Anant Ambani's asthma treatment: Why did it result in obesity?

Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant during their pre-wedding ceremony. Photo: Reuters

Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant are all set to get married on July 12 and details on their wedding menu, attire, guest lists and celebrity performers at the events are grabbing headlines. A few years ago, Anant became an inspiration to many when he lost a whopping 108 kg, over a year and a half, to become leaner and fitter. His mom Nita Ambani revealed in an interview that he attained the feat purely through diet, workout and a disciplined lifestyle. However, she also mentioned that Anant's medications for asthma have been making his weight loss journey a tough one. As the pictures from his pre-wedding celebrations started coming out, featuring Anant who regained the weight, there were reports that the medications made him put on weight again. Why do asthma medicines result in obesity?

Spike in appetite, slow metabolism
According to the Allergy and Asthma Network (AAN), an organisation dedicated to supporting individuals with the condition, some asthma medications can result in the patients gaining weight, though it depends on the specific medicines and the individual's reaction to it. In some people, Oral Corticosteroids (OCS), which is widely used for severe asthma treatment, can cause a spike in appetite, slowing down metabolism and eventually, increased weight gain. Patients suffering from asthma-related weight gain are often prescribed weight loss medication, alongside dietary modifications, exercise, behavioural therapy and even bariatric surgery. 

Can they lose weight?
Low-impact activities, hydration and similar steps can be taken to help asthmatic obese patients to lose weight, according to AAN. They can also try steps like tracking their food intake to eat healthy, controlling food portions, focusing on realistic nutrition goals, joining support or motivational groups and addressing mental issues if any, due to the condition. They can also take weight loss medication if it suits their system. "One size does not fit all. Your healthcare provider will take your complete medical history, determine your body mass index and perform a physical exam before prescribing weight-loss medication," says the AAN. 

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