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Short-Term Medical Benefits and Adverse Effects of Weight Loss

F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York. Requests for Reprints: F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, MD, Obesity Research Center, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, 111 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10025. Grant Support: In part by grants P30-DK26687, DK40414, and R55-DK35911 from the National Institutes of Health.

Copyright 2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1993;119(7_Part_2):722-726. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-119-7_Part_2-199310011-00019
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Weight loss reduces many of the health hazards associated with obesity including insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, sleep apnea, hypoxemia and hypercarbia, and osteoarthritis. Potential adverse effects of weight loss include a greater risk for gallstone formation and cholecystitis, excessive loss of lean body mass, water and electrolyte problems, mild liver dysfunction, and elevated uric acid levels. Less consequential problems such as diarrhea, constipation, hair loss, and cold intolerance may also occur. The short-term adverse effects are not severe enough to contraindicate weight loss, nor do they outweigh its short-term benefits.





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