Mayo Clinic Offers Guidance on Managing Weight-Loss Medication Side Effects

The Mayo Clinic advises patients taking weight-loss medications to focus on nutrition, hydration, and exercise to manage side effects and achieve long-term success. Patients should prioritize protein intake, stay hydrated, and engage in strength training exercises to minimize side effects and maintain muscle mass.

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Nitish Verma
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Mayo Clinic Offers Guidance on Managing Weight-Loss Medication Side Effects

Mayo Clinic Offers Guidance on Managing Weight-Loss Medication Side Effects

The Mayo Clinic is advising patients taking prescription weight-loss medications to focus on nutrition, hydration, and exercise to manage potential side effects and achieve long-term success. While these drugs can be effective tools for weight loss, they often work by suppressing appetite and increasing feelings of fullness, which can lead to common side effects such as nausea, constipation, and vomiting.

Why this matters: Effective management of weight-loss medication side effects is crucial for the millions of people worldwide who rely on these medications to achieve a healthy weight, and can have a significant impact on overall health and quality of life. By prioritizing nutrition, hydration, andexercise, patients can minimize the risk of adverse effects and achieve sustainable weight loss.

To minimize these side effects, the Mayo Clinic recommends that patients eat slowly, avoid large meals, and stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Maintaining adequate protein intake through nutrient-dense foods and beverages, such as Greek yogurt, smoothies, and protein shakes, is also important. In some cases, patients may need to rely on soft, blended, or liquid meals if experiencing significant side effects.

In addition to managing side effects, the Mayo Clinic emphasizes the importance of building a foundation of healthy habits, including a nutritious diet and regular exercise routine, to ensure long-term weight loss success. Rapid weight loss can often lead to muscle mass loss, making it crucial for patients to prioritize protein intake and engage in strength training exercises.

Tara Schmidt, a registered dietitian at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, advises patients to divide protein sources throughout the day and find ways to add protein to meals without increasing bulk, such as using protein powder or Greek yogurt in smoothies. She also recommends that patients engage in strength training, starting with body weight exercises and gradually increasing difficulty over time, to maintain and build muscle mass across all muscle groups, regardless of their current fitness level.

Patients taking weight-loss medications can benefit from working with a multidisciplinary team and participating in programs designed specifically for medication users. The Mayo Clinic offers additional resources and support through its Diet Rx Companion and Rx Medical Weight Loss websites.

"By focusing on nutritious meals and establishing an exercise routine immediately, the groundwork is set for long-term success, regardless of whether the tool is being used in the future," Schmidt said. The Mayo Clinic's guidance underscores the importance of a comprehensive approach to weight loss that prioritizes both the management of medication side effects and the adoption of sustainable healthy habits for lasting results.

Key Takeaways

  • Focus on nutrition, hydration, and exercise to manage weight-loss medication side effects.
  • Eat slowly, avoid large meals, and stay hydrated to minimize side effects.
  • Prioritize protein intake through nutrient-dense foods and beverages.
  • Engage in strength training exercises to maintain and build muscle mass.
  • Work with a multidisciplinary team and utilize resources for long-term weight loss success.