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HOUSE Calls

Questions about Viagra and Weight Watchers

March 20, 2012 by Rose Hoban in HOUSE Calls
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This week we answer questions about Viagra and Weight Watchers.

 

Dear HOUSE Calls,    

These are tough economic times, and with Viagra being $10 a pill, I have been researching alternatives.  Is the Extenze pill effective?

You are right that Viagra and similar pills can be very expensive, and so we understand why you might want to investigate some other.  We have seen the early morning infomercials too.  We just want to say that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Extenze is an herbal supplement with amino acids and ginseng and a combination of other herbs, especially yohimbe, which has long been used to promote libido and erectile function.  The manufacturers claim the product increases the size of the penis, enhances performance during intercourse, and increases stamina.  There is no evidence that any of this is true, however there may be a placebo effect for some people.

It may be worth spending your money on something actually proven to work.  One tip with Viagra, most people can use the 50 mg dose.  Ask your doctor to write for the 100 mg dose (same price per tablet) and use ½ each time.  Good luck.

Dear HOUSE Calls,

My sister lost 18 pounds with Weight Watchers.  I am so impressed I am thinking about trying it.  Do you recommend this or any other particular program?  I am a 40 year old woman with a desk job and need to lose about 30 pounds.  

That is a great success story, thanks for sharing.  We are pretty big fans of Weight Watchers.  All of us have successful personal, family, or friend experience with this program.  We even had a Weight Watchers program at our family medicine center for a while.

Basically, most diet programs work, some are harder than others, some are more expensive than others.  The most important element of any diet program is that you learn new habits and stick with those habits—forever.  That is a tall order.  Part of the program of Weight Watchers is teaching portion control, which is a critical lifelong skill for people struggling with their weight.

There have been a variety of studies comparing the effectiveness of commercial diet programs and weight watchers often comes out at or near the top for the combination of effectiveness and sustainability.  Medical weight loss programs are somewhat more effective, much more expensive, and less sustainable over time.  It sounds like you might not be that active. Try adding a walk in over lunch… and congratulations for thinking about doing something great for yourself.

HOUSE Calls is a weekly column by Dr. Cristy Page, Dr. Adam Zolotor, and Dr. Adam Goldstein on behalf of YOUR HEALTH™ and the UNC Department of Family Medicine.

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