Preventive Weight Loss
Increasingly, more people are approaching their weight loss efforts with a preventive attitude. Today in my clinic I saw two people who represented what I think is the future for forward thinking people and their doctors. Each of them was significantly overweight with a body mass index between 30 and 40, but neither of them had severe health problems from their overweight or obesity. Yet, that is.
The first patient, a thirty-three year old female whose mom has type 2 diabetes knows that she is committed to losing weight, but has just not had the right tools and knows also that if she is not able to lose the weight, her mother’s health problems will become her own. As she described it to me, there really is no reason for her to wait until she develops type 2 diabetes or hypertension or any of the other obesity related health problems before she moves forward with an aggressive weight loss program. In her case she wishes to undergo Lap-Band surgery and I believe she will be quite successful with it.
The other patient, a forty-one year old male, was told by his doctor he has a condition known as “pre-diabetes”. He wasn’t exactly sure what this meant or if it was even important, but it sounded ominous. I discussed with him the definition of pre-diabetes and we talked about his glucose tolerance test, which showed his body is unable to handle a challenge of ingested oral glucose. This means he has the high likely-hood of progressing to type 2 diabetes, which will require medications. It means that while his blood sugars are not typically out of range, if he eats and has a significant carbohydrate load then the blood sugars to rise into abnormal territory.
By some estimates, seventy-million Americans have pre-diabetes and most of them will progress to type 2 diabetes in their lifetime. Most of these people are also overweight or obese. As this gentleman stated, “Why wait for the diagnosis of full-blown diabetes”.