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Health professionals warn against misuse of new diabetes drug for weight loss

Recently it has become widespread that some people are using new medications for type 2 diabetes (injections) to lose weight without medical advice, amid health warnings about serious side effects to the misuse by non-diabetics, despite the effect of this drug on weight

Specialized doctors confirmed to KUNA that misuse and not taking the drug under medical supervision is risky and has side effects that may include gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney failure, pancreatitis, and hypoglycemia.

Endocrinology and Diabetes Consultant and Head of the Kuwait Diabetes Association Dr. Walid Al-Dhahi told KUNA, that there are several medications used for weight loss that have been approved, and most of them are medications to primarily treat type 2 diabetes, including these injections.

This drug is a weekly injection given to adults with type two diabetes to lower blood sugar by increasing insulin production and lowering sugar levels made by the liver, which slows the rate of food passing through the body and gives a feeling of fullness for a longer period, he said.

Dr. Al-Dhahi pointed out that because of the injection’s effect on satiety centers and reducing stomach movement, it helps in losing weight, as there are studies made on people who take this medication with no diabetes, found that it helps in losing between 15 to 20 percent of the weight.

The Dr. warned against using these injections without consulting a doctor, “as doctors, we see many problems due to the misuse or to those who have a family history of thyroid cancer, previous pancreatic infections, kidney and liver problems, and blood sugar drops.”

People should not consider these needles as the only way to lose weight, especially since there are those who take them irregularly which is extremely dangerous as they will depend on it for life, saying it’s better to lose weight through changing the lifestyle and eating healthy food.

Dr. Al-Dhahi stressed even for people with type 2 diabetes using these injections, it must be given following several laboratory tests. For his part, Consultant, Head of Division, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Jaber Al-Ahmad Hospital Dr. Thamer Al-Essa said that all medications in general have side effects, but if they are approved the symptoms are well studied and assumed to be few and ineffective.

Dr. Al-Essa said that the injection may cause gastroesophageal reflux and fluctuations in the digestive system that last for weeks, but they disappear with time. Adding the medicine is a safe treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes.

Although the injections are a safe treatment for diabetics, they have other side effects that may harm some cases, Dr. Al-Essa said, causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain, and in rare cases, it could lead to kidney failure, pancreatitis, hypoglycemia, and may cause a thyroid tumor for people with family history.

Those who take the medication need close medical supervision, he said, due to the risk of severe lack of appetite will lead to malnutrition and an eating disorder, negatively affecting overall health.

He warned against using these injections, which are in great demand these days by the majority of overweight people, without consulting a specialist doctor to avoid complications that they may cause in the future.

He also stressed the necessity of preventing the use of this medicine without consulting a specialist doctor in cases of hypersensitivity to one of the medicine components, previous or current infection with medullary thyroid cancer, type two multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome, and type one diabetes.

Dr. Al-Essa pointed out the necessity of using this medicine with extreme caution and under medical supervision during pregnancy, breastfeeding, liver or kidney disease, pancreatitis, diabetic retinopathy, and severe disorders of the digestive system.

It is strictly forbidden to use this medicine for patients with acute kidney failure, those undergoing dialysis, people with previous pancreatitis, or those with a family history of hereditary thyroid cancer, he stressed.

Source: KUNA



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