diet pills go unreported.
However, weight loss pills can cause:
- Fast heartbeat
- Reddened skin
Many diet pills are full of stimulants like caffeine. This keeps you alert while suppressing your appetite to help you lose weight.
You may be more susceptible to the negative side effects of the pills if you don’t eat enough and take too much – especially late in the day.
Never start taking diet pills without consulting your doctor first.
Many of these can interact with other prescription medications you may be taking, which could be dangerous to your health.
Should people with diabetes take weight loss pills?
This is a decision only you and your doctor can make.
However, due to the lack of regulation – and the high likelihood that diet pills may interact with other medications – it is not recommended to take them.
Consult your doctor if you are struggling to lose weight. They can offer safer alternatives to help you reach your health goals.
What are the alternatives to diet pills?
Diet changes and increased physical activity are great strategies for long-term weight loss.
However, many people with diabetes struggle with insulin resistance, which can lead to weight gain.
If you have diabetes, there are prescription medications available that have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and help with weight loss.
Unless you have diabetes, the FDA has approved the following GLP-1 drugs for weight loss and chronic weight maintenance:
- Wegovy (injection)
- Saxenda (injection)
Talk to your doctor if you have diabetes and are concerned about your weight. There are safe, effective, and FDA-approved options that can help you.
What Are FDA Approved Prescription Weight Loss Pills?
The following slimming pills have been approved by the FDA. These can be safer options because they are more regulated.
The side effects people experience when taking them are reported to the FDA for safety and effectiveness.
FDA approved weight loss pills include:
- Orlistat (Xenical, Alli)
- Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia)
- Naltrexone-bupropion (Contrave)
What is the safest way to lose weight for a diabetic?
All medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter, will have some side effects.
The safest way to lose weight for anyone, including those with diabetes, is to increase physical activity and improve your diet.
Talk to your doctor about healthy ways to make small lifestyle changes into your daily routine.
They can refer you to a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and Registered Dietitian (RD). Both can work with you to better achieve your weight loss goals.
That being said, there is nothing wrong with taking prescription drugs for weight loss. Just remember that side effects are likely.
Does losing weight cause low blood sugar?
Losing weight does not inherently cause low blood sugar. However, when people lose weight, their insulin sensitivity tends to increase. If they are insulin dependent, they need less of it throughout the day.
If you don’t take insulin but take GLP-1 medications for weight loss and blood sugar control, you may notice that your average blood sugar has dropped throughout the day. It’s something good!
Consult your doctor if you lose a lot of weight. Most drug doses correlate with height and weight. Your doctor can make sure you’re still getting the right dose for your body.
If I stop taking weight loss medications, will I regain the weight?
This can often be the case. Many people regain a moderate weight after stopping taking prescription medications for weight loss.
Some prescription weight loss drugs can suppress your appetite. If you stop taking them, you can start eating more.
Contact your doctor if you are experiencing adverse drug side effects or have gone through a major life change (such as pregnancy or menopause).
For example, taking diet pills during pregnancy is dangerous.
Your doctor can determine if you need to change or stop taking any of your medications.
#Pills #diabetes #slimming