Bariatricians, or obesity medicine specialists, are physicians who are trained in treating the disease of obesity and its related conditions. Weight loss doctors dedicate their practice to helping people lose weight, keep weight off and recover from obesity-related illnesses like diabetes.
Advanced Weight Loss Tools
Through medical weight loss programs, many people are able to overcome health problems like type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Obesity medicine uses scientifically validated treatments and strategies to help people overcome obesity. These treatments are not normally available to commercial weight loss programs.
To help people lose weight, bariatricians typically begin by performing an in-depth health examination and assessing the factors that may have led to weight gain. Using this information, a bariatrician can begin to develop a comprehensive weight loss plan using:
- Very low calorie diets. By offering meal replacements that provide full nutrition in fewer calories, bariatricians can help their patients lose weight more quickly than commercial diets.
- Medications. Bariatricians can prescribe appetite suppressants and other medicines that make weight loss easier for their patients by helping them control hunger.
- Monitoring and support. To ensure that patients remain healthy and lose weight at an appropriate pace, bariatricians continue to perform medical testing and check-ups throughout a weight loss program. Many bariatricians also offer education programs, support groups and maintenance programs that help people keep weight off long-term.
By granting people access to tools like these, obesity medicine can make a dramatic difference in the lives of those struggling with obesity, even other methods of treatment fail. As Dr. Ziltzer says, “It actually isn’t difficult to lose weight if you have the right kind of help.”
Every medical obesity specialist must first be educated in another medical field such as internal medicine. They often begin their careers in these fields, practicing primary care.
Dr. Primack, Dr. Ziltzer and Dr. Rodarte started their careers as primary care physicians. While helping to improve their patients’ health, each realized they had many patients who struggled with problems like diabetes, and found they were only providing medicines to control these problems instead of addressing the underlying cause: excess weight.
“I saw that with weight loss we can actually reverse many of these things: diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea—as well as make people feel better about themselves,” Dr. Primack says.
Due to their advanced training, obesity medicine doctors have access to a number of treatment options that can help people lose weight faster and keep it off longer. They can also help people reduce the need for medications that address weight-related conditions, or resolve these conditions altogether.