Diary of La Pampa

Medication and weight gain can affect self-esteem and adherence to treatment in patients who opt out in search of risky magic solutions. What is the role of anxiety in these pictures.

People with anxiety and/or depression often question or complain about the weight gain they are experiencing. In many cases, the answer is that it is caused by higher consumption, especially when anxiety is an important part of the picture and that they need to control it.

However, according to a recent study, this would not be what justifies this increase and correlates with the assertion, also very common, that even by limiting intake, people experience weight gain. In other cases, this is due to the observation, verified and real, that some patients experience weight gain, in particular when taking certain antidepressants. In turn, this is not associated, for example, with suggestibility or increased anxiety/overeating, but is reported in the literature and reported by various specialists.

Specifically, the problem of weight gain, anxiety and/or depression is part of the problems that are encountered daily in the consultation, and the disadvantage is that they do not help the patient in his self-esteem, an integral part of the picture, but neither in adherence and maintenance of treatment. . Whether failure is experienced or the search for magical solutions is risky in many cases. In this regard, out of desperation, patients resort to allegedly natural medicines, but in the end they turn out to be master’s drugs, in which amphetamines predominate. And this is just as common as its dangerous consequences.

The correlation of anxiety/obesity/depression has long been studied and known. In addition to empirical verification, scientific papers containing large group statistics and rigorous methodology provide concrete data, not assumptions, and this is what matters in science.

In a study conducted in May of this year on a large population, the frequency of hormonal disorders, depression and anxiety is examined; as well as comorbidity between them. A very interesting and difficult to detect aspect at the present time is that the selected patients received no pharmacological treatment and had no previous metabolic pathologies, which indicates more reliable data in relation to the assessment of the biological profile.

The findings of the study, which separated the factors of obesity and overweight, on the one hand, and depression and anxiety (including severe anxiety), on the other, provided some important insights for understanding and treating this disease. obesity group. / Anxious depression.

On the one hand, they found what might be expected, namely that weight gain and obesity were more common in patients with anxiety plus depression than in patients with lower levels of anxiety or depression alone.

On the other hand, when measuring biological variables, they found changes in parameters that measure thyroid function, such as thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (T4), and free triiodothyronine (T3), as well as antibodies (thyroglobulin). , peroxidase) in a high percentage of cases, mainly in those in whom anxiety was more pronounced and somewhat higher in the overweight population, compared with individuals with the highest body weight gain, that is, obese. In this regard, they found a similar response in other variables such as glucose or lipids.

It is in this sense that the results of this work are new because, although the findings correlate with those of other scientific studies, they have the characteristics of being performed on a virgin population receiving treatment and clearly show metabolic and hormonal changes. in the selected population, with exclusion criteria for inclusion in the study without a history of this type of condition.

That is, they verify the correlation between thyroid disorders and obesity, which is known, but not proven in these cases of anxiety-depressive pathology. On the other hand, they emphasize the significant role of anxiety.

To these conclusions we must add the known effects of certain types of antidepressants, and in particular when they are used indiscriminately, without control over the amount or duration of treatment.

For some time now, the rebound phenomenon has been assessed on the basis of the duration of treatment, that is, body mass index (BMI), which measures the correlation of weight and height, in patients who started taking antidepressants without an exact indication, but with the goal of losing weight.

We know that overweight and obesity are associated with specific type of depression, degree of comorbid anxiety, and response to antidepressant treatment. The mechanisms underlying these associations are complex and multifactorial and may include stress, dysfunctional eating behavior, and neuroendocrine disorders. Everything must be taken into account.

If we take into account the marked increase in anxiety that we are seeing in the population today, and at the same time the widespread use of antidepressants, we see the need to study in detail all the factors involved, such as hormonal parameters, especially thyroid function.

At the same time, the role of anxiety as a modifier of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis in this case is also clearly expressed. This forces us to re-evaluate research and related behavior on a case-by-case basis when we see something as common as the anxiety/obesity/depression correlation, and not just a change or addition of compounds or diagnostic tests to be prescribed, but a paradigm shift in approach. .

An integrated approach that neither simplifies nor simplifies the equation may be what allows for adequate treatment and, in particular, ensures patient consistency in treatment without being abandoned due to annoying weight gain.

* Dr. Enrique De Rosa Alabaster specializes in mental health issues. He is a psychiatrist, neurologist, sexologist and forensic scientist.

Source: infobae

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