treatment of obesity

Obesity is treated by weight loss, not recovery. Your goal is to reduce your BMI to what is appropriate for your age, gender, and height. But losing weight is what most people find difficult. Some can do this through healthy eating and exercise, some may need to change their medications, and some may need surgery.

Your doctor can help you decide what you need and what works best for your circumstances. Start with small steps and set realistic goals. Even losing 10% of your current weight can have significant health benefits. Small changes can make a big difference in your health. Your doctor can offer practical suggestions that don’t require a complete change to your current lifestyle. In some cases, your doctor may refer you to a nutritionist. Probably a registered dietitian. This person can give in-depth advice on food choices.

In extreme cases, however, diet and exercise alone may not be enough to help you lose weight. Your doctor can discuss prescription weight loss medications with you. These medications are only helpful when used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise.

Your doctor may also talk to you about whether you might be a candidate for weight loss surgery. This operation (bariatric surgery) can help you lose large amounts of weight if you are overweight. As with prescription drugs, weight loss surgery is most successful when used as part of a long-term healthy lifestyle that includes diet and exercise. Some of the more common weight loss surgeries include:

  • Gastric bypass.During this surgery, your doctor will create a small pouch in the upper part of your stomach. Your small intestine is moved from your lower stomach into the new pouch. When you eat, the food you eat goes into the new pouch and then into the small intestine, bypassing the stomach.
  • Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band (also called a lap band). In this surgery, your doctor will place a band, like a belt, around your stomach. Divide the stomach into two separate pouches. There is a small channel between the two bags.
  • Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (also called gastrectomy). During this surgery, your doctor will remove most of your stomach. Possible side effects include an inability to absorb all the vitamins and nutrients the body needs. Your doctor will closely monitor your progress after this surgery.
  • Stomach sleeve.In this surgery, part of your stomach is removed, creating less room for food.

Your doctor can explain the different procedures, the risks, decide if you are a good candidate for surgery, and decide on the procedure that would be best for you.

Experts say you shouldn’t try to lose more than 2 pounds per week. Losing more than 2 pounds per week usually means you’re losing water weight and lean muscle, rather than excess fat. If you do this, you will have less power. And you will most likely gain the weight back.

Losing weight is half the battle. Maintaining weight requires constant changes in your lifestyle. These include a healthy diet and regular exercise. Support from your friends, family or support group can help.