posted in Weightloss Management // 2.09.16
Top 6 Reasons You May Need a Doctor’s Help With Weight Loss
You’ve finally made the decision that it’s time to lose weight. Or, maybe you’ve been trying to lose weight and haven’t had any real success. Whatever your situation is, it’s possible that a doctor can help.
Medical experts agree that it is recommended to consult your doctor before starting any major diet or exercise program. In real life, however, many people do not get their doctor’s advice before embarking on a weight loss plan. For some people this may merely lead to a failure to lose weight. For others, though, neglecting to check with their physician may lead to a dangerous situation for their health. Even though you may feel confident that you can handle your weight loss on your own, there are several situations where you should definitely visit your doctor to get assistance with losing weight.
1. Your Body Mass Index is in the Obese Range
One of the measures of health that doctors use to determine whether or not a body is at its optimal weight is the body mass index or BMI. BMI is calculated by measuring one’s weight and dividing it by one’s height squared. Many websites can calculate your BMI and give you a score detailing your possible obesity risk. Here are the BMI ranges and how they correlate with weight status:
- Lower than 18.5 – Underweight
- Between 18.5 and 24.9 – Normal Weight
- Between 25.0 and 29.9 – Overweight
- More than 30.0 – Obese
Individuals whose BMI lies within the obese range are at a much higher risk of developing various chronic diseases and acute health problems. For those individuals, it is important for them to see a doctor, so that they can get started on the proper way to lose weight and get their health back.
2. You Have an Additional Medical Condition
When you are beginning a weight loss program, many times you have to drastically change your diet. For some people, this change can greatly affect them beyond just losing weight. For people who have other health conditions that affect their metabolism or their nutritional needs, it is imperative that they work with their doctor so that a proper plan can be designed specifically for their needs. For example, someone with type 2 diabetes may be more prone to being overweight due to the specific body chemistry issues that go along with a diagnosis of diabetes. A diabetic must work with his or her doctor to design a specific nutritional plan that works side by side with his or her health and blood sugar issues. Additionally, a person with heart disease may have different nutritional requirements that only a doctor or a registered dietician can specify, so that this person loses weight the right way and the healthiest way.
3. You Have a Problem With Appetite Control
For some people, self control and willpower around food is a problem. No matter their intentions and their effort, they can’t manage to stop overeating. Individuals who struggle with binge eating or other disordered eating behaviors should work with a physician or sometimes even a psychiatrist in order to lose weight the proper way. It’s not as simple as telling someone to stop eating if there is a history of an eating disorder or an unhealthy relationship with food. For these people, the struggle is beyond closing the pantry or the refrigerator. There is a necessity to get additional help, whether it is in the form of counseling or drug therapy, in order to guide them to the right path for weight loss success.
4. You Haven’t Seen Results
Another reason to visit your doctor when it comes to weight loss, is when you’ve been legitimately trying to lose weight for a period of time, and you haven’t seen any results. If you’ve significantly lowered your caloric intake and increased your exercise and you’re still not losing weight, it’s time to seek the advice of your physician. There may be a medical reason for your lack of success, and only a doctor can find out why. Maybe there is a hormonal imbalance that is sabotaging your attempts at a healthy diet. For some people who are experiencing symptoms of depression, it could get in the way of weight loss attempts. There are also certain conditions of the thyroid that may affect the body’s ability to metabolize food and energy. When you talk to your doctor, he or she may be able to run a battery of tests to determine the problem and give possible solutions that can help you begin to be successful.
5. You Take Prescription Medication
Additionally, those people who are regularly taking certain types of prescription medication must first ask their doctor before beginning any weight loss or exercise program. Depending on the medication, it may affect your weight loss efforts. Paxil, an anti-anxiety drug, is also associated with weight gain; however, there are several alternative medications to Paxil that can treat anxiety. Another type of drug that may result in weight gain is Prednisone, which is used to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis. Insulin, used to treat diabetes, has also been linked to more than average weight gain. Your medical team can work with you to adjust or make changes to medication to support your attempts at getting fit and healthy.
6. You’re Considering Weight Loss Surgery or Medication
Finally, the last reason you may need to see a doctor for help with weight loss is when you’re considering weight loss surgery or weight loss medication. Those individuals who are thinking about weight loss surgery can visit a specialist trained in the field of bariatric surgery. Your surgeon can give you a consultation and determine if you are a candidate for that type of surgery. Generally, weight loss surgery candidates often are in the obese BMI range and may have additional health concerns related to being overweight. Another reason to make an appointment with a specialist in weight loss is if you’re considering prescription medicine to assist with your journey to health. There are many types of medications available, including appetite suppressants, to help you achieve a healthy weight. The only qualified person that can lead you to the right medication is a doctor with specialized training in metabolism and body chemistry.
Many of us may have friends and family who have successfully lost weight and kept it off with various programs or diet plans out there. The most effective plan of action, though, is to consult with your personal highly trained health expert, your primary care physician.