Many prescription drugs (and some non-prescription) block your ability to lose weight and have likely caused weight gain over the time you’ve taken them. As long as you remain on one or more of these drugs, weight loss is very difficult or impossible. Getting off these drugs is therefore key to restore your ability to lose weight.
The Undoctored lifestyle can free you of the “need” for many of these drugs. Have a conversation with your healthcare provider (who is typically unaware of this effect despite studies demonstrating weight gain) to discuss a change to a drug that does not block weight loss or—best of all—getting off the drug entirely. If he/she does not support your effort, find a new provider, one who empowers you in place of one who obstructs your health.
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I’d like to talk about another common cause of stalled weight loss. This is discussed further in my Undoctored book Undoctored — Why Health Care Has Failed You And How You Can Become Smarter Than Your Doctor.
There’s a long list of factors that can block weight loss (cause weight loss plateaus) in the book, but one of the issues are prescription drugs. Many people take prescription drugs that prevent any weight loss, or at least slow it down. Many of these drugs block weight loss completely, and have over the years we’ve taken them, caused weight gain. Maybe you’ve been gaining weight, didn’t know why, didn’t know that the drug the doctor prescribed was causing you to gain weight.
You’ll be shocked how few doctors actually know this. I don’t make this stuff up. If you get the package insert that the pharmacist adds, you’ll typically see “weight gain” is a very common side effect of these drugs. You’ll also uncover studies if you go and do an online search. You’ll see that these drugs cause weight gain. But the doctor often doesn’t even know that, because the doctors typically don’t read the package inserts, don’t read the studies.
They do talk to the product representative, who is not inclined to tell the doctor these kinds of undesirable effects. Imagine that this nice, good-looking sales rep tells the doctor “well about 18 to 50% of people gain 8 to 10 pounds the first 6 months taking this drug”. What do you think he’s going to think, right? So that is often not disclosed to the doctor. Often he or she won’t know that. Don’t be surprised to get resistance from the doctor.
A common class of drugs that causes weight gain or blocks weight loss: beta blockers, such as metropolol, nadolol, carvedilol, propranolol. These are prescribed for a variety of purposes: for hypertension, for migraine headache prevention, for anxiety, to reduce heart rate. Whether you can stop them depends on why they were prescribed in the first place. Be aware that beta blockers, the very common class of beta blockers, all block weight loss. You want to talk your doctor about getting off, if possible. Most people can and have it replaced by a more benign agent that doesn’t cause weight gain or stall weight loss. Or, you can get off entirely off it, by following the Undoctored Wild-Naked-Unwashed program that addresses such issues as hypertension, and reduces blood pressure.
Another common class of drugs are antihistamines. Both prescription and over-the-counter, all antihistamines block weight loss, and cause gradual weight gain, the longer you take them. Once again the Undoctored Wild-Naked-Unwashed program reverses allergies in many people. Perhaps that’ll be part of the formula for you to get off of, become less reliant on antihistamines, or at least have them necessary only on occasion. Inhaled corticosteroids, that is, nasal inhaled corticosteroids are pretty benign alternative to antihistamines, if you need to use them. They don’t cause weight gain.
A whole big world of drugs that block weight loss, including drugs such as Elavil, Pamelor™, Sinequan®, Paxil® and others. If you have a suspicion that you have been gaining weight on your antidepressant, talk to the doctor who prescribed it. Talk about your concerns. Ask to change to an agent that doesn’t cause weight gain. Or, perhaps you’re on the Undoctored Wild-Naked-Unwashed program, and that is making you feel better (which is very common), this program typically gets people off antidepressants, but it should be done in conjunction with someone who is objectively watching your mood.
… such as naproxen, ibuprofen, Vioxx — these all cause weight gain, sometimes a lot. It’s due to fluid. Be aware that once again, the Undoctored Wild-Naked-Unwashed program typically reduces, sometimes eliminates, many forms of pain, like joint pain. Many people can come off these drugs safely. They won’t need them.
Lyrica® for fibromyalgia and other sorts of chronic pain, is a flagrant cause of weight gain, often large quantities of weight gain, 30, 40, 50 pounds. Be aware of that, and once again the Undoctored program can get you started on a program to reduce chronic pain, including that from fibromyalgia.
Diabetes drugs and insulin
… big world of weight gain effects, especially Actos® and Avandia®, typically given for pre-diabetes, sometimes for diabetics, can cause flagrant weight gain. Insulin is an incredibly effective weight gain drug. I’ve seen many people started on insulin, and then gain 25, 30, 50, 60 pounds in the first year alone. Recall that insulin in our bodies is the hormone of weight gain, weight fat storage, suppresses fat mobilization. If I inject insulin, the same thing occurs, but worse. It causes weight gain. It blocks any hope of mobilizing fat to lose weight.
Once again, the Undoctored Wild-Naked-Unwashed program requires that you reduce insulin almost immediately, because we avoid hypoglycemia. It’s the first step in the process to get you off insulin, if you’re a Type 2 diabetic, or on the least dose of insulin you’re a Type 1 diabetic (or the in-between form LADA: latent autoimmune diabetes of adulthood form of diabetes) in which case you’ll still need some insulin. But the dose will be minimized, thereby the weight gain effect minimized. Recognize that insulin is an enormously effective weight gain drug. Getting down to the minimum you need, or getting off, is a very desirable goal
That’s just a partial list. Those are the most common, most offensive drugs, but there are others. If you are on several drugs, there’s a high likelihood that you’re taking one if not several drugs that block weight loss, or cause weight gain. You want to have a very serious conversation with your healthcare provider. If you don’t get their attention, or you get blown off, walk out. Find a health care provider, perhaps a functional medicine practitioner, or integrative health practitioner, who is in tune with these issues, and will work hard to get you off these drugs — perhaps find alternatives that don’t cause weight gain, or even get you off these drugs entirely, especially now that you’re on the Undoctored program that helps you minimize, absolutely minimize, your reliance on such drugs.