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. A bariatrician is a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) who has received special education and training in bariatric medicine.
Obesity medicine concentrates on the comprehensive medical treatment and procedures to combat excess weight and obesity and its associated comorbidities. It is a broad approach toward weight loss that includes lifestyle changes, dietary changes, nutrition education, behavioral counseling and physical activity, rather than fads or unproven diets. In addition, some bariatric patients are advised to use prescription medications, such as appetite suppressants, in order to aid their weight loss efforts.
As a weight loss specialist, a bariatrician uses an extensive treatment approach devoted to combating obesity in overweight or obese patients. Many patients who have in the past struggled to lose weight on their own find that they are successful in losing weight when guided by a bariatrician through a medical weight loss program.
Specialized Weight Loss Training
Any licensed physician has a fundamental knowledge concerning obesity and weight loss. However, not all such physicians have specialized weight loss knowledge. Nor do they often have the time to devote to helping their patients to lose weight. Because it is estimated that over 60 medical conditions are caused, or made worse by obesity, the specialty is extremely challenging and covers areas of medicine usually confined to the specialties of endocrinology, gastroenterology, cardiology and even psychology.
Bariatricians, who are members of the Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) or American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM), have endured rigorous training and education relating to weight loss, including continuing education and training after being certified.
Licenced bariatricians have undergone many hours of training in metabolism and obesity, and have sat for and passed a written and oral exam. They also have the knowledge and availability of specialized weight loss tools and techniques that a general practitioner physician may not have.
Many types of serious health conditions are associated with being overweight or obese. These include:
- heart disease
- hypertension (high blood pressure)
- sleep apnea
- gallbladder disease
- liver diseases
- and even certain cancers.
Instead of merely treating the symptoms or complications of these serious illnesses, a bariatrician treats the cause of the problem (being overweight or obese).
In Phoenix, Arizona, bariatricians are uniquely armed and equipped to treat patients who are overweight or obese and their associated medical conditions. A medical weight loss program supervised by a weight loss doctor is one of the safest and most effective ways to lose weight and maintain the weight loss.
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.
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.