Friday, September 8, 2017

Weight Loss Options

It is no secret that permanent weight loss is hard to accomplish.  Three out of four Americans are overweight, obese or morbidly obese.  People who are obese have a greatly increased chance of developing many chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and certain kinds of cancer.

Unfortunately, our society meets the definition of an Obesogenic Culture: “An environment which promotes weight gain.”  At home, at work and at play we are prompted to eat large portions of high calorie foods.  And few of us get enough exercise: less than 1 out of 5 American adults meet the minimum recommendations of 30 minutes, 5 days a week.

The diet industry makes tens of billions of dollars every year, yet we still make little progress toward weight loss, or we lose weight and gain it back.  So what are the next options for the person serious about weight loss?

Medications for Weight Loss
Ask your physician if these medications might be right for you, including questions about possible side effects. Results are in the 10 lb weight loss range, which is enough to improve health but often is less than what patients expect.

Xenical or Alli (Orlistat)- This medication prevents the body from absorbing some fat from food, which reduces the calories absorbed by the body. 

Contrave (Naltrexone + Buproprion)- These two meds combine to cause appetite suppression.
Belviq (Lorcaserin)- causes feelings of fullness.

Qysymia (Phentermine-Topiramate) works to decrease appetite and extend feelings of fullness.

Saxenda (Liraglutide)- reduces appetite and slows the emptying of the stomach to prolong fullness.

Surgical Options for Weight Loss
These options are for those who have not been able to succeed at weight loss and their quality of life is being affected.  Insurance may pay for these if certain requirements are met.  Results show an average weight loss of 20% to 60% of a person’s extra body weight.

Restrictive Surgery- Gastric bypass, Gastric Sleeve and Gastric Band are 3 types of surgical options which physically restrict the amount of food a person can eat at one time.  The Gastric Band option is reversible.

Electrical Stimulation System uses a device implanted below the rib cage which generates electrical pulses.  These pulses block nerve signals between the stomach and the brain, causing a person to feel full. 

AspireAssist consists of a tube inserted into the stomach with an opening on the abdomen.  The tube is opened after each meal to release 30% of the food eaten, so that the calories cannot be absorbed by the body.

Are any of these options right for you?  Asking your healthcare provider is the best first step you can take! Topeka Pharmacy wants to help you succeed in your health goals!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Hydration Helps

Most of us know we need to stay hydrated (drink fluids) to stay alive, and to drink enough fluids to stay healthy.  Yet many people feel they ‘need to drink more water”.  So what does this really mean?  Let’s explore…

Why is adequate hydration important?
Since water is the key nutrient needed for most biologic functions to occur in the body, and since the body is 60% water, you might guess that getting enough water is essential for good health and you would be right.  Dehydration can cause fuzzy thinking, dizziness upon standing, headaches, decreased ability to do physical work, muscle cramps, low back pain, chapped lips and constipation.

How much fluid is enough?
The current guidelines emphasize that for healthy adults, drinking to avoid thirst should be the main guide.  Studies differ as to whether most Americans get adequate hydration or not, adequate being generally 7 to 9 cups of fluids daily for adults. 

Increased needs for fluids include times of exercise, heat and humidity, and during illnesses which cause fever, vomiting or diarrhea.  A job or activity which restricts the ability to drink freely and adequately could cause problems. Also, seniors often experience a decreased sense of thirst.   So for some, counting cups of fluid is a healthy thing to do.

Which drinks count toward fluid needs?
It is okay to count coffee or tea as fluids, even though they contain caffeine.  Alcohol on the other hand, causes the body to dehydrate and so is not counted.  Sweet drinks like pop and juice can count as fluid, but will cause their own health problems because of the extra sugar and calories.  Water is the healthiest fluid replacement we know for general hydration needs.

Can drinking water help with weight loss?
Most studies say no. Some show a pre-meal intake of water helped people eat less and lose more weight.  Watery foods like soup, fruit, vegetables and salad make us feel full more quickly and do help with weight loss.  Eating watery foods each meal is a healthy way to get more fluid as well as controlling calories.

Bored of plain water?
Try infusing it with fruits and herbs: keep a jug of water in the fridge and drop 1 cup of a variety of  lemon or lime wedges, cucumber slices and/or cut up cranberries, cherries or chunked watermelon in the water.  Let it sit a few hours and it should have a nice flavor with negligible calories.  Thin slices of ginger or fresh basil or mint leaves also add an infusion of subtle flavor.  Enjoy!