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Medical Weight Loss Programs

austin family medicine medical weight loss hcgWhat programs are offered for weight loss?

We offer several different weight loss programs at our office, and you can choose the one that fits your needs and lifestyle.

HCG Diet Program:  The HCG Diet Program is our most popular weight loss program for one simple reason – it is wildly successful and offers the dieter immediate success!  It is an aggressive weight loss program that spans 30 – 40 days and most people should expect to lose approximately a half of a pound per day during this 40 day program.  To learn more about the HCG Diet, please go to our dedicated webpage about the HCG Diet Program.

Appetite Suppressants:  This program involves a prescription of an appetite suppressant medication.  The FDA has just approved new medications that help suppress your appetite, so you can continue living life without the sensation of starvation all day.  This allows for constant, easy weight loss without the hassle.  There are several prescription medications available, including Phentermine (Adipex), Qsymia, Belviq, Topiramate, and Dr. Sneed’s Fat Buster.

MIC Shots:  The MIC Shot is a combination of Lipo-Plex, B Complex Vitamins (B12, B6, B1), Inositol, and Choline.  These vitamins enhance fat mobilization and energy levels.  Mobilization of fat is important since your body cannot burn fat unless the adipose cells (fat cells) actually release fat molecules into the bloodstream.  Once fat is circulating in the bloodstream, it is accessible by muscle cells, liver cells, and other tissue to be broken down and used as energy.  If fat is not released from its stores, your body will break down muscle tissue instead.  MIC shots are a valuable addition to any weight loss regimen, and they can be administered weekly, biweekly, or monthly depending on your schedule.  The MIC Shots are supplemental to weight loss, and the shots can be administered before, during, and after diet programs.

Which appetite suppressants are offered?

There are multiple appetite suppressants available at this time.  The FDA recently approved new weight loss medications (Qsymia and Belviq).  As new medications are approved, we will offer them if they are effective and safe.

Phentermine (Adipex) is one of the oldest weight loss drugs on the market.  It is a stimulant medication that dampens your appetite similar to amphetamines by telling your brain to release extra adrenaline signals (norepinephrine and epinephrine).  Side effects of Phentermine (Adipex) include dry mouth, elevated blood pressure, fast heart rates, restlessness, anxiety, and headaches.

Topiramate (Topamax) is an anticonvulsant, or seizure medication, that has been used for many years.  It has recently been approved by the FDA in combination with Phentermine for weight loss.  Since then, it has been used off label for its weight loss side effects.  It is not a stimulant, and it does not increase your cardiovascular risk.  Topiramate (Topamax) has a significant list of side effects, including drowsiness, memory loss, paraesthesia (tingling in extremities), dizziness, taste disturbance, nausea, and depression.  One unique side effect of topiramate is that it makes carbonated beverages taste flat even when they are perfectly fresh.  This is an added benefit for those with soda addictions.

Qsymia (Phentermine / Topiramate) is one of the new weight loss drugs approved by the FDA.  Qsymia is a combination of Phentermine (Adipex) and Topiramate (Topamax).  It is extremely effective, and its side effect profile contains all of the items listed in their descriptions above.  However, due to the combination of the two drugs, the dosages of each are much lesser than if either drug is used alone; thus, the actual side effects are less intense and infrequent.  It has been proven safe and is expected to be safe for long-term use.

Belviq (Lorcaserin) is the second new weight loss drug that has recently been approved by the FDA.  It is a serotonin agonist that stimulates a single serotonin receptor in the brain.  This receptor is involved with appetite regulation although not much is known about the other effects of this receptor activation.  It has proven effective for weight loss by the FDA.  The most prominent side effect is headache.  Other minor side effects include runny nose, sinus inflammation, and nausea.

Dr. Sneed’s Fat Buster is a compounded medication that Dr. Sneed formulated.  It contains a combination of pharmaceuticals and vitamins that work to decrease appetite, increase satiety, boost energy, and improve nutritional balance while eating a low calorie diet.

How long can I continue the weight loss program?

Each program has its limitations, and your healthcare provider will be able to answer this question during your initial consultation.  The HCG Diet Program is an aggressive weight loss program, and it is not safe to continue long term.  The HCG Diet Program can be repeated, but you will need to discuss it with your healthcare provider.  Most of the appetite suppressants can be continued for over one year, but you will need to be monitored every three months.

Why is physician supervision for weight loss important?

Unexpected events can occur while undergoing medication for weight loss; therefore, it is important to be completely evaluated before beginning any medication for weight loss.  Many of the appetite suppressants affect the cardiovascular system, and they can raise blood pressure, cause fast heart rates, and uncover unknown heart conditions.

Are weight loss programs covered under insurance?

No, weight loss programs are not currently covered by insurance.  Weight problems are not considered a disease by insurance companies, and they do not comprehend the long-term benefits of weight reduction, including less strokes and heart attacks, lower cholesterol levels, decreased blood pressure, improved joint function, and many more health benefits.

How much do your programs cost?

There are different price points for each program.  The HCG Diet Program includes additional services that the other diet programs do not include (dietician consultation, MIC shots, nurse visits, multivitamins).  The appetite suppressant programs have an initial consultation charge that is higher than the follow-up visit cost.  The MIC Shots are charged per injection, and they can be performed weekly, biweekly, monthly, or as needed.  Note that MIC Shots are included in the HCG Diet Program for the entire duration of the diet.  For exact prices, please call our office at 512-443-9355.

Read Dr. Sneed’s blog about medical weight loss here