Medical Treatment for Obesity – Part 6: Putting it all together. Weight loss with proven results
Follow Dr. Jim’s advice. You can do this! Do it now!
Welcome back to part six a of my six-part discussion of the current therapies for weight loss – how to lose it and how to keep it off! This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy!
We all know the consequences of obesity – high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver, osteoarthritis and reduced life expectancy. Despite this, the incidence of obesity in America continues to climb.
Here’s the data:
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases:
More than two-thirds of adults are considered overweight or obese.
More than one-third of adults are considered obese.
More than 1 in 20 – nearly 5% – have extreme obesity.
In parts one through four, I discussed several novel medical therapies now available in prescription form to promote weight loss. Qsymia, Belviq, Saxenda and Contrave each have unique mechanisms of action and, if you will, a market niche. Qsymia works effectively to suppress appetite, Belviq affects the appetite center to make you feel full faster, while Saxenda regulates appetite and is especially suited for diabetics. Contrave on the other hand is a unique combination of a commonly used antidepressant and the medication naltrexone which is frequently used to treat addictions.
All can be used long-term, but they all come with certain side effects which must be carefully monitored. They’re not cheap and they vary in price from $200-$1000 monthly for typical therapy. Nonetheless they are quite effective and research shows that when combined with exercise, nutritional counseling and portion control, patients lose 10% or more body weight over a 12-month period of time.
Think about it! If you weigh 250 pounds on day one, 12 months later your weight will reduce to 225 pounds, which is a half a pound a week and that’s not bad!
Unfortunately, those plagued with extreme obesity must rely on a combination of medical and surgical management. In part five, I strongly recommended a WEIGHT LOSS CENTER collaborative approach to the challenge of extreme obesity – nutritional and behavioral therapy counseling, exercise, medical therapies with medicines like Qsymia, Belviq, Saxenda, or Contrave, and last but not least, surgical intervention with one of three so-called bariatric technique – the lap band, the gastric sleeve, or Roux-en-Y procedure.
Believe me, no amount of expertise or intervention will work without the extraordinary commitment necessary to lose 50 to 75 or a 100 more pounds or even more. That’s where the counseling, exercise and nutritional modifications come in.
Patients frequently ask me, “Dr. Jim, can you put me on a diet to get rid of some of these extra pounds?”
At long last the answer is, “Yes!”
It is now internationally accepted and recognized that the so called Mediterranean diet is ideal for weight loss and weight maintenance, cardiovascular health, improved metabolism and cholesterol control.
The Mediterranean diet is characterized by emphasized portions of vegetables, fruits, olive oil, legumes, nuts, red wine, and seafood, as well as reduced red meat and processed carbohydrates.
Getting back to a healthy weight challenges the most dedicated, but it can be done by utilizing a five pronged attack that can pave the way. I urge you to see your healthcare professional now to identify weight loss resources available in your community, to select a weight-loss medication that’s right for you, to suggest an exercise regimen that fits your lifestyle, to understand and embrace the Mediterranean diet and, if necessary, put steps in place for successful weight loss through bariatric surgery.
National Institute of diabetes and digestive and kidney diseases. Online: [available at]: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/overweight-obesity [Accessed May 10, 2017].
Effects of Mediterranean Diet on Endothelial Function and Blood Pressure. Online: [available at]:
https://www.medicalnewsbulletin.com/effects-mediterranean-diet-blood-pressure-endothelial-function/ [Accessed May 10, 2017].