Within the last ten years, America has seen a significant increase in its obesity rates. The two most common causes are diets high in calories and a lack of exercise. And this has led to a series of health issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.
The good news is, you can overcome obesity by consulting with a professional. While most people assume that they should only rely on their primary physician for weight loss advice, everyone’s needs are different. You may require the help of a specialist. Here are a few of the most popular types of doctors that you could see for weight issues.
If you’re concerned about your weight, one of the first types of doctors you should consult with is your general practitioner. They’re most commonly referred to as family physicians. The benefit of consulting with your primary physician is that they understand your history. And this means they can offer insight into what’s causing your weight gain and what changes need to be made.
They can suggest specific exercises, changes that you should make to your diet, and give you a list of the foods that you should avoid altogether. Another huge benefit of starting with a general practitioner is that they can refer you to someone who specializes in the area in which you need help.
There’s a chance that your obesity is the result of hormonal or glandular problems. Specifically, you could be experiencing issues with your endocrine system. This system controls certain aspects of your hormone production and metabolism. It can influence your appetite, energy levels, blood sugar, and fat accumulation.
This is why many consult with endocrinologists. They examine the underlying cause of obesity as it relates to your hormones. They’ll tell you if your thyroid is underactive, if your body is producing too much cortisol, or if your issues are genetic.
Not only will an endocrinologist diagnose your medical issues and help you manage the condition, but they can also recommend an obesity clinic. Luckily, most endocrine issues can be treated. With the help of an endocrinologist, you can work on changing your behavior and breaking your old habits.
You may require treatments that are more invasive than medication. In this instance, a Bariatric surgeon can assist you with a gastric bypass. This is a surgical procedure that changes how your small intestine handles your food.
After the surgery, you’ll have a smaller stomach, which means that you won’t need as much food in order to feel full. In fact, the food won’t reach certain parts of your stomach and small intestine. And this means that you won’t be taking in as many calories.
However, it’s worth noting that not everyone qualifies for this particular surgery. Most candidates are expected to have a BMI of 35 or greater. You’re also required to be in relatively good health.
It’s best to keep in mind that this option is a lifelong journey. It requires a considerable amount of exercise and healthy eating. This ensures that the weight doesn’t come back. One of the best things about working with a Bariatric surgeon is that they can address all of the issues that come with obesity. This includes things such as diabetes and joint pain.
It’s very likely that your weight issues are related to the way in which you eat. A lot of people struggle to maintain a healthy diet. This is because most people aren’t sure what foods are healthy. And that’s where dieticians come in.
A dietician can work with you and learn more about your specific needs and challenges, such as what your goals are as well as what medications you’re currently taking. Not only will they use this information to design meal plans, but they’ll also educate you on how your body works and what it needs. Some dieticians can even offer cooking tips and recipes that can make your life easier.
In certain instances, your weight issues extend beyond physiology. Sometimes obesity is the result of a mental health issue. This is often the case with people who suffer from conditions like bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating. In this instance, it’s a good idea to consult with a psychologist. Psychologists specialize in behavioral medicine. They can assist you in identifying the behavioral and psychological patterns that are getting in the way of your ability to maintain a healthy weight.
Treatments differ from one person to another, but this type of doctor will typically teach their patients how to self-monitor their behaviors, change their beliefs, and build coping skills. They usually concentrate on changing one behavior at a time.
You’ll be expected to keep a log of all the foods you’ve eaten as well as where you were and how you felt while eating them. Ultimately, this can help to determine the source of your weight problems.
Psychiatrists are similar to psychologists in that they specialize in behavioral medicine. However, they’re different in that psychiatrists can actually prescribe medications to their clients. In fact, many psychologists will refer their clients to a psychiatrist if they feel that their patients could benefit from medication. Another major difference is that a psychiatrist can also recommend a rehabilitation center if needed.
As you can see, the type of doctor you choose will depend on your specific situation. It’s best to start with your family physician as they’re familiar with your medical history. If your obesity is related to your hormones, then consult with an endocrinologist.
If you’re morbidly obese and feel that you’re in need of surgical intervention, then consult with a Bariatric specialist. If your weight is a result of unhealthy eating, a dietician can provide you with a custom meal plan.
It’s also important that you consider how your mental health factors into the way that you eat. In this case, you should consult with a psychologist or psychiatrist. Ultimately, each of these physicians can give you insight into your weight loss problem.
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