Overweight is a situation characterised by an excess of body fat. When this excess weight reaches certain limits, it is classified as a disease.
At present, the life style we lead, bad dietary habits and a sedentary life style, all have an impact on the development or worsening of overweight and obesity. The fundamental pillars for the treatment or prevention of the problem entail a constant and dramatic modification of inadequate life habit, introducing healthier eating patterns and more physical exercise.
At Instituto Médico Láser, the approach to the treatment of overweight and obesity goes beyond the limits of what is considered purely aesthetical (although this continues to be the main reasons for consultation) to focus principally in the prevention of problems associated with diabetes and hypertension. In this way, in our centre, the treatment of overweight and obesity is preceded by a medical assessment performed with the aim to rule any associated problems. The degree and localisation of excess body fat is assessed using the “bioimpedanciometry” technique. This technique permits us to determine the amount of fat, muscle fat and water present in the patient´s body and to differentiate between the different situations that need resolving with the different treatments.
IML Medical assessment with the aim to rule any associated problems
After the first evaluation, a diet plan is started with adaptation and recommendations designed to suit the needs of each particular overweight patient. In cases of obesity, a non-restrictive balanced hypocaloric diet is started, taking into account what the patient likes and his or her possibilities. Such hypocaloric diets should always be prescribed by a specialist in endocrinology and nutrition to avoid errors in the approach and nutritional deficiencies at long term. Together with the diet treatment, we recommend to engage in some sort of physical activity, according to age and the physical shape of each individual.
The use of drugs (orlistat or sibutramine) to control the appetite or the anxiety that the excessive intake of food triggers is indicated as a first step. These appetite suppressants should always be prescribed by a specialist in endocrinology and nutrition, who will assess the risk and benefits derived from their use and should always be used under strict criteria of use and control.
Medical check ups are scheduled every 15 to 30 days and are used to reinforce the effort on the part of the patient, to resolve any doubts and to assess the weight loss.
As a general rule, the use of bariatric surgery (which prevents the absorption of part of the ingested food) or the insertion of an intragastric balloon (which limits the volume of food that we can take), are indicated when very strict criteria are met and always after having performed a thorough medical and psychological evaluation of the patient. In certain cases of severe obesity, these techniques provide the best results long term.
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