With a dramatic increase in obesity prevalence over the past few years, primary care physicians (PCPs) need to be prepared to deal with this widespread chronic disease. We need to change the paradigm, from treating the comorbidities—type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and sexual dysfunction—to treating the primary problem: obesity.
To accomplish this goal, physicians need to acquire knowledge about the therapeutic armamentarium currently available to treat obesity and feel comfortable with it. Keep in mind that weight loss helps improve the comorbidities of obesity and helps taper or even discontinue the use of some diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia medications. Patients’ sense of well-being and sleeping habits also improve with weight loss and a healthier lifestyle.
Easy Steps to Treatment
Our aim with this Special Report is to contribute to PCPs’ practice related to obesity management by describing some easy steps they can take for more efficient and effective treatment of patients who suffer obesity.
In upcoming articles, we will provide answers to the questions primary care physicians most often ask:
• Is obesity a disease?
• How do I make a diagnosis of obesity?
• What about measuring abdominal circumference?
• Is staging the degree of obesity important?
• What medical problems could be secondary to my patient’s obesity?
• What other factors affect a patient’s obesity?
• How do I treat a patient with obesity?
• Should I change some of the patient’s medications to help him/her lose weight?
• When should I refer a patient with obesity to an endocrinologist?
• How can I help my patients become more physically active?
• What about depression, anxiety, and eating disorders?
• Is this patient a candidate to undergo bariatric surgery?
The articles will take deeper dives into obesity diagnosis, comorbidities, lifestyle factors, weight loss strategies, treatment, referral, and surgery.
First up: a multiple-choice pretest on obesity aimed at primary care physicians. The questions will be answered in upcoming segments of this Special Report and you will see them again, as a post-test, at the conclusion of the series.