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Weight Management

Weight management is an important part of keeping a healthy lifestyle. Leading a healthy lifestyle prevents and improves many diseases including mental and physical illness. There are many reasons why it is difficult for some people to maintain physical fitness. Obesity usually results from inherited, environmental, and physiological components combined with diet, exercise, and daily physical activity. The positive side is that even a moderate amount of weight loss can greatly improve health and prevent disease.

What causes excessive weight?

There are many behavioral, metabolic, and genetic factors that play a role in people who are heavier. But in general, gaining fat occurs when a person takes in more calories than they are burning throughout the day. Most diet in the United States are too high in calories, patients who are obese will eat more calories before feeling full, eat more due to stress or anxiety, or feel hungrier sooner than others. The genetics you inherit from your parents also play a role in how and where you store fat as well as how effectively your body uses food for fuel, how your physiology regulates your appetite. Families also tend to share behavioral traits when it comes to eating habits and physical activity. Lifestyle choices include dietary choices. Most people eat a high calorie diet lacking in fruits and vegetables and full of fried fast food, oversized portions, and high calorie/high sugar content beverages. Alcohol is also a high-calorie beverage that is consumed but does not make the person feel full. So, when you drink alcohol, you are consuming an abundance of calories without any nutritional benefits. Sedentary lifestyles are also a large part of behavioral caused obesity.

Certain Diseases and Medication that Cause Weight Gain

Hypothyroidism happens when your thyroid is underactive. If your thyroid is not functioning properly, it causes your metabolism to slow down and fat content to increase. It also causes intolerance to cold temperatures, thinning hair, dry skin, and fatigue. Cushing syndrome is a rare illness that can be caused by a benign tumor triggering an over production of cortisol, or excessive use of a corticosteroid prescriptions. It causes obesity of the upper body, round face, thin arms and legs, fatigue, and bruising. Menopause leads to obesity due to declining estrogen. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, depression, congestive heart failure, and for unknown reasons adults who suffer from the sleep disorder of narcolepsy are substantially heavier than those who aren’t narcoleptic. There is also physical limitation which could make it hard and/or painful for a person to engage in physical activity. Such as chronic back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, or any other nagging injury. Medication that can cause a person to be obese include anti-seizure medications, antidepressants, diabetes medication, antipsychotics, beta blockers, and steroids.

Complication of Obesity

People who are obese are more likely to develop serious sometime fatal disease. Obese individuals are more likely to have high cholesterol levels and hypertension which leads to heart disease and risk for stroke. Excess fat also leads to type 2 diabetes, can cause certain cancers such as uterine, cervical, endometrium, colon, ovarian, pancreatic, liver, gallbladder, kidney, prostate, and esophageal. It also leads to digestive problems such as heart burn, liver problems and gallbladder disease. The heavier a person is the more likely they are to develop obstructive sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and are more susceptible to severe Covid-19 disease.

Obesity and Quality of Life

People who are obese also have a lower quality of life because it tends to affect people emotionally and physically. Depression, shame, low self-esteem, physical disability, isolation from social events, and less achievement with work and personal goals are consequences of being obese. Getting help to change behavioral issues when it comes to eating and physical activity can have a huge positive impact on a person’s life.

Treatment options for Obesity

Our trained professionals will offer a body fat assessment to each patient looking to improve their health. Body mass index (BMI) will be calculated for each patient. This determines the severity of obesity. BMI provides an estimate of fat content but doesn’t directly measure how much fat a person has, people who are high in muscle may be as heavy as an obese patient and their BMI may indicate they are overweight when in fact they are healthy. Our providers understand this and will take a waist circumference measurement to help diagnose and treat the level of obesity. After we discuss BMI and fitness goals with the patient, we will discuss family and personal medical history, as well as current medications, disease states, and behavioral trends. This information will give us a better understanding of the personal root cause which is leading to excess fat. Our experienced healthcare providers will first discuss dietary changes which include cutting calories and limiting processed food which is essentially empty calories that keep you feeling hungry even though you consumed more than enough. Eating plant-based foods which are high in fiber keep you feeling fuller longer. We will also discuss food restrictive diets that work best for you. Cutting out carbohydrates or foods with a lot of fat is a trend used by many, but devising a comprehensive individualized plan is the best way to achieve fitness goals. A healthy exercise plan will be put in place to help release endorphins and increase metabolism. This helps obese patients increase quality of life physically and mentally. 150 minutes of moderate workout is needed per week, to see positive body changes. Our practitioners will also offer many resources for counseling and support groups. This helps patients identify possible mental health struggles that may be leading to their behavioral choices. More serious procedures can also be used to help patients achieve weight loss. This includes medication, surgical procedures, or even vagal nerve blockades which send electrical pulses to the vagal nerve telling the brain the body is full. Medical procedures will have to be done by a trained professional which is beyond our treatment option capabilities, but we will offer patients resources about all their options and help with referrals to trained professionals we have built a relationship within the healthcare community.

Did you know...

some sprains and strains – such as those caused by falling on a foot or twisting a knee – are accidental and difficult to prevent. Others – such as those caused by lifting heavy objects the wrong way – can be prevented with proper training. The National Institutes of Health recommend stretching prior to physical activity, as well as wearing protective equipment during play to prevent sports injuries. It is also important to avoid overuse injuries by taking the time to rest tired and sore muscles.