You probably know if you’re overweight. But how do you know when you’re at the point when you need to do something about it? And what should you do when you reach that point? Those are not easy questions to answer.

Asking “Dr. Google” will give you all kinds of information – which usually leads to more questions, like how much of said information can you trust? And how do you know it applies specifically to you?

Finding out simple, undisputed facts about weight, obesity – and how to treat it – often requires both knowledge and experience. And that’s why the caring physicians at Longstreet Clinic’s Center for Weight Management spend a lot of their time answering questions and providing facts. Because finding success in weight loss is all about communication, knowhow and commitment.

At the Center for Weight Management, we believe in giving every patient some baseline information before beginning an in-depth look at treatment options. Because once you know the facts, you can start making decisions about the rest of your life.

With that in mind, let’s look at some of those facts about weight and obesity, as relayed by the physicians and surgeons at Longstreet Clinic’s Center for Weight Management.

What is the definition of obesity?

Eileen D. Javellana, M.D., bariatrician

We define obesity by Body Mass Index – BMI. It’s a calculation formed using height and weight. A BMI of 30 is considered mild obesity; a BMI of 35 is considered moderate obesity, and severe obesity is a BMI of 40. That’s also called morbid obesity.

How do you find out what your BMI is?

One good way is to go to mdcalc.com and search for “BMI.” Then enter your height and weight in the Body Mass Index calculator. You can also visit the CDC.gov and search for “BMI calculator.” Both are good sources.  – Dr. Javellana

Beside physical weight gain, what else does obesity do to the body?

Sonali Ganguly, M.D., endocrinologist

There are a lot of medical conditions associated with obesity and even a lot of things that we don’t generally think of as associated with obesity. The most common medical conditions (also called “comorbidities”) are diabetes or pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, strokes…Infertility is a big one. We see a lot of female patients in our clinics who suffer from infertility, and this can be linked to being overweight or obese. There are other simple conditions such as acid reflux, which can certainly be associated with obesity. Certain cancers are also linked with obesity. Osteoarthritis too – even though it comes with age, carrying excess weight can make it worse. Obstructive sleep apnea and fatty liver disease are also associated with obesity. The whole body can really be affected by obesity and being overweight.

What happens if you focus on comorbidities and not obesity?

Dr. Ganguly

Treating obesity is really important, because it can help prevent a lot of these conditions. Obesity is the root cause of a lot of these conditions. So, if we as healthcare providers are not addressing the obesity, we’re just putting a band-aid on those medical conditions. – Dr. Ganguly

Beyond diet, what can doctors do to treat obesity and its comorbidities?

Answered by Eric J. Velazquez, M.D., MBA, FACS, FASMBS

We use different surgical techniques to treat obesity. When we see patients, they have health issues like sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure, fatty liver disease, cholesterol, and a lot of these conditions go away once they lose the weight with weight loss surgery. For example, high blood pressure: 86-90 percent of patients will have full resolution of that condition (after surgery). Diabetes: 86 percent of patients will achieve remission of diabetes.

There are some variables at play for the patient, such as the length of their diabetes affliction, their hemoglobin/A1-C numbers of the patient, or how many medicines they take. All that influences whether their diabetes will go completely away (after surgery). But even in bad scenarios, there’s serious improvement in comorbidities. For instance, the patient may come down on the number of medicines they’re taking. They also go through remission periods that can last five years – five years without needing medications for those conditions. And there’s also the legacy effect – which is that period in which patients are in remission, the diabetes is not affecting their other organs, so it gives an overall health benefit when they lose weight.

Because the Center for Weight Management is a comprehensive clinic, we are proud to offer a wide range of proven treatment options – both surgical and non-surgical. Our team partners with each patient to determine what it will take to help you succeed, not only in losing weight but in keeping it off throughout your life.

If you are tired of battling weight concerns and are looking for a lasting and meaningful solution, the caring staff at the Center for Weight Management is always eager to discuss your situation and is ready to help. To learn more, please call Longstreet Clinic’s Center for Weight Management today at 770-534-0110 or toll-free at 877-921-0110. Or you can watch our online seminar then fill out our contact form, and our weight loss team will reach out to you.

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