Healthy Weight Management: Ask Your Pharmacist the Correct Questions

Category: Healthcare Advances Written by Dr. Charles Shively / November 9, 2014

Why to Ask?

With all the available information from popular websites, magazines, diet outlets and retail healthcare stores and their staff, the decision regarding which weight management program with which to become involved is...I sense... both confusing and complex. There is however an avenue to defining the best approach for weight management...Ask Your Pharmacist!

Pharmacists are typically involved today with higher customer/patient engagement and care about the personalized plan for an individual's healthcare consciousness and health status. Claims for weight loss without scientific documentation have become such a problem that the US government (Federal Trade Commission (FTC ... ) now closely monitors claims from product manufacturers or distributors with the support of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN... ...a trade association ) in Washington, DC and with headquarters in London serving Europe. A global organization, the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA) has more than 50 member associations representing more than 20,000 companies worldwide ( including the World Health Organization ( Weight management and weight loss are key areas of interest.

As there are indeed legitimate weight loss/management supplements on the market, pharmacists should be the leading choice for consultation.

What to Ask? My Key Twenty-Three (23) Questions...

As a pharmacist, I've learned through my years of service as a healthcare professional that consumers continue to become more literate or knowledgeable about their desires and expectations for product success. I too, through ongoing education, have learned what questions to ask (or hear from customers) regarding the product or product manufacturers in the weight loss/weight management class of wellness products. I've listed below many of those questions that any consumer should ask of their pharmacist. As the often most-trusted healthcare individual in national surveys, your pharmacist should know the answers.

Product Composition

1. What are the key ingredients in the product?
2. Are the key ingredients non-GMO?
3. Is the product Gluten-Free?
4. Are there any colorants or petroleum-based ingredients in the composition?
5. Does the product contain any "stimulants"?
6. What is the protein level with each use?
7. Will the product interact with my current prescription medications?

Product Quality

8. Does the manufacturer subscribe to Good Manufacturing Practices (as defined by the US or European standards)?
9. Is the product contract manufactured or produced at the distribution facility?
10. Does the manufacturer value stronger self-regulation of claims and product quality past current governmental regulations? (ie., Final distribution or marketing facility Quality Control or Compliance Officer)
11. Are any claims offered US or European government agency approved?
12. What scientific studies exist to support product claims?
13. What nutritional advice (preferred meals to support weight management) exist?

Product Abilities

14. Is the product diabetic-friendly? (glycemic load, glycemic index values)
15. What changes might I see in my A1C levels (glucose blood values)?
16. What impact will the product have on my cholesterol numbers?
17. Will my blood pressure go up or down?
18. Does the product impact the hormones controlling appetite? (leptin and grehlin)
19. How does the product impact cortisol levels?
20. I'm often stressed...will this product help?
21. Will my energy level change-I seem to always be fatigued?
22. What might be the impact on HGH (human growth hormone)?
23. Many weight-loss products, once discontinued, seem to allow the weight to return. Does this one?

Today It's About Wellness and Healthy Aging

No doubt every person that may desire weight management will seek success for very different reasons. Females have reasons that may be different from males...although both often find themselves with membership in the MAWG Club (middle age weight gain club) with muscle strength deterioration including...yes...libido and psychological stress. Many individuals, including this author, have learned that we are "what we eat or have eaten". Any weight management effort needs to support the gut-brain connection regarding appropriate, non-stimulant appetite suppression without challenging the energy needs of key body organs including the brain...while improving satiety. It needs occur naturally. Is your weight management program supporting your desire for wellness and healthy aging?

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Thank for sharing!

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