Obesity has affected a large number of people all over the world. It has lead to a number of health problems. Psychological problems such as depression and low self-esteem are commonly observed in obese persons. Diet pills are a popular option for losing weight. With a variety of diet pills available in the market, with each claiming to provide great results, it is important to understand how these pills work, in order to choose the one that is most suitable.
Functions Of Diet Pills
Most diet pills are designed to either suppress your appetite or burn the extra fat. The diet pills, which are designed to suppress appetite, provide you with nutrients that are designed to quell your desire for eating. They affect the appetite-regulating portion of the brain called the hypothalamus. These pills block the re-uptake of the chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine, which are responsible for the feeling of satiety. As the proportion of these chemicals increase in your brain, you consume less food. Lower consumption leads to lesser weight gain and thus helps in weight loss.
On the other hand, diet pills designed to burn fat use a mixture of amino acids that are designed to target the fat cells in your body without having to make changes in your dietary habits. These types of pills inhibit the action of lipase, the enzyme that breaks down the fat in our foods when it reaches the intestinal tract. The lipase inhibitor acts to remove a certain portion of the ingested fat through the bowels before it is absorbed by the body. It is important to remember that these pills are designed to be used for a period of about six months as the body starts developing a tolerance for them.
How Can These Drugs Be Availed?
Diet medicines are available in many forms. Prescription drugs can only be availed on a doctor’s prescription as they are carefully regulated by the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. They are useful for people who are obese or who have a history of high blood pressure or diabetes. Some over-the-counter diet drugs are also available without a doctor’s prescription although they too are regulated by the FDA. Herbal or natural diet pills can be found in health and nutrition stores and can be availed without prescription. These pills use ingredients such as psyllium and glucomannan for giving a feeling of fullness, herbal ephedra and caffeine for increasing metabolism and Chitosan, which is found in the exoskeleton of shrimps for preventing fat from being absorbed. They are governed by the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
Side-effects Of Diet Pills
The side-effects associated with diet pills vary depending upon the ingredients used in their formulation. Fat blocking pills can cause uncomfortable cramping, gas and diarrhea as they remove excess fat through the intestine. They also reduce the absorption of essential vitamins and nutrients by the body. Appetite suppressants, on the other hand, stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and hence lead to an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Besides this, other side-effects also include constipation, headache and insomnia. Herbal diet pills too can have dangerous side-effects and should not be considered as totally safe.
An important question is whether these diet pills actually work. It should be kept in mind that every person’s body chemistry and genetic history are different. So these pills may work for a few while they may not for others. Hence one should avoid considering them as a long-term option for weight loss.