Contrave is a weight loss medication that was sometimes prescribed in order to aid in weight loss for men although it suffered a crippling blow to its credibility in 2011 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); which itself happens to be the regulatory body in the United States responsible for controlling and approving medical items and procedures, rejected it outright.
Contrave was widely hailed as an innovative and cutting edge new drug for aiding male weight loss and the reason for this was due to the fact that it consisted of a hybrid combination of both an anti-depressant agent as well as anti-addiction drug.
The anti-depressant component of the drug was identified as being Bupropion which in medical parlance happens to act as a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor (commonly abbreviated to NDRI for the sake of convenience and easy reference).
The purpose of this drug is to properly regulate the secretion and volume of two specific hormones within the body; namely, norepinephrine and dopamine. The reason that this is significant in relation to male weight loss is that an imbalance of these two chemicals will have an adverse and capricious effect on the mood of the person. This in turn means that the person afflicted in this manner may find themselves relying upon food as a defence mechanism of both a physiological and psychological nature.
The reason that this occurs is simple: whenever food is consumed, this causes the norepinephrine and dopamine to be released thereby creating a short-lived but intense sensation of euphoria and a sense of peace. With the passage of time, and much in the vein of classic behavioural conditioning as Pavlov’s dog anecdote eloquently highlights; the association of food and pleasure becomes interchangeable. Eventually, the distinction can no longer be made and so the person actively seeks food for the end result: the release of the norepinephrine and dopamine.
The anti-addiction agent of the Contrave drug, Naltrexone, has proven to be significantly more controversial and the reason for this is due to the fact that the clinical usage of it is somewhat tenuous and variable.
Naltrexone is commonly prescribed and utilised to help combat opiate addiction and dependency and the manner in which it works is by ensuring that the sensation of euphoria (extreme well-being) that is commonly associated with usage of opiates is suppressed and even neutralized. This is achieved by virtue of the fact that the Naltrexone agent actively interacts with and controls the endogenous opiate system which itself has been considered to be responsible for metabolite functionality.
Efficacy of the Contrave drug
A small-scale clinical trial that was commissioned by the manufacturer of the Contrave drug consisted of a total of ten patients who had taken the drug for a total of one year with intense follow-up maintained to measure the rate of their weight loss.
Out of the ten patients involved in the clinical trial, four of them had managed to achieve a weight loss of 5% of their total body weight.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and male weight loss
The purpose behind CBT is to challenge the negative, self-destructive and counter-productive views, beliefs and thought patterns that overweight and obese men have in an attempt to compel them to alter their eating habits and maintain such changes.
This particular strategy that is utilised within the realm of the usage of CBT for the treatment of obese and overweight men is designed to deliberately change the perception that the patient has about particular things, concepts and events.
It is worth noting that under the terms of cognitive restructuring it is not only the attitude to food and eating as a whole that will be challenged by the practitioner but furthermore; particular emphasis and attention will be given to the triggers that compel the patient to engage in comfort eating.
In essence then, the ultimate objective of cognitive restructuring is to benignly manipulate the value systems of the patient and find new, alternative methods of achieving suitable and appropriate degrees of pleasure.
Very low calorie diets (VLCDs)
Very low calorie diets are a commonly relied upon treatment method for the management of male weight loss and in particular, this weight loss method treatment option has proven to be particular effective in promoting significant weight loss in patients who happen to suffer from diabetes type 2.
In essence, a VLCD will provide the person currently undergoing it, a minimal daily amount of calories which will typically lie somewhere within the 800-1000 calories region. At the same time, all of the essential dietary requirements such as protein, carbohydrates and vitamins B1, B2, C and D will be attained in full.
The short term results of a VLCD are extremely commendable indeed, and people currently bound by the terms of such a program will find that they will be able to achieve a rate of weight loss of 1-3Kg per week.
However, it is not only the fact that excess weight is lost so quickly that makes the VLCD such an attractive and worthwhile medical procedure. Another significant benefit associated with this treatment option is the fact that the liver will also experience a significant increase in the volume of insulin that it is capable of secreting at any given time, thereby ensuring that the symptoms of diabetes is much more precisely controlled.
Concomitant medical issues including the likes of hypertension (high blood pressure) and hyperlipidemia both of which are recognised by physicians as being two conditions that can significantly accelerate the onset of diabetic risks and dangers will also be brought under control.
Males who wish to undertake this particular method of weight loss treatment should be aware that there are side effects involved and these typically pertain to gastric upset and imbalance. As such, flatulence, loss of appetite, irregular bowel movements and loose stools are all to be expected as a consequence of the significant reduction in calorie intake and the associated decompression of the metabolism as a consequence of this.
Weight loss for men continues to be a major concern; however if history is anything to go by, then a multidisciplinary approach must be adopted for optimal results.