Obesity Treatment Designed Specifically For You
Obesity is a chronic disease that can have serious negative effects on the body. For individuals who suffer from Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and/or bone and joint disease, the risks of developing obesity are much greater. If your family has a history of obesity, you may also be more at risk.
Seeking care for weight management is by no means an easy task. At the Diabetes & Endocrinology Specialists of El Paso, we understand the difficulty patients face when they first decide to seek professional care. Our clinic will first assess your individual condition then create a course of treatment designed specifically for you. On the day of your initial consultation, we ask that you bring all of your medical records with you. This information will allow us to further examine your health and better understand your history of obesity. Our priority is to provide you with all-encompassing obesity treatment that will improve your quality of life.
In the U.S. approximately 35 percent of women and 31 percent of men are considered to be critically overweight while 15 percent of children also carry excess weight. The causes of obesity are often complex. For some, it’s a mix of genetics and poor lifestyle choices, while others may have a negative relationship with food that is considered a psychological issue. Moreover, income level has also been shown to sometimes play a role in obese populations. For example, the U.S. is considered one of the wealthiest countries in the world yet one-third of its population is obese while another third is considered to be overweight. On the contrary, we also see low-income populations who lack access to fresh foods suffering from weight-related issues.
While it’s difficult to pinpoint one major cause, the healthcare industry has recognized these three common factors that influence obesity:
- Genetics. Your risk of obesity increases by 25 percent if one or both of your parents are obese. You might carry extra weight around your hips and abdomen from genetics. Numerous studies have shown obesity to be an inherited disease.
- Metabolism. Metabolic and hormonal components are not the same for everyone. You may notice your metabolism operates at a slower rather compared to others. The hormones in your body also influence your appetite and ability to feel full after eating. Many people with obesity often describe not feeling full or satisfied after a meal, which may cause them to consume more.
- Lifestyle. Eating on the go has become a phenomenon common among Americans. Since the rise of fast food restaurants in the 1950s and 60s, most families opt for quick, easy meals. The low-cost of these meals also contributes to why families eat out on a daily basis. Eating high-calorie, sugar-filled, and refined carbohydrates day in and day out will eventually lead to weight gain. When you couple that with a lack of routine exercise, it becomes extremely difficult to maintain a healthy weight.
One of the first steps in diagnosing obesity is to review your health record, perform a physical exam, as well as other tests (if necessary) to better examine your relationship with obesity.
The following tests and exams may be used for diagnosis:
- Review of your health record. This involves a review of your weight history, weight-loss efforts, eating patterns, exercise habits, and other conditions you are currently or have previously dealt with such as anxiety, stress, or depression. Our doctor may also request information related to your family’s health.
- Calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI). Part of your physical will include taking a look at your BMI. A person who is considered obese will have a body mass index (BMI) that is considered unhealthy. A high BMI is an indicator of high body fatness. To calculate your BMI: divide your weight in kilograms by your height in meters. If your BMI is 30 and above, you would be considered obese.
- Measuring waist circumference. If you tend to store fat around the waist, this may also increase your risk of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, as well as obesity. Similar to your BMI, your waist circumference will be examined through a physical.
- Other exams. Based on our doctor’s analysis, other exams such as a blood test may be necessary. Additionally, we may recommend a liver function test, cholesterol test, thyroid test, and others related to your glucose and/or heart.
Management Options — Services Provided for Obesity Management
At face value, obesity may seem like an issue with a simple solution: eat less, workout more, and watch those extra pounds shed. That idea, while adequate for some, is not always possible. Risk factors associated with obesity must also be taken into consideration. These factors may include endocrine disorders, medications, depression, and/or other diseases that can cause a person to gain weight.
Our clinic provides the following obesity treatment tools:
- Education. Understanding obesity can significantly impact your ability to better manage your health. We may also recommend professional counseling and support groups, which can help you cope with common issues such as cravings, eating triggers, and an overall damaging relationship with food.
- Diet. Making changes to your diet such as incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and protein can provide you with the nutrient your body needs. Cutting calories may also be necessary. The goal is to create a plan that works for your body! Most importantly, one that is manageable for the long-term and not a quick fix.
- Exercise. Obesity treatment almost always involves exercise. Receiving at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week can help prevent weight gain. Based on your health and level of fitness, increasing that amount to 300 minutes per week may be recommended.
- Prescriptions. While diet and exercise are two of the most important tools in obesity treatment, weight-loss medication may be prescribed. Medication for weight-loss does not substitute exercise or nutrition.