If you have diabetes, an endocrinologist may be part of your care team, or you may work with an internist to manage your care. If you haven’t yet been diagnosed with diabetes but want to lose weight to avoid developing the type 2 form of the disease, an internist can also help you succeed with a medical weight loss plan . If you want to lose weight in Mt. Kisco and the surrounding Westchester County area, or if you have diabetes, here is a look at the role that an internist can play.
Endocrinologists and Internists in Diabetes Management
An endocrinologist is a specialist who provides care for people with disorders of the endocrine system, including people with thyroid disease and diabetes. Internists are primary care doctors who specialize in adult patients and often work closely with patients on chronic disease management.
If you have type 1 diabetes—the autoimmune form of the disease—then an endocrinologist will likely manage your care. For people with type 2 diabetes, your internist may manage your treatment plan, unless you experience complications, in which case your internist may refer you to an endocrinologist.
Internists and Weight Loss
Being overweight dramatically increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, losing weight can decrease your dependence on diabetes medicine, and if you are at risk of getting type 2 diabetes, weight loss can reduce your chances of developing it. Your internist can help you achieve weight loss success by helping you find a plan that works and by identifying and treating underlying conditions that could be leading to weight gain. Your internist can also help you lose weight with prescription-strength appetite suppressants and other treatments that are only available as part of a medical weight loss program. If you have type 2 diabetes, your internist may provide weight loss support as part of your overall treatment plan.
Oncology care professionals generally do recommend that cancer patients enjoy light exercise. In this case, weight maintenance is the goal, not weight loss. Even if a cancer patient was actively working to lose weight prior to the diagnosis, the oncologist would likely prefer that he or she focus only on maintaining weight during treatment. The oncologist may also recommend that cancer patients work with a functional medicine specialist, such as Dr. Briones in Mt. Kisco and the surrounding Westchester County. Functional medicine specialists can help cancer patients support overall wellness.
Before Exercising During Treatment
No cancer patient should exercise unless it’s been approved by the oncologist. The doctor may refer the patient to a physical therapist, who can design a safe and effective workout program tailored to the patient’s needs. Usually, cancer patients who are approved to exercise will be advised to stick to no more than a moderate-intensity workout, such as brisk walking. Additionally, cancer patients should understand the following precautions before starting a workout program.
- Avoid public gyms when white blood cell counts are low.
- Avoid exercising with persistent nausea and vomiting.
- Avoid exercising when potassium and sodium levels are abnormal.
- Avoid exercising with a low red blood cell count.
- Talk to the doctor before exercising at a vigorous intensity.
- Talk to the doctor before substantially changing an approved exercise plan.
- Enjoy exercise that has a very low risk of falls.
Exercising During Treatment
Exercising during cancer treatment can be beneficial for patients, as it can:
- Boost energy levels
- Improve mood
- Help with stress management
- Encourage social connections
- Reduce the risk of blood clots
- Improve balance
However, patients should take care not to get overly enthusiastic with their workout regimen. The goal isn’t to train for a marathon, but rather to improve quality of life. It’s advisable to slow down and rest when fatigue sets in.
Exercising During Remission
According to conventional wisdom, cancer patients primarily need to worry about not losing too much weight. But actually, some chemotherapy drugs can cause weight gain, not loss, especially chemo drugs used to treat breast cancer. Once patients have achieved remission, they might once again join a weight loss program. Careful nutrition planning is recommended to support optimum health. Patients in remission are usually encouraged to follow an exercise program that includes strength training, since cancer treatment often leads to a loss of muscle tone.
Internal medicine practitioners are similar to family physicians, as they diagnose, treat, and work to prevent diseases and conditions. However, unlike family doctors, internists focus exclusively on adult patients. If you’ve been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, consider adding an internist to your care team, such as Dr. Briones, who serves Mt. Kisco and the surrounding Westchester County.
Heart failure patients will usually be prescribed a combination of medications. Although there is no cure for heart failure, medications can help suppress the symptoms, and make it easier for your heart to pump blood. Taking your medications as prescribed will help prevent your condition from becoming worse. When patients take combinations of medications, managing them becomes even more important. Some heart failure medicines may require dietary modifications, such as aldosterone antagonists. These drugs can elevate your potassium level to a potentially dangerous point, and so your internal medicine practitioner may give you a low-potassium meal plan to follow. Another consideration is side effects. All drugs have the potential for side effects, and you won’t necessarily experience any major problems. If you do, talk to your internist—he or she may be able to prescribe a different drug within the same class.
