For anyone who's ever had problems with weight, it becomes obvious quickly how many possible solutions there are for losing it. Personal trainers at local gyms try hard to push their services on you, fad diets are introduced and forgotten about within a week, and there's always a new pill you can take to help you lose that belly. But now a birth-control pill is being said to have weight-loss properties? Are these claims true or exaggerated?
According to its website, Yaz is a combination birth control pill (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol) that is reportedly 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. It was created to help women who suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a condition with emotional and physical premenstrual symptoms. Although it was created for the purpose of helping women with PMDD, the makers of Yaz state that it is--unfortunately--not effective in combating problems commonly associated with premenstrual syndrome.
What is PMDD?
Yaz is primarily for women who suffer from PMDD, a mood disorder related to the menstrual cycle. Symptoms include markedly depressed mood, anxiety or tension, mood swings and persistent anger or irritability. Other features include decreased interest in usual activities, lack of energy and change in appetite or sleep. Physical symptoms can include the following: tenderness in the breasts, headaches, joint and muscle pain, feelings of bloating, and weight gain. Are you increasingly more irritable around the time of menstruation? Do you miss several days of work or school a month because of your period? Yaz is covered by many health care plans, so talk to your health-care provider if you suffer from any of these symptoms.
The makers of Yaz also warn consumers that taking their product can cause a number of side effects, most of which are common in most birth-control methods, none of which is so severe that it warrants not taking Yaz. Anger, irritability, depressed moods, anxiety, changes in appetite, headaches and muscle aches are the most frequent of all side effects. Women who have blood clots, certain cancers and a history of heart problems should not take Yaz (or most other birth-control pills for that matter). Nor should women who think they may be pregnant.
Yaz and Weight Loss
The rumors of weight loss are based on the fact that Yaz contains progestin, which acts as a diuretic. A diuretic is any drug that elevates the rate of urination in a person, thereby providing a means of forced diuresis. CalorieCount.com, a website filled with message boards about practical ways to lose weight, includes many women's testimonies about how their use of the bathroom increased after taking Yaz. While different diuretics react differently within the body, they all increase the excretion of liquid from the body. That is why many women claim to have lost weight with the pill; they are simply going to the bathroom more frequently and losing more water weight than usual. This water weight usually only adds up to five pounds, however.
Yaz does not include an appetite suppressant. Many women posted on CalorieCount.com write about how Yaz actually increased their appetite. One woman said that after taking the pill for six months she found herself craving certain foods more and more often. She said she noticed that she was eating, on average, 400 calories more per day than before she was taking Yaz. She said dieting and taking off 600 calories did nothing to affect how the Yaz was working in her body.