There are three common problem areas:. Some people, most often women, can suffer decreased metabolism as a result of thyroid hormone deficiency — hypothyroidism. Common symptoms are:. In these cases, weight gain resulting from decreased metabolism usually does not exceed 15 pounds. If the test comes back and everything looks good, your thyroid gland is probably fine. For a more exact diagnosis, you can ask them to measure the actual levels of thyroid hormones in the blood T3 and T4 , as sometimes these are low even if the TSH is within the fairly broad normal range.
Some people feel better supplementing the already active T3 sometimes prepared from pig thyroid glands , as it can give a stronger effect than the T4 hormone, but its effect is often harder to control. However, T3 replacement is popular among some functional medicine practitioners and naturopathic doctors.
Women: Women can suffer from the endocrine disorder PCOS — polycystic ovarian syndrome — which elevates testosterone and insulin levels. This can mean weight gain and menstrual disorders very common , infertility, acne and male pattern hair growth such as facial hair. A low-carbohydrate diet may help treat this condition. This often results in some weight gain, especially around the gut so-called central obesity.
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Men: From middle age and onwards, men usually experience gradually declining levels of the male sex hormone testosterone. This can lead to slight weight gain, also typically around the gut, and decreased muscle mass. Testosterone deficiency can be at least partially treated naturally by engaging in smart exercise routines and supplementing vitamin D. Women can use estrogen supplementation for menopause problems.
A better option might be to try to focus on a healthy lifestyle instead, and to be as happy and grateful as you can for the body you have.
When I first found out I had PCOS, I used my diagnosis as an excuse for being overweight.
The final possible issue behind stubborn weight issues may be the main stress hormone, cortisol. Too much cortisol will increase hunger levels, bringing along subsequent weight gain, especially around the midsection. In rare and extreme cases, you could be dealing with a specific kind of tumor that drives cortisol production. It sounds like a dream.
Keep living like you already do, take a daily pill, and effortlessly lose your excess weight. This is why weight-loss pills are a billion dollar industry. There are many drugs that result in a modest weight loss a few pounds on average , often at the expense of significant side effects. The internet is full of claims of magic supplements that can make you thin. This is true even if they were once mentioned on Dr.
Any prescription-free supplements for sale that are not dangerous or illegal are likely to have a small or negligible effect on your weight. The effects tend to be relatively tiny though, even in studies funded by the companies selling the products. As they are only for short-term use they are not used for long-term weight control.
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These drugs are not approved in the EU. These drugs have side effects like insomnia, heart palpitations and elevated blood pressure. Examples include:. We do not recommend them. This drug prevents the body from digesting fat in the intestines. Instead it just passes through you and ends up in the toilet… or worst case in your pants.
Side effects include stomach cramping, gas, leaking oily stool and being unable to control bowel movements.
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This pill is not compatible with eating fat. You may want to forget about this drug. Many doctors already have. One candidate is called Qsymia. Qsymia is available in the US, but it got rejected in Europe where the side effects were judged worse than the benefits. Qsymia combines a tiny amount of the old phentermine see Appetite Suppressants above with a small dose of topiramate, an anti-seizure drug. The problem? Common side effects of topiramate include drowsiness, fatigue, depression, attention disturbance, memory impairment, cognitive disorder, impaired psychomotor skills i.
Basically, this drug slows down your brain, like alcohol or sedatives. Two more weight-control drugs were approved in the US in and are now available, Belviq and Contrave.
Belvic has been rejected in Europe because of safety concerns. Contrave was recently approved under the name Mysimba. These two drugs work on different receptors in the brain to control appetite. The effect is modest — 6 to 8 pounds 2. There are ongoing safety concerns with both drugs and a definite risk of side effects for Contrave like nausea, constipation, headache, risk of suicidal thoughts and seizures.
And then there is only one more approved weight loss drug left. Fortunately this one actually shows some promise and can speed up weight loss significantly.
This drug is an injected variant of a satiety hormone called GLP As a bonus this drug works fine while one is on the keto diet and it works even better with intermittent fasting — for a rapid weight loss with no hunger. This drug was initially used to control blood sugar in type 2 diabetes — under the brand name Victoza — where it has the nice side effect of significant weight loss. This drug has recently been approved in both the US and in Europe for weight loss, under the name Saxenda. There are many other similar GLP-1 drugs for treating diabetes type 2, but none of them have been carefully tested or approved for treating obesity yet.
In both the US and in Europe another option is Victoza, which is the exact same drug at half the dose and half the price. Victoza is approved only for treating type 2 diabetes. These drugs all have side effects and none are very effective. The downside to Saxenda is the very high price — insurance may only cover part of it — and the nausea that people often experience on it.
Some people experience only minimal weight loss. Other people lose a lot more than the additional 12 pounds lost in a recent study — this is only an average. Finally, Saxenda only works as long as you use it. Once you stop, the weight tends to return. Only you can decide.
Most people who want to lose weight have more than 12 pounds to lose. It may be a helpful addition for some people, but the advice higher on the list is what can make the biggest difference, by far. Read success stories. Guide The most popular page on the internet to get started learning about low carb.