How do various medical conditions affect how you lose or gain weight? Which weight loss programs can accommodate persons with medical conditions and have healthcare professionals on staff to assist you? Not all of them do. Take our Diet Wizard to find out which diet programs can accommodate dieters with medical conditions, and which will help you lose the weight safely. A do-it-yourself diet plan, while inexpensive, may not be adequate or effective for you. Our comprehensive diet analysis examines your lifestyle and dieting preferences, and reviews your needs versus the major health club chains, commercial weight loss clinics like Weight Watchers, LA Weight Loss and Jenny Craig, medical weight loss, healthcare pros, and popular celebrity diets. Then BestDietForMe.com provides you with unbiased, in-depth reports on your matches, complete with detailed reviews of these weight loss programs, to help you choose a diet plan that’s right for you…
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Diets & Medical Conditions
Needless to say, if you have an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder, you should not be on any diet, and need to address that disorder first, with your physician or organizations that specialize in those areas. However, many people have minor (or major) medical conditions, and can still take part in a weight loss program, if supervised closely.
Of the 19,300+ people completing an extensive BestDietForMe.com survey between January 1 and March 30, 2005, a significant number indicated that they have one or multiple medical conditions. High blood pressure is the leading condition, experienced by 13% of our survey takers, followed by migraines at 6.9%, thyroid disease and asthma at 6.0%. Diabetes and irritable bowel syndrome came in at just under 4%, and heart disease by 1%.
Traditionally, doctors have not had the time to counsel their patients in depth about smoking cessation or losing weight. And, the psychological/emotional issues related to obesity, which are crucial, are not usually handled by busy MDs. Will doctors, increasingly squeezed by managed care and growing caseloads under HMOs, have the time to motivate, cajole, counsel and offer the peer support that commercial weight loss organizations such as Weight Watchers®, Jenny Craig, or eDiets.com offer?
BestDietForMe.com does NOT provide medical advice. You should always consult your physician first, before beginning any weight loss regimen.
What Medical Condition Do You Have?
The type of medical condition you have will determine what kind of weight loss professional or program can help you. Here are a few examples.
For the past 24 years, Dr. Dean Ornish has directed clinical research demonstrating, for the first time, that comprehensive lifestyle changes may begin to reverse even severe coronary heart disease, without drugs or surgery. He is the author of five best-selling books, including New York Times bestsellers such as: Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease, Eat More, Weigh Less, and Love & Survival.
Diabetes, Sleep Apnea, High Blood Pressure
To qualify for the gastric bypass procedure (bariatric surgery), potential patients must meet criteria set by the National Institutes of Health. For example, a person must have a minimum BMI of 40, or a BMI of 35 with associated comorbidities.
In certain circumstances, less severely obese patients (with BMI’s between 35 and 40) also may be considered for bariatric surgery. Included in this category are patients with high-risk co-morbid conditions such as life threatening cardiopulmonary problems (e.g. severe sleep apnea, Pickwickian syndrome, obesity related cardiomyopathy, or severe diabetes mellitus).
The Medibase plan is geared to registered dieticians, in conjunction with MDs. Advanced Healthcare also claimed that it was one of the few companies other than OPTIFAST® (Novartis Nutrition) that conducted serious research that is published. They perform substantial research with Type II diabetics.
Bariatricians... One main advantage for overweight persons to see a bariatrician, instead of a commercial program, is that obese persons may have other medical problems they don't know exist (i.e. diabetes), which are discovered by the bariatrician. More extensive medical monitoring, long-term support, alternative medication therapies, and partial reimbursement by medical insurance are other advantages.
Registered Dietitians... RDs often see clients that need dietary help with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and a variety of other medical conditions. Most RDs work with medical doctors and because of this they are able to provide their clients with prescription medicine if they and the doctor feel it is necessary.
An estimated 11 million Americans suffer from food allergies. The eight major food allergens are: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy.
Water retention, or edema, is especially common among allergic individuals and is an important contributing factor to obesity. The removal of an offending food will often result in a rapid water loss of 5-10 pounds within a week, all without the use of a diuretic.
Headaches & Migraines
Obesity is a risk factor for chronic daily headaches," says Marcelo E. Bigal, MD, PhD, a neurologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and a researcher on the study.
"Not only do obese people develop chronic headaches at a higher rate," he says, "but they have more severe head-aches, more nausea, and miss more days of school and work than non-obese people." The good news: Headache medications work just as well for obese people as they do for people of normal weight.
Dr. Mark Green, a neurologist with Columbia University Medical Center Eastside says, “...if you are significantly overweight you have a higher risk of developing more frequent and severe headaches and become more disabled by your headaches.”
The exact relationship between weight and headache however is not something that researchers yet understand. Dr. Green believes the connection between obesity and headache will prove to be complex. “A lot of people who are very overweight have sleep disorders and some of the sleep disorders can be associated with headache. Some of them might be hyperthyroid and hyperthyroidism can be associated with headaches. Some, because of abdominal pressure, can actually have impairment in the return of spinal fluid and can get pressure elevations from that.”
More Medical Resources
- American Diabetes Association (www.diabetes.org)
- Arthritis Foundation (www.arthritis.org)
- American Headache Society
- National Headache Foundation (www.headaches.org)
- National Institutes of Health (ww.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus)
- Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America (www.aafa.org)