Diet Pills Symptoms and Warning Signs

Modified: 22nd Jul 2019

Last updated on July 22nd, 2019 at 02:47 pm

When you think about diet pills, you probably don’t associate them with abuse. But the fact is, they can easily tie into someone’s eating disorder.

Diet pills are a variety of different drugs that aim to help you lose weight by artificially suppressing the appetite. These drugs can have a lot of bad side effects, especially when they’re abused.

A lot of diet pills can be bought over-the-counter without the need for a prescription. This means it’s fairly easy for diet pill use to get out of hand. 

They might sound fairly harmless, but a diet pill addiction can quickly get out of control, resulting in some nasty side effects. This article describes some of the diet pill symptoms and how to spot them.

Symptoms of Addiction to Diet Pills

If you suspect someone you love is abusing diet pills, there are many telltale warning signs you can watch out for.

In the past, diet pills were often amphetamine-based. The modern versions of these pills are based on the initial amphetamine brands. This means many of the symptoms associated with diet pill abuse are similar to amphetamine abuse.

For example, diet pills might cause you to suffer from insomnia. Since they increase your metabolism and give you an energy boost, you may feel like you’ve ingested an excessive amount of coffee or energy drink. This can make it difficult to get to sleep.

Diet pills can also elevate your heart rate. This can lead to you feeling restless and prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.

Lack of sleep can have a domino effect and cause a lot of other problems. For example, if you don’t get enough sleep, you might feel groggy during the day, or you might feel a lot of anxiety, etc.

Other Problems

Some people might use other medications in tandem with diet pills in order to counteract the restlessness. Unfortunately, using one drug to counteract the effects of another is a slippery slope that could easily result in addiction.

On top of insomnia, diet pills might also cause digestive issues. These gastrointestinal issues can range from mild to severe. You might notice symptoms such as nausea, stomach cramps, or constipation.

When you take diet pills, you might also notice that it causes problems with your heart. It may cause you to experience heart palpitations or elevated blood pressure. If you already have issues with your heart, you should avoid using diet pills, as this could exacerbate your condition.

You should also avoid using diet pills if you have a history of mental health problems. If you suffer from issues such as depression or anxiety, you may find that taking diet pills can make these conditions flare up significantly.

Warning Signs a Loved One May Be Abusing Diet Pills

As with most drugs, it’s difficult to hide an addiction to diet pills. There are many signs and symptoms you can look out for that suggest diet pill addiction.

Is My Child Using Diet Pills?

These days, a lot of teens are looking for easy ways to lose weight. This might lead them to try diet pills. It’s particularly important that minors do not abuse diet pills, as this could impact their growth and their hormone levels.

When a teen is using diet pills, it should be fairly easy to spot changes to their behavior. Since the pills can cause insomnia, you might notice they’re staying up later and you might hear them still up late into the night.

Lack of sleep could then cause your child to be extremely irritable during the day. They might act in a way that’s totally out of character for them.

Another dead giveaway is that your child’s totally lost their appetite. They might attempt to make excuses as to why they don’t want to eat.

For example, they might claim they already ate at a friend’s house. When you frequently hear these kinds of excuses, it could suggest that your child is using diet pills.

Prevent Detrimental Effects on Your Child’s Growth

If your child is using diet pills, it’s important that they stop using as soon as possible. You should consult with your pediatrician immediately. They’ll be able to help you develop a plan of action.

Your child may have self-image issues that’ll need to be addressed in addition to their diet pill use.

Is My Parent Using Diet Pills?

If you suspect your parent of abusing diet pills, there are a few things that might give them away. For example, you might notice that their appetite suddenly changes. They might start skipping meals entirely or they might eat significantly less than usual.

You might notice your parent losing weight extremely quickly. Of course, it’s possible they could be dieting without the use of pills.

You should look out for any pill bottles or packages. If diet pills are involved, you might notice certain personality changes. For example, lack of sleep might cause them to be more irritable than usual.

Intervention for Diet Pill Use

Addiction to diet pills is generally caused by some kind of underlying factor. For example, it could be an eating disorder or self-image issues.

In most cases, when these problems are treated, the addiction to diet pills is treated as well. For this reason, it’s highly recommended that psychological assistance is sought in combination with any other treatment options.

Diet pills are often available over-the-counter and not just by prescription. This means they’re fairly easy drugs to become addicted to.

In some cases, diet pill addiction can morph into an even worse addiction. For example, someone might move on from diet pills to amphetamines or cocaine.

Watch Out for Diet Pill Symptoms

Diet pill symptoms might not seem too serious, but they can have deadly consequences if they’re left unchecked. If you or a loved one has a diet pill problem, get in touch with a doctor or intervention specialist as soon as possible.

Would you like to speak to an intervention specialist today? Then speak to us today about our services.

Article Reviewed by Dr. Keerthy Sunder, MD, DFAPA

Dr. Keerthy Sunder, MD, DFAPADr. Keerthy Sunder, MD is an accomplished and internationally recognized expert in the field of addiction. He has earned diplomates from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, the American Board of Addiction Medicine, and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.