Monthly Archives: December 2012

Top 5 Types of Medications that Cause Weight Gain

As you get get older, many people attribute weight gain to changes in diet, leading a more sedentary lifestyle or a slower metabolism. However, there is another reason why many individuals gain weight that is often forgotten. Did you know that certain prescription medications can actually lead to weight gain? Yes, the same medication that is helping to control your depression or prevent pregnancy can also be causing you to pack on the pounds.

“Medication-related weight gain has become far more important over the past decade as obesity increases in prevalence and more people are taking medications for chronic illnesses,” says Lawrence Cheskin, M.D., Director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center. Weight gain can range from a few to a hundred pounds. In fact, weight gain is sometimes the first reason patients list for discontinuing use of a medication.

Here are some of the top medications known for weight gain:

  1. Corticosteroids. With corticosteroids, patients can gain upwards of 100 pounds. This excessive weight can be extremely dangerous and even make existing health problems worse. When a patient gains a significant amount of weight it can cause or worsen problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular conditions and osteoarthritis. Corticosteroids decrease the body’s ability to absorb blood glucose, which can lead to the build-up of fat deposits.
  2. Antidepressants. Weight gain is a common and possible side effect with nearly all antidepressants. However, it is important to note that each individual person will respond differently to antidepressants. Some may gain a few pounds while others may not gain any weight or gain a significant amount of weight. According to Dr. Daniel K. Hall-Flavin of the Mayo Clinic, the following antidepressants are most likely to cause weight gain: Tricyclic, Monoamine, Paroxetine, Mirtazapine and Trazodone. It is important to remember that some weight gain associated with depression can be the result of overeating and lack of physical activity.
  3. Diabetes Medications. Controlling diabetes can sometimes come at the price of weight gain. This occurs for a number of reasons. Insulin can cause low-blood sugar, which can lead to an increased appetite. Sulfonylureas (such as Diabinese, Amaryl, Glucotrol and Glynase can cause hypoglycemia, which again stimulates appetite. Then you have Thiazolidinediones – such as Actos. This medication causes fat cells to store more fatty acids in your body, which can cause fat cells to enlarge. This medication can also cause fluid retention, according to John Hopkins Medical Center.
  4. Birth Control. Birth control pills have been around for over 50 years and are very popular amongst young women. Birth control pills are used for a wide-variety of reasons including preventing pregnancy, controlling acne and regulating a woman’s menstrual cycle. All medications, including birth control, have side effects. Studies have shown that a majority of women who gain weight while on the pill experience this weight gain as the result of fluid retention. However before you toss your pills to the garbage can, remember that weight gain from birth control pills is usually temporary and will diminish after approximately three months on the pill. There are two types of birth control pills. There are combination pills, which contain estrogen and progestin. Then, there are progestin-only pills. Pills that contain estrogen are more likely to cause weight gain than progestin-only pills.
  5. Antihistamines. If you are an allergy suffer, antihistamines can be heaven sent. However, a study conducted by Yale University indicates that those who use prescription antihistamines tend to be more overweight than those who do not. While this study is far from determining a cause-and-effect relationship between antihistamines and weight gain, antihistamines may be another reason for unexplained weight gain.

The LipoLaser: How Does it Work?

With no pain, no needles, no downtime and no invasive procedures, the LipoLaser may appear as if it is some sort of magic wand. How can something that does not interfere with your daily life yield results? The LipoLaser is the latest treatment when it comes to losing inches and countouring your body with affordable costs and similar results to that of invasive treatments.

The LipoLaser works by omitting low levels of laser energy. This laser energy creates a chemical signal in your body’s fat cells, which breaks down the stored triglycerides into free fatty acid and glycerol. These free fatty acids and glycerol are then released through channels in the cell membranes. Then, the fatty acids and glycerol are transported around your body – more specifically tissues that will use them during metabolism to create energy. This process of releasing fatty acids is a natural response of your body. Your body will use stored energy throughout the day when you are in need of energy.

The laser does not create any unnatural reactions in your body. This laser is also safe on your skin, blood vessels and nerves.

Not a science person? Not a problem. The LipoLaser stimulates the chemical pathways in your body to help free up energy sources. This laser does not damage your body, while allowing you to burn excessive fat. Because the LipoLaser is safe, treatment can be performed on most skin types and a majority of body areas.

To help ensure the LipoLaser frees up fatty acids, a period of exercise is used post-treatment. Another option is the whole body vibration platform, which stimulates your muscles to use fat as an energy source. This platform also stimulates drainage of the lymphatic system.

The LipoLaser allows you to have the body you want without the pain and inconvenience of more traditional weight loss procedures.

Nutrition for Aging Bones

Nearly one in four Americans have a musculoskeletal condition that requires medical attention; many of these Americans are senior citizens. In fact, nearly 44 million Americans (mainly older women) struggle with the effects of osteoporosis while others struggle with conditions, such as joint pain and arthritis. It is even more important to note that these bone conditions are much more likely to affect older females than males. What can you do to fight the complications that often come along with aging bones? The answer is simple: better nutrition.

  1. Receive adequate protein in your diet. Research suggests that adequate protein in your diet can help to increase bone mineral density while reducing your risk of developing fractures. Dietary protein can help to build as well as maintain muscle mass. This is important in protecting joints and bones as well as making your bones and joints stronger. Strong bones are a necessity for weight bearing activities. You should be sure to consume foods such as eggs, lean meats, salmon, soy, beans and legumes on a daily basis.
  2. Eliminate soda from your diet. Drinks that are high in sugar can impair the growth of bone cells as well as strength and the ability of your bones to repair themselves should they become injured. Too many carbonated beverages are associated with a significant decrease in bone mineral density in both males and females alike. As a senior citizen, you are going to want to consider replacing soda with water, orange juice, milk and other beverages fortified with calcium. Ditching the sugary drinks can go a long ways in protecting your bones and joints.
  3. Consume plenty of calcium. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and is also the most important nutrient when it comes to the health of your bones. Calcium also plays a key role in the process of muscle contraction, the regulation of your heart bet, regulation of blood pressure, helps to boost your immune system and plays an important role in the transmission of nerve impulses. As you age, getting adequate amounts of calcium can help to decrease your risk of developing osteoporosis and help to keep your muscles working as they should. To get an adequate supply of calcium be sure to consume cheese, milk, broccoli, yogurt, kale and calcium-fortified foods.
  4. Remember the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is very important to the health of your bones. Vitamin D helps your body to properly use and absorb calcium, which means stronger, healthier bones. Vitamin D can be absorbed through sun exposure and found n fish, egg yolks and vitamin D fortified foods.
  5. Try supplements. If you aren’t sure you are getting adequate nutrition through the foods you consume daily, talk to your doctor about the possibility of taking a supplement. If you have a vitamin or nutrient deficiency, supplements can be used to enhance the health of your skeletal as well as muscular system.

Remember, nutrition is just one part of maintaining strong, healthy bones as you age. Fitness and maintaining a healthy lifestyle (such as no smoking) are also very important!