When it comes to diminished health and the onset of symptoms and disease, we have several options available to us.
While each takes you down a different path and will result in varying outcomes, it’s important to be aware of your options and make informed decisions. Afterall, you’re in charge of your body and, while you can seek advice and guidance from a variety of health professionals, your body and your health are ultimately your responsibility.
In speaking with a client this week (let’s call her Jane), she was in tears as she explained her frustration of extreme lethargy, weight gain, poor sleep, low mood and generally feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. At only 35 years old, she had gained over 15 kilos in the past 12 months. I initiated some basic pathology testing to provide her with more insight.
Jane’s pathology revealed severe insulin resistance, high LDL cholesterol, poor liver function, low iron and a vitamin D deficiency. All of these markers are clear signs of metabolic dysfunction and all can be quite easily addressed through lifestyle intervention. She also had some abnormalities with her thyroid function, for which I recommended she seek advice from an endocrinologist, who specialises in this field.
I set her up on our Metabolic Reboot program to address her metabolic markers, and with supplementation to correct her nutrient deficiencies. After just a week, I spoke with Jane to ask how she was managing. She said she was too exhausted to even think about making the changes we discussed, so she went to her GP, who immediately prescribed Saxenda and Metformin instead. He simply dismissed the thyroid panel as irrelevant.
And herein lies the breakdown in this process. While we’d all love to take a pill to fix our problems, these issues did not arise due to a pharmaceutical deficiency, so adding these drugs to the ‘fire’ is not going to fix the underlying issues. Instead, the lifestyle choices that lead her to this health breakdown will remain, as she adds the pharmaceuticals, complete with side effects, to the mix. Taking a drug to address some of the ‘symptoms’ of the underlying issue, is like scooping water out of the bath with a bucket, when you could simply turn off the tap. While it may seem like the easier option at the time, it will inevitably result in failure and exhaustion!
Some of the known side-effects of Saxenda and Ozempic (and other similar ‘drugs de jour’) include, but are not limited to: nausea, vomiting, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, headache, dizziness, hypoglycaemia, fever, cough, rash, tiredness, insomnia, loss of strength, bloating, flatulence, abnormal cholesterol levels, urinary tract infection, depression, anxiety, pain in limbs, gallstones, fast heartbeat, dry mouth, thyroid cancer, pancreatic cancer, colorectal tumour, renal failure, pancreatitis and suicidal ideation.
If this is not enough, they also cause fat cells to shrink and multiply, so when you stop taking the drug, your risk of obesity is exacerbated, not to mention that much of the ‘weight’ lost is valuable muscle tissue.
Some of the known side-effects of making the necessary diet and lifestyle changes required to reverse metabolic dysfunction include but are not limited to rapid fat loss, better sleep, improved energy, strength and fitness, reduced bloating and digestive issues, normalised pathology markers, greater self-confidence and an overall reduced risk of disease.
While we’re commonly in a vulnerable state when we feel unwell, it’s important to be aware of all options. If you are in a state of dis-ease, your body is screaming at you to provide it with some help and self-care, which is almost always remedied, at least in part, by reassessing your lifestyle and making some much-needed improvements. Your body is a brilliant machine, but it can only take so much abuse and neglect. I urge you to make friends with your body and give it the tools it needs to optimise your health and quality of life.