Losing weight can be physically and emotionally draining. This is especially true if your weight poses a threat to your health. Being overweight or obese has many health risks including heart attacks and joint problems. You may have tried to lose weight on your own or under the supervision of your family physician without success. If this is the case it might be time to consult with a physician that specializes in weight loss.
Bariatric physicians specialize in the study of obesity, its causes and its prevention. They are trained and qualified to provide you with in-depth nutritional and exercise information. When you consult with a bariatric physician, they will review your medical history and take your overall heath into consideration.
Arrive at your consultation prepared. It may seem silly since they’re the experts, but there are questions you should ask a bariatric physician. You may want to ask about different weight loss options, medical weight loss supplements and which the best choice is for you.
What You Should Ask
Your bariatric physician will take your personal health history into account when answering your questions.
Am I healthy enough to diet?
If you have recently experienced significant health changes, your physician may recommend waiting until your condition has stabilized before starting a diet or exercise program.
How much weight should I lose?
If you are ready to lose weight, you may have already set a goal. It’s possible that your physician may feel your goal is over zealous or would recommend losing more than you had in mind. Together with your physician, you will be able to set a reasonable goal.
Will weight loss improve my health?
There are medical conditions that can be controlled with weight loss. Some of these include type 2 diabetes or hypertension. Discuss your particular medical condition with your physician.
Ask if your health may improve with weight loss. Ask if you will be able to take less medication or see your doctor less often. Knowing the answer to these questions can provide motivation for your weight loss journey.
Are medical weight loss supplements right for you?
You may want to ask your physician about medical weight loss supplements if you are significantly overweight. If you have tried other weight loss methods without success, explain the different programs you’ve tried.
FDA approved medications for weight loss can help significantly if indicated. Only a qualified bariatric physician should determine if you would benefit from a medication. They can ensure the proper dosage and instructions are given.
How much weight loss is necessary to see a benefit?
This really depends on how much weight you need to lose and what your medical conditions are. In some cases, just a small amount of weight loss can provide significant health benefits.
Will your medical condition impact your choice of weight loss programs?
There are specific diet and weight loss programs designed for those with medical conditions such as diabetes or hypertension. Other medical conditions, as well as your overall health, will be considered by your physician when helping you chose a program that’s right for you.
Should I avoid certain foods?
Some medications can become less effective if you eat certain foods. For example, those taking cholesterol medication should not eat grapefruit. If your physician recommends avoiding particular foods, make a list and stick to it.
Am I healthy enough for vigorous physical activity?
Upon evaluation, your physician will determine if you are healthy enough for exercise. They may set limitations on your physical activity, especially at the beginning of your weight loss program. These limitations may be modified as you begin to lose weight.
Ask your physician how you should monitor the intensity of your workouts. For example, heart rate monitors won’t be appropriate for those on medication to lower their heart rate. Discuss the best method for monitoring your physical activity.
While your family physician may or may not be able to help with your weight loss, consulting with a bariatric physician or an obesity medicine specialist has distinct advantages which will help with your success.
Dr. Matthew Pinto, founder of Vive Medical Weight Loss and Aesthetics, is an expert trained in the evaluation and management of individuals affected by obesity. He is double board certified in obesity medicine as well as family medicine. Dr. Pinto and his professional staff can determine the right weight loss program for you. Schedule a consultation today and begin the journey to a healthier you.