Our weight management center at Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital has a new program! It is called the medical weight loss program, and Daphne Bryan, MD, is here to answer all your questions about this new opportunity for patients. Check out her Q&A below.
Q: How does body weight affect a person’s health?
Dr. Bryan: Obesity is linked to diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, joint-related disabilities, liver disease and much more. Weight loss can cure many of these conditions. Most people can significantly lower the doses of, or stop taking, blood pressure medication after as little as five to 10 percent loss of their current weight.
Q: Who is a suitable candidate for the medical weight loss program?
Dr. Bryan: A patient with body mass index above 24.9, which is considered overweight, is a good candidate for this program. It will help them manage their weight and prevent the progression to obesity. Those with a BMI above 27 and have medical conditions associated with obesity, such as hypertension, diabetes, joint pains and fatty liver disease, are suitable for a more aggressive treatment process, which might include medication.
Q: How does this new program help people maintain a healthy weight?
Dr. Bryan: This program supports the patient by educating them on healthy lifestyle habits with dietitians who offer one-on-one and group counseling. We also offer meal replacements that allow our patients to get proper nutrition at a much lower calorie count compared to the calories that would be consumed to get the same nutrition using regular foods.
This program also includes behavioral support for most patients to help the patient change their behaviors that led to, in many cases, severe obesity. The patient has monthly visits with the obesity medicine doctor or nurse practitioner to provide medication for those who need it, support for all and a special type of accountability.
Q: How do I know if I’m at risk for developing any other conditions related to my weight?
Dr. Bryan: People need to know that obesity can affect every organ in the body in one way or another. Obesity can cause damage to the brain, the liver, the joints, to name a few.
Q: Is there a medication that can help me with weight loss?
Dr. Bryan: Yes! There are a few options available to the patient for weight management. It is my job to figure out which one is appropriate for each patient in our program based on their BMI and other health conditions with which the patient presents.
Q: What is the science behind your weight loss program?
Dr. Bryan: I’m board-certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine. My obesity practice is based on obesity research; or in other words it is evidence-based. The obesity medicine association defines obesity as a chronic, relapsing, multi-factorial, neurobehavioral disease, wherein an increase in body fat promotes adipose tissue dysfunction and abnormal fat mass physical forces, resulting in adverse metabolic, biomechanical and psychosocial health consequences. Obesity is as complicated as the definition implies.
Q: What about the cost of this program?
Dr. Bryan: Insurance plans must cover screening and counseling related to obesity. We encourage you to reach out to your insurance provider for additional details.
Learn more all our weight loss solution services at Bon Secours.