Weight gain is an important health issue for people with diabetes. Proper weight management minimizes the symptoms of diabetes and helps reduce the chance of heart disease and other related problems. Many people with diabetes question whether obesity drugs are a viable solution.
- Weight loss is an essential aspect of properly managing diabetes. Excess weight increases insulin resistance and can lead to other health problems including heart disease. Weight loss between 5-10% of your body weight in people with diabetes can also result in improved glucose levels.
- Sometimes metabolic changes make it difficult for people with diabetes to lose weight. Even with proper diet and regular exercise, they may find shedding pounds is a slow process. A limited number of drugs have FDA approval for the treatment of obesity. However, FDA approval does not necessarily mean the drug is right for patients with diabetes. Always consult with a medical professional who knows your other medications to avoid contraindications.
- The most commonly prescribed obesity drug is Phenteramine. Patients with diabetes experienced weight loss results but there was no measurable effect found on blood sugar levels.
- Orlistat is an obesity drug that blocks the digestion of certain fats. However, it may cause flatulence and loose stools which can lead to dehydration and discomfort. When this drug is taken with sulfonylurea’s, Metformin or insulin, patients have lowered blood sugar levels and lost weight.
- Metformin is a diabetes drug often chosen to administer to people with type 2 diabetes to assist in weight loss. It reduces the amount of sugar in your blood, increases insulin sensitivity and decreases the amount of glucose made by your liver. It may cause diarrhea, bloating and gas.
- Sibutramine is an obesity drug that influences appetite and boosts energy. An undesirable side effect is increased blood pressure. While blood sugar levels and weight go down, people with diabetes often face the risk of high blood pressure. A drug that increases blood pressure is potentially dangerous.
- Rimonabant is an obesity drug that decreases appetite and boosts energy. It has been shown to cause significant weight loss and lowers blood sugar. The drug also has an effect on the central nervous system, which can be problematic for people with diabetes.
- The least dangerous way to lose weight is adopting a healthy diet. Avoid certain fats, sugar, sodium and fried foods. Eat grilled meats, whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Choosing diabetic foods makes it easier to plan well-balanced meals that won’t cause your blood sugar to soar.
- Exercise regularly to lose weight, stay fit and increase your energy. Take a daily walk, go bicycling or play your favorite sports. Join a local gym and keep moving everyday. Exercise reduces stress, boosts your metabolism and helps prevent heart disease and circulatory problems. It also makes it easier to shed unwanted pounds. Remember blood sugar control is more important than the weight loss.
Obesity drugs are effective for some people with diabetes but can be harmful to others. Never take obesity drugs unless they are prescribed by your medical provider. The best way to lose weight and get healthy is a well-balanced diet and regular exercise.