Bariatricians, or obesity medicine specialists, are physicians who are trained in treating the disease of obesity and its related conditions. Weight loss doctors dedicate their practice to helping people lose weight, keep weight off and recover from obesity-related illnesses like diabetes.
Advanced Weight Loss Tools
Through medical weight loss programs, many people are able to overcome health problems like type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Obesity medicine uses scientifically validated treatments and strategies to help people overcome obesity. These treatments are not normally available to commercial weight loss programs.
To help people lose weight, bariatricians typically begin by performing an in-depth health examination and assessing the factors that may have led to weight gain. Using this information, a bariatrician can begin to develop a comprehensive weight loss plan using:
- Very low calorie diets. By offering meal replacements that provide full nutrition in fewer calories, bariatricians can help their patients lose weight more quickly than commercial diets.
- Medications. Bariatricians can prescribe appetite suppressants and other medicines that make weight loss easier for their patients by helping them control hunger.
- Monitoring and support. To ensure that patients remain healthy and lose weight at an appropriate pace, bariatricians continue to perform medical testing and check-ups throughout a weight loss program. Many bariatricians also offer education programs, support groups and maintenance programs that help people keep weight off long-term.
By granting people access to tools like these, obesity medicine can make a dramatic difference in the lives of those struggling with obesity, even other methods of treatment fail. As Dr. Ziltzer says, “It actually isn’t difficult to lose weight if you have the right kind of help.”
Every medical obesity specialist must first be educated in another medical field such as internal medicine. They often begin their careers in these fields, practicing primary care.
Dr. Primack, Dr. Ziltzer and Dr. Rodarte started their careers as primary care physicians. While helping to improve their patients’ health, each realized they had many patients who struggled with problems like diabetes, and found they were only providing medicines to control these problems instead of addressing the underlying cause: excess weight.
“I saw that with weight loss we can actually reverse many of these things: diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea—as well as make people feel better about themselves,” Dr. Primack says.
Due to their advanced training, obesity medicine doctors have access to a number of treatment options that can help people lose weight faster and keep it off longer. They can also help people reduce the need for medications that address weight-related conditions, or resolve these conditions altogether.
For many years, obesity was considered a problem of willpower, but the American Medical Association now classifies it as a disease. Obesity has spread across the United States in recent history, leaving about two-thirds of American adults overweight or obese and at risk of developing obesity related diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
By its simplest definition, obesity means we have too much body fat, but the causes and effects of the condition can be complicated.
Reviewing Your Weight Loss Options
Weight loss is a huge industry in the United States. More than $60 billion is spent on weight loss programs, dieting methods, gym memberships and celebrity endorsed obesity-cures annually, and that number continues to grow. With an estimated two-thirds of the U.S adult population struggling with their weight this is not too surprising. Unfortunately, not all of this money will be invested into programs that encourage long-term weight loss.
How Does Fat Affect Us?
Fat can slow us down and change the ways our bodies look, but it can also affect us on a chemical level. Though we often think of fat as useless cushioning, body fat can have a strong influence on the body’s functions and contribute to numerous health problems as we develop more of it.
“Excess body fat sets off a whole cascade of medical conditions that include inflammation of the arteries and inflammation throughout the body,” says Dr. Robert Ziltzer, a medical obesity specialist.
Belviq for Weight Loss
Weight loss medications play a critical role in the weight loss process. The goal of medications is to encourage healthy habits by making it easier to follow a low-calorie diet. When combined with healthy dietary habits and regular activity, weight loss medications can encourage long-term weight loss success.
Belviq (lorcaserin) is an FDA-approved weight loss medication that influences appetite to reduce calorie consumption. It was the first medication of its kind to be approved by the FDA in a 13-year period.
Qsymia for Weight Loss
Qsymia is an FDA-approved weight loss medication that promotes weight loss by controlling appetite. The medication is recommended as one component of a comprehensive weight loss plan that features physician guidance and support, dietary changes and regular physical activity. When used in conjunction with healthy behaviors like these, the medication is proven to enhance weight loss.
What is a Bariatrician?
A bariatrician, also known as a bariatric physician or more recently an obesity medicine specialist, is a licensed physician with detailed training in the many aspects of medicine that are affected by obesity. Because of the surprising complexity of the disease of obesity, it takes a specialized weight loss physician, a bariatrician, to help patients lose weight, maintain weight loss, and avoid medical conditions and complications that are often associated with being overweight or obese.
Where is that Weight Coming From?
Obesity rates in the U.S. have soared in the past five decades, climbing from 13.4 percent of the adult population in 1960, to 35.7 percent in 2012. Nearly 70 percent of adults are either overweight or obese. While many people would like to blame obesity on genetic factors, these data tell a different story.
Yes, some people may have a genetic predisposition to excess weight, but for the vast majority of the population, there are other factors at play.
Studies Show Link Between Obesity and Cancer
If you’re overweight or obese, you’re not alone: According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), about 70 percent of adults in the United States are right there with you. That’s a sharp increase from 1994, when about 56 percent of U.S. adults were overweight or obese. Being obese carries significant health risks, such as sharp increases in the risk for diabetes, stroke, heart attack and, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, many types of cancer.