Good nutrition is important for everyone, regardless of health status. However, it’s even more crucial for heart failure patients to eat a heart-healthy diet. Your internist will work with you to design a meal plan that you’ll enjoy and find easy to follow. An ideal diet for heart failure includes:
- Lots of vegetables and fruits
- Whole grains, rather than refined grains
- Lean proteins
- Nonfat or low-fat dairy products
- Negligible amounts of sodium
Too much sodium in your diet leads to water retention. This is indicated by swollen legs, ankles, and feet. Water retention forces your heart to work harder, causing shortness of breath.
Weight Loss Counseling
Heart failure patients are often advised to lose weight as obesity can lead to cardiovascular problems. Following the internist’s recommended meal plan is an effective way to reach a healthier weight. Your doctor will also likely discuss your exercise recommendations, and help you stay on track with your lifestyle plan.
Collagen is a protein that gives skin its structure, resiliency, and strength. Smooth, youthful skin looks that way thanks to the presence of plenty of collagen. Over time, your body no longer produces as much collagen. This causes the skin to gradually take on a thinner and drier appearance, and it causes the skin to be more fragile. It is possible to boost your body’s production of collagen with the use of technology like Ultherapy . Consider visiting a doctor serving Mt. Kisco and the surrounding Westchester County, and asking whether Ultherapy could be right for you.
Ultherapy is an advanced skin treatment based on ultrasound technology. Your provider can apply the handheld applicator to your skin to emit ultrasound energy that penetrates the skin. This energy stimulates the production of collagen. During the next few months, you’ll see the treated skin become taut and more youthful-looking. Of course, Ultherapy can’t mimic the results of a surgical facelift, but it is worth trying if you’re interested in a “mini lift” without having to go through potentially risky surgery.
Some weight loss programs suggest making small changes that add up over time, while others propose more restrictive, but short-term dietary changes that give patients a jump start on their weight loss. If making small changes hasn’t worked for you, then perhaps OPTIFAST® will. OPTIFAST ® is a program offered by some weight loss doctors, including Dr. Briones, who serves Mt. Kisco and the surrounding Westchester County. Because OPTIFAST® requires significant, albeit short-term changes, it also requires a longer preparation period than most diets.
Schedule a health evaluation.
OPTIFAST® is a medically supervised weight loss program. It isn’t possible to purchase the meal replacement products at a store. Your doctor must determine that OPTIFAST® is right for you before you can get started. First, you’ll have a thorough health evaluation. Your doctor will check your body mass index (BMI), health history, metabolism, and heart health. Based on the results, your doctor will determine how many OPTIFAST® products you should consume each day you’re on the diet.
Clear out your kitchen.
Since OPTIFAST® requires you to only consume a certain number of meal replacement products each day, you might find it helpful to clear out your kitchen before your first day on the program. It’ll be easier to avoid temptation if the only edibles in your home are OPTIFAST® products.
Adjust your schedule.
It won’t be possible to join friends for brunch or have a romantic dinner at a restaurant with your significant other. Check your calendar for the coming weeks, and reschedule any outings as needed. Some dieters decide to start OPTIFAST® during a time of the year when they’re typically under less stress, such as after the end of year holidays.
Understand what to expect on OPTIFAST®.
Your weight loss doctor will thoroughly educate you about the OPTIFAST® diet. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. For most patients, OPTIFAST® lasts 26 weeks. Individual results vary, but most people who stick with the program can expect to lose an average of 50 pounds. Your doctor will closely monitor your health the entire time. This program consists of three phases. On day one, you’ll start with the Active Weight Loss Phase. This is when you’ll consume OPTIFAST® products for all your meals. Then, you’ll enter the Transition Program, during which you’ll gradually transition to preparing approved recipes . The third phase is the Long-Term Weight Management Phase.
CoolSculpting is a popular treatment in Mt. Kisco and the surrounding Westchester County. It’s an effective way to selectively target the bulges of fat that haven’t been responding well to diet and exercise. CoolSculpting is a safe, FDA-approved, noninvasive treatment that harnesses cryolipolysis technology to kill the fat cells in the targeted area.
Watch this video to learn more about CoolSculpting. This non-surgical fat reduction method is appropriate for addressing fat deposits of the abdomen, hips, thighs, and double chin area. After the treatment, the body naturally processes the dead fat cells and eliminates them. This takes a few weeks, which means patients’ results will improve over time. Immediately after CoolSculpting treatment, patients can return to their usual activities—no downtime required!
