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Weight Loss

Consultation & treatments

Video: Introduction to Weight Loss

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Weight loss

More than 20% of people in the UK are medically obese and a further third of the population are overweight. If you are obese (that is have a body mass index > 30), you are seriously damaging your health and are at an increased risk of arthritis, heart disease and diabetes. Clinically proven prescription treatments are available to help you to achieve your desired weight loss should you decided this is the route for you.

Our weight-loss service is not suitable for people under the age of 18 years of age, or for people suffering from chronic malabsorption syndrome, cholestasis (a problem with the secretion of bile into the digestive system), or for pregnant or breast-feeding women.

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What causes obesity?

In otherwise healthy people, the causes of being obese or overweight are simple; eating too much or taking too little exercise, or probably both. If you regularly consume more calories than you burn off, you will put on weight. However, the opposite is also true - if you burn off more calories than you consume on a regular basis you will lose weight. The way to achieve weight loss is, therefore, to eat less and do more.

What are the risks of obesity?

Obesity can lead to serious health issues including diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. In the UK, 1 in 11 deaths are now caused by obesity and it has been estimated that in 2015, obesity will cost the NHS £6-8 billion while the overall predicted cost to the UK economy will be £47 billion.

If you want to lose weight, act now and click to start your secure online consultation.

What lifestyle changes can aid weight loss?

The best way to guarantee weight loss is to take in fewer calories and do more exercise.

Eating low fat or low carbohydrate foods cannot provide a short cut to weight loss unless the result is a reduction in calories (which may well be the case). Your body can convert fat to carbohydrates and vice versa so changing the proportion of each in your diet in an attempt to lose weight is rendered ineffective. It is now believed that eating a higher proportion of protein rich foods can stave off hunger for longer, and so help the consumption of fewer calories overall.

What prescription medication treatments are available?

In addition to lifestyle changes that increase exercise and reduce calorie intake, doctors can prescribe medication that can assist in weight loss.

The main prescription treatment is Xenical, which works in the digestive system to prevent around 30% of dietary fat from being absorbed by the body. The same active ingredient (orlistat) is also available without a prescription at a lower strength in a product called Alli which is available from Pharmacy2U.

There is also another medicine that has been shown to be very effective at promoting weight loss but which is not medically licensed for that purpose. The injection is licensed in the UK as a treatment for type 2 diabetes and has been shown to be safe for that purpose. For legal reasons we are unable to name this medicine, but it is available through the Pharmacy2U Online Doctor service to assist with weight loss should our doctor decide it is appropriate for you. A clinical study of more than 500 non-diabetic men and women with a BMI of over 30 showed that 1.2mg a day of this treatment produced almost 5kg weight loss in 20 weeks and was as effective as Xenical and better tolerated. At higher doses, it was more effective than Xenical. It also showed that the treatment can be used safely when prescribed carefully. Click here for further details.

Saxenda is a licensed treatment for weight loss in the USA, and will probably be available in the UK within 2015.

Other options to assist weight loss?

For those with a BMI greater than 35 and who have a health-related problem such as diabetes or high blood pressure, then surgery will assist with weight loss and could be an option. If you wish to consider this further you should consult your GP. There are two main types of surgical approach to weight loss:

  • Gastric band. A band is fitted around the neck of the stomach. This causes a feeling of fullness after eating a very small amount of food, and causes slow eating which helps with feeling full after a smaller amount of food
  • Gastric bypass or stapling. Here, the volume of the stomach is made smaller. This causes a feeling of fullness after eating small amounts of food, and reduces calorie absorption.

If you want to lose weight, act now and click to start your secure weight loss consultation.

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