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Key Reasons Why Weight Loss Medication is Being Used to Improve Health Outcomes

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The weight loss world has been changed with the recent approval of new prescription medications, most of which have reached the mainstream due to the association with well-known celebrities. The use of these medications, however, extend beyond the goals of quickly losing weight for public image or society standards. These medications are gaining traction as well for the health benefits brought about by their mechanism of actions.

An Effective Weight Loss Option

The use of medications in attempts to lose weight is not new, but there are newer medications that have been approved for those who are obese or those who are overweight with comorbid conditions. These new medications – which include semaglutide (Wegovy), liraglutide (Saxenda), and tirzepatide (Zepbound or Mounjaro) – have been seen to result in weight loss of up to 15-20% with diet and lifestyle changes. Along with the resultant jumpstart in weight loss come a host of health benefits.

Better Appetite Control

Most of the prescription weight loss medication options fall under the drug classification of GLP-1 agonists. They work by mimicking a natural hormone called GLP-1 to affect the signals in the brain and stomach for satiety.

Less hunger means less food intake. The decrease in calorie intake, paired with feelings of satisfaction, can make it easier to avoid overeating and resultant weight gain. Portion control and healthy eating is also easier when there is less temptation to eat more.

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Formation of Healthy Habits

To qualify for prescription weight loss medications, medical supervision is required along with an accompanying diet and physical activity program. These ensure constant health monitoring and promote the cornerstones of healthy living.

Since a common mechanism of action of the medications is decreasing food noise, or constant thoughts about food, it is easier to make nutritious food choices. The required exercise program develops lifetime habits. Exercise is also made even easier when significant weight loss is achieved.

Reduced Obesity-Related Health-Risks

The primary goal of weight loss medications is to treat obesity and diseases caused by obesity such as hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It follows, then, that losing weight would decrease the risk of these conditions.

In the presence of existing medical conditions, management is also made easier with weight loss medications. They can help reduce insulin resistance in diabetics, lower blood pressure in hypertensives, and improve triglyceride levels in patients with dyslipidemia.

Improved Mobility and Reduced Pain

Excess weight can put an extra strain and pressure on joints, increasing the risk of developing joint conditions like arthritis. Extra fat cells also promote inflammation in the body, which further raises the risk of developing and worsening arthritis.

Weight loss reduces stress on the joints. It has been found that losing even just 10 pounds of weight would relieve 40 pounds of pressure from the knees. Losing weight can also lower cartilage deterioration and slow down progression of arthritis. Decreased pain also allows for even more ability to exercise and lead to easier weight management.

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Better Sleep Quality

People who are overweight or obese, frequently suffer from sleep apnea, insomnia, or daytime fatigue. Excess weight and fat deposits particularly around the neck can make it harder to breathe and disrupt sleep throughout the night.

While weight loss does not completely eliminate sleep apnea, it can reduce the frequency and severity of episodes. Losing weight can also improve sleep quality and result in more energy especially combined with less pain and better overall health.

Positive Impact on Mental Health

Most people who are prescribed medications for weight loss had failed to lose weight with lifestyle changes alone, and generally have difficulty with normal activities which can lead to decreased self-esteem. Obesity has also been linked to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

Achieving significant weight loss can help improve mental well-being. There is emerging data that some of the new medications can decrease depressive symptoms. The boost in physical abilities, self-esteem, and confidence can also promote more motivation with the weight loss journey.

Bottom Line

When paired with healthy lifestyle changes, weight loss medications offer effective ways to lose weight, have better health outcomes, and achieve a more balanced life. It is essential to remember, however, that weight loss medications may not be suitable for everyone, and should only be used under medical supervision.


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