Thursday, April 8, 2010

Weight Loss Tip: Sleep and Adulterated Diet Pills Don’t Mix

A report by the American Journal on Addictions states that diet pills that are adulterated with undeclared pharmaceutical ingredients can be addictive, cause feelings of hopelessness and impaired sleep. The FDA has issued several warnings on diet pills specifically amphetamine based ones from Brazil. One case report of a 29 year old female who became addicted to the Brazilian diet pills cut her wrists trying to commit suicide. She exhibited various symptoms of dependence as her tolerance increased spending hundreds of dollars a month, unable to stop without adverse side effects and withdrawal. Side effects when taking the diet pills included trembling, hallucinations, sweating and excessive sleepiness. When she tried to quit she experienced cravings, tremors, headaches and anxiety.

[caption id="attachment_152" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Serotonin"]serotonin[/caption]

Adulterated diet pills are nothing new, in the 1960’s the rainbow pills contained amphetamines, diuretics, thyroid hormone and cardiac glycosides that were linked to cardiac deaths and finally banned. In the 1980’s, diet pills consisted of amphetamines, benzodiazepines, thyroid hormone and diuretics that came from Europe and South America. These pills have also been banned but still remain available. Taking adulterated diet pills can also lead to drug interactions.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a well-known class of antidepressant medications. The first drug in this class was fluoxetine (Prozac), which hit the U.S. market in 1987. How do SSRI’s affect depression? Researchers have found that a brain chemical, neurotransmitters are associated with depression including serotonin which can affect mood and behavior. SSRIs seem to alleviate depression symptoms by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin leaving more serotonin available enhancing neurotransmission which improves mood.

Side effects of SSRIs include; nausea, sexual dysfunction, dry mouth, headaches, diarrhea, nervousness, rash, agitation, restlessness, increased sweating, weight gain, drowsiness and insomnia. SSRIs used by older women, included those without evidence of depression have a greater likelihood to experience sleep disturbances, including poor sleep quality, longer sleep latency and sleep interruptions due to longer awake episodes. These results add to the uncertain risks and benefits of taking adulterated diet pills with SSRIs in an aged population.

Note: Serotonin is needed so our body can produce Melatonin, a hormone that is released when we sleep. Melatonin is not only critical in the repair and rebuild process, it also acts with our own body's sleep/wake cycle. Melatonin also aides in the production of NK cells, the natural killer cells that fight off diseases like cancer. Living a healthy lifestyle without taking adulterated diet pills is very important and can be a vicious cycle. As we eat carbohydrates our body increases the production of serotonin, a mood enhancer, thats why we feel better when we eat chocolate and refined grains. The problem with eating a lot of carbohydrates is that it causes our blood sugar to rise and fall very rapidly throwing off our hormones which cause an increase of insulin and cortisol (the stuff that makes belly fat). When we feel stressed eating carbohydrates make us feel calmer, but stress causes low serotonin levels and more cortisol and adrenaline, which can lead to adrenal fatigue. For these reasons people are taking adulterated diet pills to break the vicious cycle to lose weight, but are also losing a lot of sleep too. There are two things that will help you increase your energy during the day and relieve stress and anxiety so you can sleep better at night. 1) Support Adrenal Function and 2) Increase Serotonin and GABA levels in the body.

There are many supplements on the market that are available, but with any supplement or diet pills you need to consult with your physician as he may recommend the proper dosage or an alternative treatment plan.

The information in this article is not intended to provide personal medical advice, which should be obtained from a medical professional, and has not been approved by the U.S. FDA.

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1 comment:

  1. I find that very interesting that lack of sleep could not only affect our energy levels, which of course decrease the amount of exercise we implement into our everyday lives. But that it will alone just increase our body weight.