It saddens me to see so many drugs on the market to assist with weight loss. Some of these drugs are FDA approved, but does that mean we should take them?
Weight loss drugs have a storied past for sure. In the 50’s and 60’s the weight loss drug of choice was amphetamines. According to an article written by Jacques Peretti in the Guardian, they were banned in the 70’s due to being highly addictive and causing heart attacks and strokes.
The door had been opened however and the pharmaceutical companies could not resist the opportunity to sell to women (and men) who were desperate to lose weight.
Now in 2023 we have FDA approved weight loss drugs. One weight loss drug approved by the FDA has, according to HealthLine, common side effects that include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, headaches, increased heart rate, infections, and indigestion. It has less common but severe side effects which may require medical attention, including kidney problems, thyroid C-cell tumors, gallbladder disease, low blood sugar, and suicidal ideation. Is it really worth it?
If a person using weight loss drugs is under the supervision of their doctor, I’m not going to suggest they stop, but I am going to question why anyone would feel the need to take them.
I certainly don't know everything there is to know about weight loss drugs - how they work chemically for instance. But what I do know is this: the majority of the weight loss drugs on the market are intended to help you lose your appetite.
Lose your appetite? These words send chills up my spine.
An appetite for food is equivalent to an appetite for life. Having an appetite keeps us alive.
You want an appetite. Hunger pangs are a signal from your body that it needs food for energy – it’s a partnership you have. If you want to stay alive and functioning, you have to eat.
You may say, “Well Deborah, what if I eat too much and that’s the cause of my weight gain? Won’t these drugs keep me from overeating?”
Perhaps. But, just because you don’t feel hungry doesn’t mean your body's okay with that.
When your body is in need of food and doesn’t get it, it will go into survival mode and start to shut down to preserve the energy it does have. You have no energy to perform any function outside of surviving. All the body can think about is how to keep you alive.
If you’re on an anti-appetite medication, you don’t know you’re hungry. All you know is you don’t feel like doing anything.
Having an appetite is a wonderful thing.
If you tend toward overeating, perhaps what you're hungry for is not more food. What if what you perceive as being hungry for more food, after you’ve eaten a healthy and satisfying meal, is actually being hungry for life? Being engaged in activities, companionship, or other forms of self-care?
Our bodies are wise. They’re talking to us all the time.
Anti-appetite drugs are dehumanizing. They take the body’s and your innate wisdom and shut them down.
Having an appetite is a human experience. We need our appetites to stay alive and to live our beautifully human life.