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1 RISKY WAY TO ADD WEIGHT: DEXA-METHA-WEIGHT-GAIN

1 RISKY WAY TO ADD WEIGHT: DEXA-METHA-WEIGHT-GAIN

Miss X: Mirror Mirror on the wall, I’m too slim and my bum is too flat. Can I use Dexamethasone?

Mirror: Are you normal?

Miss X: (shocked) I am…

Mirror: What’s your BMI?

Miss X: Within the normal range

Mirror: Oh, I see. Are you ill?

Miss X: Nope! What’s with all these questions anyway?

Mirror: One more thing, please, are you aware of the possible side effects of Dexamethasone?

  • Headaches
  • Acne
  • Insomnia
  • Osteoporosis and tendon rupture
  • Thin fragile skin
  • Heartburn, peptic ulcer
  • Immunosuppression (increased susceptibility to infections)
  • Cataracts, glaucoma
  • Edema/weight gain (retention of fluid), heart failure
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Moon face (puffiness of the face)
  • Increase in blood glucose
  • Striae (stretch marks), rashes
  • Impaired wound healing
  • Menstrual irregularities in women
  • Decreased motility and number of spermatozoa in men
  • Convulsions, depression, emotional instability, among others…

Dexamethasone belongs to a family of drugs known as corticosteroids which include Prednisolone, Hydrocortisone, Fludrocortisone, etc. It is an anti-inflammatory agent with several uses. When prescribed, patients are monitored and managed accordingly. Yet, it is also the active ingredient of many products that claim to cause weight gain.

Truthfully, it does lead to an increase in body weight as you might have seen in people, but this is only one of the many side effects of the drug. Medically speaking, Dexamethasone (‘Dexa’) which comes in several brand names is not indicated for weight increase, butt enlargement, and the likes. The increase in weight is a result of the accumulation of fluid in the body, which can lead to heart failure, as well as altering the body’s metabolism of carbohydrates, glucose, lipids, etc.

Now let’s talk about you

Like Miss X, people don’t believe that you eat! You get looked down on by those who are jealous of your body’s lack of parabolic curves…. People wonder why you say you are keeping fit, by exercising and eating right. They tell you to be careful when the wind is blowing because you just might get blown away. Let’s not even talk about the horror of shopping for clothes that will fit your circumference. I could go on and on…

I see you feel the need to help yourself and fatten up like a lamb for the slaughter. But first, let me ask you, “what’s your BMI?

BMI means Body Mass Index, and it is your weight in Kilograms (Kg) divided by the square of your height in meters:

Body Mass Index       Weight Status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5-24.9 Normal
25.0-29.9 Overweight
30.0 and Above Obese

For instance, if you weigh 50Kg, and your height is 1.52 meters, your BMI is 21.64Kg/m2 (which is within the normal range)

If you are underweight, there are safe ways to gain weight. You DON’T want to use drugs like Dexamethasone and expose yourself unnecessarily to its side effects. Would you? Acne may not be much of an issue, but I’m certain you don’t want to expose yourself to heart failure, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Neither do you want to make your body the headquarters of microbes and infections as a result of a weakened immune system, all because you want to fatten up!

You want to gain weight and be healthy. You can explore the option of a healthy and balanced diet that provides you with enough calories (talk for another day).

In the meantime, stay away from drug abuse and misuse. Educate your friends not to abuse ‘Dexa’ for aesthetic purposes. Be comfortable in your skin. Let-go of the ‘skinny-person’ struggles of feeling inadequate and being pressured to ‘chop up’ by force. For many people, weight gain is way easier than weight loss, so you want to do it the right way and not start solving another problem of losing weight, just when you think you have arrived at a solution.

I care for you.

PHARM. DARA MAKINDE

PS: Next time you see a product that claims to increase weight, look out for the active ingredient(s). Chances are you would see ‘DEXAMETHASONE’ or its family members. You know what to do…RUN…

PSS: A secret: You might miss your slim body when you finally gain some weight (or not).

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