Do Diet Pills Really Kill People?

by : MN Nikk



Diet pills marketers will promise you anything and everything if you just buy one bottle. You can lose 3 pounds a day or maybe 20 or even 30 pounds a week. But can they deliver what they promise? And is it safe?

Most prescription diet pills suppress the appetite, which causes you to consume fewer calories. On the surface, this seems like the ultimate solution for losing weight. However, as you reduce your caloric intake, your metabolism also slows down. As your metabolism slows down, you lose less and less weight. This is why it is common for people to lose only a certain amount of weight while taking diet pills alone.

As fat blockers like Orlistat (Xenical) remove excess fats via the intestines, they may cause a wide range of unwanted symptoms. One of the dangers of diet pills that inhibit the absorption of fats is the problem of gastrointestinal side effects, such as oily spotting, flatus with discharge, fecal urgency, fatty/oily stool, oily evacuation, increased defecation, and fecal incontinence. Other gastrointestinal diet pill side effects may include: abdominal pain, nausea, infectious diarrhea, and rectal pain.

Diet pills that inhibit the absorption of fats can also cause a deficiency in vitamins A, D, E, K, and Beta-carotenes. Also, rare side effects have been hypersensitivity with symptoms of pruritus, rash, urticaria, angioedema, and anaphylaxis. Sounds bad? You bet it does.

Sibutramine (Meridia) and other similar appetite suppressants stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, which can raise blood pressure and heart rate. This increases the risk of heart attack and cardiac arrest, especially among people who already suffered from high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat or heart disease. In fact, between February 1998 and March 2003, the FDA received reports of 49 deaths related to Sibutramine. Additional minor side effects include constipation, headache, dry mouth and insomnia (because the chemicals in these drugs also influence sleep patterns).

Another popular diet pill ingredient in the '90s was a powerful amphetamine-like stimulant called ephedra (or the Chinese herb ma huang), which, in combination with caffeine, triggered measurable weight loss. The problem was that ephedra also increased the heart rate, and, consequently, the risk of heart attack and stroke. Ephedra is related to epinephrine (adrenaline), which, during times of stress, constricts blood vessels, elevates heart rate and gets the body ready to fight or flee. At least 155 people died from taking medications containing ephedra.

Some diet pills, especially the stimulant-based ones, are habit-forming and as such can be abused. Abuse of these drugs may lead to addiction. None of this would ever help you achieve a healthy life and that's the sad truth about miracle pills. So are there any quick fixes, anything that can do to lose weight without too much trouble?

There are a couple of quick fixes you can try and which may change your life for the better:

- Get a habit of eating breakfast every morning! Breakfast eaters are champions of good health. Research shows people who have a morning meal tend to take in more vitamins and minerals, and less fat and cholesterol. The result is often a leaner body, lower cholesterol count, and less chance of overeating.

- Plan your sessions of exercise. Incidental exercise is good, but in all honesty - it's not enough. People who maintain their weight have learned to schedule dedicated times of exercise. Those times are not torture sessions, but times when they look forward to release stress and positive feelings of well-being after the session.

- Take up a hobby. Since they are relaxing activities, hobbies are usually enjoyable. The joy may help people live healthier and recover better from illness. For one thing, taking part in hobbies can burn calories, more so than just sitting in front of the TV. Relaxed happy people are a lot less likely to eat emotionally than the rest of dieters.