Mumbai’s Dr. Harsh Sheth on the effectiveness of weight loss medication in treating obesity

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    The recent announcements stating the availability of better weight loss medications to overcome obesity are making news. One of the leading bariatric surgeonsin Mumbai, Dr. Harsh Sheth shares his views on weight loss medications to overcome obesity.

    Dr. Harsh Seth states, ‘Weight loss medications are ideal for patients with low BMI. But they need to be consumed for longer periods. Also, it is possible to lose only up to 20% of the excess body weight through these medications, albeit the treatment must be accompanied by dietary modifications and exercise.’

    He asserts that research reveals that weight loss medications help lose approximately 5 – 7 pounds for every 100 pounds. Depending on their medical condition, patients can consume medicines for short periods (12 weeks) or even longer. Weight-loss medications are available in the form of injectables and tablets. For instance, Orlistat (tablet), Iiraglutide (injectable), Dulaglutide (injectable), Semaglutide (tablet and injectable). Patients are likely to experience insomnia, dizziness, nausea, constipation, changes in appetite levels, and subtle fluctuations in blood pressure levels.

    Also, serious side effects of these medications include pancreatitis, swelling in the lower limbs, dark urine, shortness of breath, digestive issues, allergic reactions, hypoglycemia, etc. Hence, doctors advise these medications after a careful and in-depth evaluation of the patient’s condition, especially the presence of co-morbidities. It has also been observed that weight-loss medications work best with a comprehensive weight loss program that includes exercise, diet, and behavior modification.

    Dr. Harsh Seth states that weight loss medications are constantly researched and improved upon, and they are likely to come with their share of side effects which can affect the patient’s health in the long run. However, they do have a role to play in weight loss, especially for those patients who do not need radical weight loss.

    Patients who have undergone bariatric surgery have attained better weight loss results and overcome their obesity-related conditions. He states that bariatric surgery patients are likely to experience most weight loss within the initial six months of their procedure, while the weight loss journey will continue for nearly two years afterward. It is also possible that they will nearly lose 70-80% of their excess weight. In comparison, with weight loss medications, patients may lose only up to 20% of their excess weight.

    For the class II and III obese patients (BMI >35 kg/m2), bariatric procedures have demonstrated weight loss of up to 70 – 80% of their excess weight if a suitable bariatric procedure is done and the patient follows the recommended lifestyle plan in a disciplined manner. A patient will be unable to lose this kind of weight with diet and exercise alone, or even with diet and exercise + weight loss medications. For those patients suffering from morbid obesity (class II and above), bariatric surgery is still the recommended treatment modality. The approach to one’s weight loss journey, be it with natural interventions, medications or surgery requires a multi-disciplinary approach from an experienced team to personalize the regime.

    As mentioned earlier, the role of the treating doctor and the patient’s physical and mental condition is of paramount importance when embarking on a weight loss journey. Additionally, Dr. Harsh Seth suggests that the patient’s proactive approach and regular interactions with the weight-loss team in terms of assessment and progress of exercise, dietary control, and behavioral patterns ensure the success of the weight loss journey.

    About Dr. Harsh Sheth

    Dr. Harsh Sheth is one of the most dynamicbariatric surgeons in Mumbai, with expertise in Advanced Laparoscopy. He is available for consultation across multiple hospitals in Mumbai, viz. Saifee Hospital, Bhatia Hospital, ACI Cumballa Hill Hospital, Apollo Spectra Hospital (Tardeo), Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central, and Conwest& Manjula S Badani Jain Charitable Hospital.

    He comes with an accumulated experience of 10 years in bariatric surgery and associated GI surgeries and minimally invasive procedures. In addition, he has done commendable research and developed medical devices in gastroenterology and bariatric surgery.

    Dr. Harsh Sheth is available at Saifee hospital and Bhatia hospital in Mumbai, and patients can reach him at +91-9819388836 for appointments.

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