Commonly-Asked Questions By Weight Loss Counselors

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Weight loss has many health benefits. However, if you are unable to lose weight on your own, then your physician may recommend a weight loss program. Structured weight loss management programs offer participants support, nutritional counseling, and education. Before an individualized program can be developed for you, your weight loss counselor will talk to you about the following.

Prescription and OTC Drugs

Your weight loss counselor will ask you if you take any medications. This question is very important because many prescription and over-the-counter, or OTC medications, can lead to a sluggish metabolism. Certain medications can also lead to urinary retention, which can cause you to retain fluid and gain weight.

Medications that can affect your weight include blood pressure medications such as beta-blockers, antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, and even anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. While your weight loss counselor will not advise you to stop taking your medications or decrease the dosage, they will explain the reasons why your medications are sabotaging your weight loss so that you can talk to your physician about them. 

Current Health Conditions

The weight loss program counselor may also ask you questions about your current health conditions because certain disorders can cause you to gain weight or make it difficult for you to lose weight. For example, if you have an underactive thyroid gland, or hypothyroidism, your metabolic rate may slower than normal. This means that even though you are following a healthy diet, you may not lose weight. Your counselor may recommend that you visit your endocrinologist, who will order a thyroid panel. This blood test can help your doctor determine if your thyroid replacement medication is working.

If your thyroid panel is abnormal, your doctor may need to increase your medication dosage. Once your medication has been adjusted, your metabolic rate will normalize and you may start losing weight.  Another health condition that can complicate your weight loss efforts is renal disease. If your kidneys are not functioning properly, sodium and other toxins can build up in your soft tissues, causing fluid retention and subsequent weight gain. Your counselor may explain that increasing your water intake can help decrease fluid retention by promoting urination; however, it may not be recommended for those who have kidney disease. 

If you are struggling to lose weight, make an appointment to talk to your doctor about weight loss programs. Once you have lost weight, you will feel better and your risk for chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes will decline.