Psychiatrists Promote Psychiatric Drugs
as Weight Loss Tools
Drugs used to treat hyperactive children,
such as Ritalin, are being recommended as a means to help solve the
Dr. Lance Levy of Toronto studied severely
obese patients who had failed to lose weight in 10 years. Some were
prescribed anti-hyperactivity drugs including Adderall, a type of amphetamine,
and a Ritalin-style pill called Concerta. After a year of treatment,
those given the drugs had lost an average of 12 percent of their total
Doctors behind these latest findings
claim a chemical imbalance in the brain caused by undiagnosed ADHD prevents
severely obese patients from having the willpower to lose weight, and
treating the ADHD with drugs can help with weight loss.
Dr. Mercola Comment
Last September new British health guidelines urged physicians to curb
the use of Ritalin and other ADHD drugs in children. Could it be that
drugmakers are now afraid this trend will spread to other parts of the
world … and they’re looking for a new way to market their
toxic and dangerous products?
That drugs like Adderall, Ritalin and
Concerta would lead to weight loss is no surprise. One of their most
well known side effects is loss of appetite and weight loss.
In fact, Adderall was originally marketed
as a diet pill during the 1960s -- and using the drug to slim down quickly
is a well-known trick among celebrities.
Other studies, too, have tried to paint
these potent prescription drugs as weight loss “miracle”
pills. In 2007, for instance, researchers found that adults ate 11 percent
fewer calories and 17 percent less fat when they took
Ritalin before a buffet lunch.
With obesity rates now at record levels
in the United States and other developed countries, drug makers stand
to make a fortune if their pills could suddenly be marketed as a weight
loss tool. But there are some hefty downsides you should know.
You Willing to Risk to Lose Weight?
Psychiatric drugs were never meant to
be passed around like candy, yet more and more this is what is happening
-- often with devastating consequences.
By definition, Ritalin and similar drugs
stimulate your central nervous system, leading to side effects such
• Increased blood pressure
• Increased heart rate
• Increased body temperature
• Increased alertness
• Suppressed appetite
When taken over a period of years, the
drugs may cause even more severe health problems such as cancer. A small
University of Texas study conducted in 2005 showed damage
to the chromosomes of 12 children who had taken Ritalin for just
The potential of Ritalin to cause cancer
has been known for much longer though, as back in 1993 The National
Toxicology Program released results that showed feeding mice Ritalin
at levels close to those routinely prescribed induced liver tumors,
including rare and highly malignant cancers.
Meanwhile, while researchers used to
believe that Ritalin was a short-acting drug, studies have shown it
has the potential for causing long-lasting changes
in brain cell structure and function and may lead to stunted
ADHD drugs other than Ritalin have been
linked to hallucinations, heart attack, stroke, increased aggressive
behavior, suicide, and even sudden death!
Further, it’s known that long-term
use of Adderall can lead to liver problems, while some may become allergic
or addicted to the drug. Serious heart problems, and even death, have
also been reported.
So for doctors to claim that ADHD is
the reason why some obese people cannot lose weight -- and then recommend
psychiatric drugs to solve the problem -- is an extraordinary imprudent
choice that in no way, shape, or form addresses the root causes of obesity,
or ADHD for that matter.
It’s true that if you take amphetamines
like Adderall you might end up slimmer -- but you certainly won’t
end up healthier.
Address Obesity at Its Source
Obesity carries with it serious health
risks of its own, including cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes,
and with rates increasing steadily it is
a condition that needs to be taken seriously and addressed properly.
Weight gain is obviously influenced by
many factors, but the two that everyone keeps coming back to -- diet
and exercise -- are still the primary ones in my mind. Combine a healthy
diet with exercise -- and be sure you are addressing the emotional component
of food, eating and weight gain -- and most people WILL lose weight.
Specifically, this includes:
1. Tailoring your
diet to your nutritional type.
2. Viewing exercise
as a drug.
3. Letting go of
your emotional blocks to overcome emotional eating and food cravings.
Even if you are inclined to agree with
the doctors who say the effects of ADHD, such as impulsive behavior
and lack of willpower, are making it difficult for some obese people
to lose weight, a pill is still not a wise choice.
In my medical practice at the Natural
Health Center, here’s what I recommend for both kids and
adults who suffer from ADHD:
• Increase your intake
of omega-3 fat from krill oil. This is the single most important
nutrient for ADHD children and adults.
• Drink only water for a beverage, taking care to avoid fruit
juices, soda, and pasteurized milk.
• Restrict or eliminate all processed foods, sugars and most grains
from your diet.
• Avoid processed foods, especially those containing artificial
colors, flavors, and preservatives, which may aggravate or cause ADHD
• Spend more time in nature, especially
sunshine on your skin to optimize your vitamin D levels.
As you can see, none of these suggestions
include taking a dangerous psychiatric drug. Instead, all of them are
tips that can only benefit, not harm, your health -- and can help push
your life in a healthy direction whether you’re struggling with
obesity or not.