In the subpage listing to the left you can find more information about the medical care we provide our patients as part of our medical weight loss program.
Obesity is associated with a number of illnesses. Let me be clear too that in using the term "associated with", I do not necessarily mean that obesity always causes these illnesses. Sometimes the illnesses cause obesity and sometimes a third problem causes both obesity and the associated problem. For example, low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) and too-high adrenal function (Cushing's Disease) both can cause obesity or at least contribute to it. Depression, a very real MEDICAL illness can cause weight gain (or weight loss) and can also cause mood swings and a casual observer might mistakely conclude that mood swings and weight gain are causally related to each other when in fact, the true cause of both is depression.
The examples are however the exceptions. In truth, weight gain and obesity are the causes of most so-called weight-related or "co-morbid" illnesses.
Medical weight loss is not simply about prescribing a medication, handing a person a diet and moving on. It requires careful evaluation of all of a patient's health issues and it demands that the treatment used to improve one condtion improves all of them (or at least doesn't worsen any of them). I'll list a couple of the common traps that have befallen health care providers who lack a deep understanding of weight and obesity:
Some diabetes medications cause type-II diabetics to gain more weight. This tends to worsen the diabetes which results in the prescription of MORE medication and then, in turn, more weight gain and so on. I have seen patients trapped in this sort of downward (or upward actually) spiral. The solution is to change diabetes medications when it is possible and to consider an agent like metformin or Byetta which cause weight loss and improve diabetes.
Beta blockers are great medications for lowering blood pressure and for controlling heartbeat irregularity, but they tend to slow people down and cause weight gain. Just as I illustrated above with diabetes, this leads to a vicious cycle of weight gain, worsened blood pressure, more beta blockers, more weight gain and so on.
Appetite suppressants CAN raise either blood pressure or blood sugar and so, of course, they must be prescribed carefully, but on the other hand, weight loss usually lowers blood sugar and blood pressure. So what to do? Well, of course, each patient is different, but often the careful and judicious use of a weight loss medication can really help and not harm the patient. Again, each case is different.