Medical Weight Loss Advice and Your Doctor
It is important to always remember that each person is unique and every patient has unique medical situations. General medical advice such as proven treatments that are usually helpful for conditions like diabetes or hypertension can make good sense and improve understanding of these medical principles is helpful to everyone. However, before you apply any specific advice to yourself, make sure you have talked it over with your physician.
Let me give you an example of how some general advice that works well for most people did not apply to a specific individual. I saw a patient in the office who had a long history of difficulties with high blood pressure and gradual impairment of his kidney function as a result. He already took four different drugs to control his blood pressure and was teetering on the edge of requiring hemodialysis, a filtering procedure that takes over the work of the kidneys when they have failed.
Now this patient, whom I will call Jim, had done a lot of reading about his health conditions and he knew that he was at least 40 pounds overweight. He had read about the benefits of low carbohydrate diets and began a program on his own that consisted of 800 to 900 calories per day from protein-based meal replacement shakes and bars. He added some snacks and he was soon taking in 90 to 120 grams of protein daily.
In addition, Jim had read about the beneficial effects of weight loss medications, particularly phentermine. He had managed to procure phentermine from an online pharmacy. When I saw him, Jim’s blood pressure was sky high, and I worried that the protein intake might be a bit too much of a load for his kidneys to filter. I ran some blood tests which confirmed my fears: his creatinine had risen to a more dangerous level.
I advised Jim that since he had specific health conditions that were adversely affected by the weight loss methods he had chosen, he would be better served by changing his methods. We talked about alternative prescription medications and we talked about lowering the protein content in his diet regimen.
While for most people Jim’s strategy would have been an excellent one, with Jim, the strategy created some risks. It’s an example of how general advice needs to be interpreted a bit more carefully before it is applied to any one individual. I advised Jim that before he self-administered any further medications or supplements that he talk to me or his primary doctor first.
The same holds true for you and in the medical treatments or medical weight loss program you undertake, it is always best to do so with the guidance, support and assistance of your physician. It may save you a lot of health troubles down the road.