Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Naturopathic Weight Loss Strategies

Weight Loss Drug is Unsafe

More about Meridia (sibutramine!) Two new Health Canada advisories have been issued this week concerning products marketed for weight loss that contain the unsafe pharmaceutical drug, sibutramine. Health Canada is warning Canadians not to take "Celerite Slimmine Capsules" or "Herbal Flos Lonicerae (Herbal Xenicol)" as these products were found to contain undeclared sibutramine. Sibutramine was withdrawn from the Canadian market in October 2010 when its use was identified to be associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Sibutramine also causes increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, dry mouth and constipation. Although I posted about this drug back in October when it was pulled from the market, it remains a concern as sibutramine-containing products are still available online from jurisdictions outside Canada, or are illicitly added to products that are presented as being herbal or natural weight loss formulas. While some natural supplements can support modestly improved weight loss in the context of an overall health program, the much hoped-for, safe, "magic pill" for weight loss is simply nonexistent. If that's a tough pill to swallow, let me reassure you that you CAN lose weight, you CAN feel better about yourself and you CAN experience improved overall health. 

Many Factors Influence Your Weight
Weight loss is a complex process influenced by multiple factors, such as your stress levels, hormonal balance, the quality of your sleep, inflammation, exercise, the foods you choose, toxicity, emotional health, and the list goes on.  YOUR program for safe, healthy and permanent weight loss program must be just that - YOURS. It must be individualized to YOU and all of the factors that influence your overall health - it's never about just the number on the scale.
Naturopathic Approach to Weight Loss
I can empathize with my patients' sense of struggle and discouragement and all of the feelings that come along with being overweight and wanting to make change.  As a naturopathic doctor I have helped people to understand and address the many factors influencing their ability to healthfully lose weight through compassionate naturopathic care - always honouring the uniquenesses of each person's situation and needs.  Weight management, like any other personal health goal, is a journey and a process that you deserve to be supported in.  If you need to lose weight, be sure your program includes personalized support and that you are being treated safely and as a whole person - body, mind and spirit.

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