The obesity epidemic is expanding across the United States and other portions of the world. If you are overweight, do not assume you cannot shed weight, rebuild your body and live a long life. However, you might require some assistance to beat obesity. Doctors can help treat your obesity, prevent obesity from returning and improve your health in numerous other ways.
The Basics of Obesity Treatment
The manner in which your obesity is treated hinges on the cause of your obesity as well as its severity. There is a wide range of potential treatments. Do not attempt to implement these treatments and approaches on your own. You should consult with a doctor for a thorough analysis of your health. Your doctor will identify the cause of your obesity and help you settle on a treatment modality that best suits your unique body and condition. Possible treatments for obesity include medicine, surgery, weight-loss treatment programs and alterations to lifestyle.
Your doctor might recommend that you alter your lifestyle in order to reduce your weight and eventually maintain a healthy weight. Lifestyle changes include healthy eating, physical activity and adequate sleep. These changes will provide you with the energy you need to achieve a reasonable weight. Heart-healthy eating is especially important.
Your doctor will help you identify the foods necessary to maintain an acceptable body weight. Do not start any type of diet or specialized eating plan unless you consult with your doctor beforehand. Your doctor will also help you figure out the level of physical activity ideal for your body and condition. Furthermore, a healthy amount of sleep is necessary as some studies have shown there is a connection between insufficient sleep and obesity.
Behavioral Weight-loss Programs
Meet with your doctor to discuss your obesity and he or she might enroll you in a group or individual behavioral weight-loss program. This program provides obese individuals with a customized weight-loss plan designed by a trained healthcare professional. The plan sets out physical activity goals, behavioral strategies to reduce weight and a dietary plan that decreases calorie consumption.
In some instances, healthy lifestyle alterations are insufficient in one’s quest to combat obesity. If this is the case, then your doctor will likely attempt to treat your obesity with an FDA-approved medication. Such medications affect the brain and gastrointestinal tract in an attempt to alter behavior and biology to ultimately reduce the patient’s weight. Obesity medications alter the way in which the brain regulates the urge to consume food, resulting in a decrease of appetite.
Examples of such medications include lorcaserin, diethylpropion and naltrexone. Another medicine, orlistat, blocks the intestines from absorbing fat in the foods an obese individual consumes. It is important to note weight loss medications are not recommended as the sole form of treatment for weight loss. They are most effective when one uses it in combination with lifestyle alterations.
Some obese individuals do not respond well to medicine or lifestyle alterations. If a patient develops a complication related to obesity, he might be eligible for surgery. One of the most common surgeries for obesity is gastric bypass surgery. This involves connecting a small portion of the stomach to the middle section of the intestine. This reduces the amount of food you can consume and the amount of fat the body takes in.
Gastric banding is another option. This involves the placement of a hollow band around the upper portion of the stomach to form a smaller stomach. The result is a reduction in the amount of food the patient can consume. A gastrectomy is a procedure in which a large segment of the stomach is taken out to decrease the amount of food an obese individual eats.
High Blood Pressure Treatment Options
High blood pressure treatments include lifestyle changes and medications. Your doctor will likely craft a treatment plan based on whether the diagnosis is secondary or primary high blood pressure and whether there is a known cause. Lifestyle changes to treat high blood pressure include increasing physical activity, healthy eating, maintaining an acceptable weight level, managing stress and reducing alcohol consumption. Medicines slow or stop the body functions that lead to high blood pressure. Examples of such medicines include beta blockers, diuretics, ACE inhibitors and alpha-blockers.
High Cholesterol Treatment
Cholesterol treatments are centered on lifestyle changes and medicines. Medicines keep your high blood cholesterol under control yet they cannot cure it. The most common types of medicines to combat high cholesterol include statins, nicotinic acid, bile acid, ezetimibe and fibrates. Lifestyle changes include quitting smoking, increasing physical activity, managing one’s weight and eating healthy.
We can typically treat diabetes with oral medications, insulin medications and blood sugar monitoring. Eating a healthy diet, exercising and maintaining a reasonable weight level also help manage diabetes. Treatment for type 2 diabetes centers on monitoring blood sugar and the use of diabetes medications and/or insulin. Type 1 diabetes requires the use of insulin injections or an insulin pump in conjunction with carbohydrate counting and regular blood sugar checks.
If you would like to learn more about obesity treatment and the various treatments we provide, call (318) 322-0100 to schedule a consultation.