How Do Appetite Suppressants Work

How Do Appetite Suppressants Work: Detailed Explanation

August 3. 2021

The feeling of hunger is an entirely natural and necessary occurrence; it’s a signal your body sends to inform you about the lack of fuel it needs to survive. However, it’s not uncommon for us humans to feel hunger or cravings due to stress, anxiety, and other emotions. In such cases, we’re prone to giving in to overindulgence, trying to reach that feeling of emotional comfort. Overeating can easily cause the inability to recognize fullness and get you in a daunting cycle of insatiability and weight gain. Once you’re in this cycle, it’s often pretty difficult to fight and get out of it. Thankfully, you can nowadays seek help and get that weight loss kickstart by taking an appetite suppressant. You’ve probably heard about weight loss medications that can curb hunger, but if you’re looking to find out how do appetite suppressants work, here’s a detailed explanation.

What are appetite suppressants?

Anorectics, or appetite suppressants, are medications designed to trick your brain into believing you’re full. Although some forms of appetite suppressants can be found over the counter, it’s advisable only to use the FDA-approved ones, available to patients with a doctor’s prescription. Over the counter, supplements are potentially ineffective and can, more importantly, cause severe side effects. That’s why here at weight loss clinic Chicago, we strongly advise our patients not to take weight loss medications by themselves but instead seek the help of a professional to ensure they get valid information.
Another thing to mention is that not everyone is eligible to start taking appetite suppressants. If you’re looking to shred only a few extra pounds, it would be best to start with a personalized diet and exercise regimen and perhaps include shots of lipo C injection. As a general rule of thumb, patients who are most likely suitable to start taking appetite suppressants include those with:

  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 (and higher),
  • A BMI of 27 and at least one weight-related health issue (such as diabetes or high blood pressure), and
  • Problems with binge eating

One of the most popular and effective FDA-approved appetite suppressants is phentermine. Phentermine works by increasing the levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in your body. Once the levels of these neurotransmitters rise, you start experiencing a feeling of satiety and are less likely to have cravings. We should also mention a drug called orlistat (Alli) that is also used to treat obesity but is actually not an appetite suppressant. This drug works by inhibiting your body from absorbing the fat you intake through the food you eat. 

How do appetite suppressants work?

Now that we’ve covered the definition of appetite suppressants and their available forms, we can move on to see how they work. Although they can be found in different forms, the main three types of appetite suppressants include:

  • An appetite suppressant in the form of a pill that is filled with fiber. Once you take one, it fills the space in your stomach, making you feel full sooner.
  • An appetite suppressant that targets your adrenal gland and blocks the feeling of hunger by preventing your brain from communicating hunger signals to your body.
  • An appetite suppressant that targets your hormones, most likely your serotonin levels (the feel-good hormone). Increased levels of this hormone trick your brain into feeling full.

Are appetite suppressants effective?

As we mentioned earlier, it’s absolutely vital to get fully informed about the appetite suppressant you’re using in the case of phentermine. Only then you’ll be able to take all the necessary steps to boost its effectiveness and get the desired results. Since these medications are not composed to do wonders by themselves, you should also include a healthy and sustainable diet plan and regular physical activity of any kind. Keep in mind that if you take an appetite suppressant while simultaneously following a personalized weight loss program that lasts up to three months, you may expect to lose up to 10% of your initial weight. More importantly, by the end of your treatment, you should be able to differentiate between the actual feeling of hunger and false alarm signals coming from your brain. 

Are there any risks?

Appetite suppressants are medications, after all, which means there are certain risks associated with them if not used properly. To begin with, you can prevent exposing yourself to these risks by consulting an experienced professional about the type of medication you should be using, its dosage, and your current health condition. For example, phentermine is a stimulant, and if not used correctly, it can cause side effects such as increased blood pressure or heart rate, insomnia, headache. To ensure you get all its benefits and zero side effects, make sure to understand how to make phentermine more effective fully. Lipase inhibitors, such as the orlistat mentioned above, can cause stomach pain and gas, oily spotting, and fecal urgency. It can also cause a reduction in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, which is why you should take it with a multivitamin supplement. 

Final thoughts

Appetite suppressants can be found in several different forms, but just because they’re available over the counter doesn’t mean they’re beneficial nor safe. On the other hand, FDA-approved appetite suppressants combined with a nutritionally balanced diet and physical activity can help you curb hunger and prolong the feeling of satiety. This will, in return, help you develop a healthy relationship with food and make it easier for you to recognize and understand signals from your brain. To get more information regarding this subject or schedule your consultation or medical examination with our experienced medical staff to determine whether you’re eligible to take appetite suppressants, feel free to contact our clinic today. 

Nurse Walton


Nurse Walton

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Chanay received her Practical Nurse licensure and went to work in clinical specialties such as Home Health, Assisted Living, Long-Term Care and Dialysis Centers. Through this work, she realized the importance of diet, nutrition and weight loss among her patients. This led her to open A Better Weigh, Inc. Medical Weight Loss Center in 2009.

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