Oh Crap! Adventures with Alli (and flatulence)

Another of my epic dieting failures was trying to take Alli, non-prescription Orlistat.   I had been complaining to my doctor about my inability to lose weight and she suggested trying Alli.   Oh yeah, a pill to solve all my issues….that sounded pretty good!
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Alli, or Orlistat, is a capsule that is taken three times a day with each meal that includes fat.   It is to be used in conjunction with a low fat diet.    Alli is in a group of medications called “lipase inhibitors.”    It works by preventing the body from absorbing some of the fat that is eaten.   The fat is then removed from the body when one goes to the toilet….thus I say…oh crap!
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When you take Alli, you need to avoid any foods that have more than 30% fat.   You should carefully read any food labels.   Now, I have to admit that when I took it, I did not really understand how to read food labels (see our post “Understanding and Reading Food Labels”)   It’s fairly easy but you need to know that there should not be more than 3 g of fat per 100 calories.   In my infinite lack of wisdom, I was unaware of this tidbit of information.   If you eat anything that goes remotely over that, you’ll feel the side effects of Alli.

Of course, Alli’s packaging lists the side effects, but I did not really pay attention.   Let me just warn you…pay attention!!

Amongst others, here is a list of common side effects.   If you’re like me, you would much rather be fat!

  • oily spotting on underwear or on clothing
  • gas with oily spotting
  • urgent need to have a bowel movement
  • loose stools
  • oily or fatty stools
  • increased number of bowel movements
  • difficulty controlling bowel movements
  • pain or discomfort in the rectum (bottom)
  • stomach pain
  • irregular menstrual periods
  • headache
  • anxiety

The flatulence I experienced was beyond description!   Imagine, if you will….I’m making a sales call, explaining my company’s fees, terms and just ready to close the deal when  RIIIPPPPPPPP! As if the sound itself wasn’t enough, the aroma was lovely too.   The worst part of it was, well, um…read up and note the difficulty of control.   I wasn’t quite sure whether I’d had a disaster or not!   Luckily, it hadn’t happened, but it very well could have.  I’ve since heard stories from other people who were not as fortunate.

Okay, I quit!   I’m a quitter!   I’m also easily embarrassed!   I may never live it down with this customer who is, quite luckily, a pretty cool person and didn’t hold it against me.   I’ll only have to hear the stories of my moment of flatulence for years to come….


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