Obesity and Weight management

Obesity and Weight management

How widespread is it?

We know obesity is a problem, but how common is it? According to research data from a 2017 Ministry of Health (MOH) study, 36.2% of Singaporeans aged 18 to 69 were overweight. 13% of school-age children were also overweight. The WHO also found that Singapore has the second highest overweight prevalence in South East Asia.

A number of diseases have obesity as a major contributing factor.

Obesity is a national health problem. According to the Singapore Burden of Disorders survey, diseases associated with obesity had the most negative effects on health in terms of pain and expense. The national illness burden of diabetes is also mostly caused by obesity. Obesity can negatively impact your self-esteem and body image in social situations, which can lead to psychological stress.

Obesity and being overweight is also a major reason for the metabolic syndrome. This sydrome is a collection of illnesses with obesity as a major contributing factor. This cavalcade of diseases include diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. As a result of these chronic ailments, people get illnesses like ischemic heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.

Obesity and being overweight is also linked to additional illnesses like obstructive sleep apnea, joint issues, gallstones, and gallbladder infections.

How do I know if I am overweight or obese?

The BMI is a simple point of reference we use to determine if someone is underweight, within normal range, overweight or obese. The BMI is easily calculated using the following formula:

BMI = Body Mass Index (height x height [in meters])

According to the World Health Organization, the numerical result of the formula corresponds with the following categorisations:

However, Asian populations tend to be smaller, so we should use this scale:

While this is not a perfect indicator of obesity, it does provide your doctor with a good idea of your weight in relation to your height.

 

The ins and outs

Weight gain and loss can be explained using the idea of caloric balance (intake vs. output). If you expend more energy than you take in from food, you will lose weight. Conversely, if you take in more energy than you burn, you will gain weight.

As a guide, by burning about 500 more calories than you consume each day, you will lose approximately 2 kg in a month. To optimise weight loss in a healthy way, limit your caloric intake and adopt a better nutritional quality in your diet. On top of that, you should also increase your physical activity and energy expenditure to further raise your caloric deficit.

What will happen when I consult my doctor for weight loss?

Your doctor will ask you about your past medical history, food habits, and level of activity. After that, blood tests for thyroid function, blood sugar, and cholesterol may be ordered by your doctor. This is crucial since gaining weight could indicate a medical condition. Your doctor may also measure your waist, neck, arm, and fat folds, among other things. Additionally, your doctor will check your vital indicators, such as blood pressure and heart rate.

Weight Management

Obesity treatment must be handled from several directions at once, and the patient’s willpower and resolve are essential for success.

The best and most natural approach to lose weight is to alter your food, eating habits, and lifestyle while also engaging in regular physical activity. Your doctor will collaborate with you to develop a nutrition and exercise plan. If necessary, your doctor might also suggest using certain drugs.

Different Types of Weight Loss Drugs

It is crucial to keep in mind that drugs are supplements to your weight loss program and not intended to be taken as a stand-alone magical tablet.

That said, here are a few of the medications we may take:

Orlistat/Xenical

Orlistat prevents the body from absorbing fat. Your energy intake falls as a result of the fat remaining in your gut rather than being absorbed into the bloodstream. Although the gastrointestinal side effects of this medication—oily stools, diarrhea, gas, and increased bowel movements—can be bothersome for some people, Orlistat is generally very safe.

Phentermine/Duromine

Duromine works by reducing hunger and speeding up your metabolism. It has a unique set of adverse effects like heart palpitations, sleeplessness, hypertension, anxiety, dry mouth, and nausea. Duromine might also make some people’s gastrointestinal pains worse. Some patients may also build up a resistance to it over time, which makes the treatment less effective or cease working altogether. Some patients with pre-existing medical issues may not be able to take this medication.

Monitoring your weight loss journey

Your doctor will set up routine follow-up appointments to monitor your weight loss, physical health, and any adverse side effects from your prescription. Additional blood tests may also be ordered as required.

Speak with one of our doctors right away to get started on your path to a successful, long-lasting weight loss!

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Understanding the Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill

Understanding the Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill

What is the combined oral contraceptive pill?

The combined oral contraceptive pill, also known as the birth control pill, is a daily pill that contains two synthetic types of hormones: estrogen and progesterone. When taken in the proper dosage and with the correct intervals, the combined oral contraceptive pill can help you to prevent unplanned pregnancies.

There are several brands on the market. Each one is slightly different in terms of the type of synthetic estrogen or progesterone they contain, but all of them work equally well to prevent pregnancy.

How does this pill work?

The pill works by preventing the biological function of ovulation from occurring through the introduction of hormones.

When you are on the combined oral contraceptive pill, you stop releasing an eggs from your ovaries. Additionally, your cervical mucus thickens, which makes it harder for any sperm to enter your uterus. Finally, your uterine lining will be thinner, which will make implantation of any egg more difficult.

All factors considered, the combined oral contraceptive pill can prevent conception up to 99% of the time if used correctly and consistently.

Who should take the combined oral contraceptive pill?

Most females seeking a temporary barrier-free contraceptive method can consider using the combined oral contraceptive pill. However, suitability can change with certain medical conditions.

Taking the combined oral contraceptive pills may actually be beneficial or women with medical conditions like severe menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea), thick menstrual flow (menorrhagia), acne problems, or premenstrual syndrome symptoms.

The converse is true if you have pre-existing medical illnesses like poorly controlled high blood pressure, migraines with aura, breast or hormone-related malignancies, liver or gallbladder issues, blood clots (thrombosis), or a family history of thrombotic tendencies. Additionally, this pill is not recommended for smokers, especially those over 35.

You may want to check with your doctor if you are taking any regular, long-term drugs because some medications may interfere with the combined oral contraceptive pill and reduce its effectiveness.

What are advantages and disadvantages of using the combined oral contraceptive pill?

Benefits:

Cons:

What are the possible side effects of taking the oral combination contraceptive pill?

What may I anticipate after taking the medication?

With a few exceptions, most combined oral contraceptive pills sold in Singapore are monophasic 21-day pills. This implies that you take hormonal pills for 21 days in a row, then skip medication for 7 days (some brands may come with 7 placebo pills which do not contain any hormones). This is done in an effort to replicate the menstrual cycle.

You should try to take the pill every day at the same time. If you miss a dose, consult your doctor immediately because the best course of action will depend on where you are in your cycle.

When should I start taking the pill?

You will avoid an unintended pregnancy if you begin on the first day of your menstrual cycle and will not require further barrier protection. However, you should use additional barrier protection for a week before you can have unprotected intercourse without risk if you start throughout the rest of your menstrual cycle, especially if it is after Day 5.

While taking the combined oral contraceptive pill, would I still have periods?

Your period will still happen, but it will probably be lighter than usual. Additionally, the pill will help with symptoms of unpleasant menstrual cycles (dysmenorrhea), which is a natural condition.

The pills can be taken constantly without a pill-free interval for longer than a month if you wish to avoid monthly periods, whether due to an underlying medical condition as recommended by your doctor or for personal convenience. Before embarking on this journey, you should discuss this with your doctor as well.

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