Losing weight is a major accomplishment, but it’s only half the battle. It’s all too easy to gain back the pounds you lost. This is known as rebound weight gain, and it’s often the result of returning to old, unhealthy habits once the individual is no longer actively participating in a weight loss program. You can significantly reduce your risk of rebound weight gain by seeking the guidance of a weight loss doctor serving Mt. Kisco and the surrounding Westchester County. He or she can direct you to time-tested weight management methods, such as the following.
Overcome unhealthy responses to stress.
Weight loss programs can get you to your goal weight, but to maintain your slimmer body, you’ll have to make permanent lifestyle changes. These include practicing good stress management. Many people are “stress eaters.” In response to stressful events or strong emotions, they turn to comfort foods like cheesy casseroles and decadent cakes. Instead, take a proactive approach to stress management by getting in the habit of meditating every day, taking a yoga class, or simply getting outdoors to enjoy nature. Unplugging from electronics on occasion is also a great way to relax. If you do become stressed out and you’re tempted to deviate from your healthy diet, try taking a few deep breaths, drinking a glass of water, and going for a walk. By the time you’re done, the cravings will likely be gone.
Prioritize your exercise routine.
Some experts say that exercise is even more important for weight maintenance than it is for weight loss. Make exercise part of your normal routine. Ideally, get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days of the week, along with regular strength training sessions. Since physical fitness is a lifelong endeavor, it’s a good idea to periodically mix up your routine to prevent boredom. Find a new workout buddy, invest in some workout equipment, or try something completely new, like jumping rope or rollerblading.
Weigh yourself every week.
People who successfully keep the weight off tend to weigh themselves regularly. You’ll be able to spot upward trends in your weight before your clothes become too tight. This enables you to take a closer look at your diet and workout to figure out what you should change.
Weight loss programs that include doctor-supervised diet and exercise plans are the most effective ways to lose weight. However, you can complement your efforts with non-surgical weight loss methods to sculpt your body more quickly. Dr. Briones, serving Mt. Kisco and the surrounding Westchester County, is a leading provider of non-surgical fat reduction options that use laser, ultrasound, and cryolipolysis technology.
Laser Fat Reduction
You may be familiar with the term “laser liposuction,” which combines conventional liposuction with laser technology. This involves liquefying the fat to suction it more gently out of the body, and it also stimulates collagen production to tighten the skin. The problem with laser lipo is that it’s still surgery, which many patients prefer to avoid. Instead, consider a noninvasive method of laser fat reduction. This innovative technology doesn’t require any incisions or recovery time. Instead, the laser safely penetrates the skin to destroy the fat cells underneath, causing the body to naturally eliminate the fat. The result is an impressive loss of inches around the treated areas, which may include the abdomen, hips, and thighs.
Ultrasound Fat Reduction
Another popular method for reducing fat without surgery is the use of ultrasound technology. Like the laser method, ultrasound fat reduction doesn’t require anesthetics, incisions, or a recovery period. It’s a safe, FDA-approved method that directs pulses of ultrasound energy at the target areas. This energy selectively destroys the fat cells, without harming the surrounding healthy tissue. Best results are typically seen with three to four sessions. Patients report a virtually discomfort-free experience, with no telltale redness or swelling afterward.
Cryotherapy Fat Reduction
Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, is available under the brand name CoolSculpting. CoolSculpting uses cryolipolysis technology to direct intense cold at the fat cells. The fat cells freeze and die, and are gradually eliminated from the body. CoolSculpting can be used to treat pockets of stubborn fat on the thighs, abdomen, hips, and even under the chin. Although fat cells can’t come back once they’re destroyed, it is possible for the remaining fat cells to grow larger. Sticking to a healthy diet and workout program will help you maintain your slim physique.
If you’re struggling to lose weight and you’re concerned about your risk of chronic diseases, you may wish to look for weight loss doctors in Mt. Kisco and the surrounding Westchester County who offer functional medicine services. Functional medicine for weight loss refers to the way in which the doctor views the patient. Rather than separating symptoms, conditions, and concerns, the doctor will take a holistic, integrative approach to the patient’s health. As part of the strategy to lose weight, functional medicine encourages the evaluation and treatment of the whole body and its systems—from the gastrointestinal and endocrine system to the immune system and cardiovascular system.
At a weight loss clinic, a functional medicine approach will evaluate both environmental and internal lifestyle factors that could be causing the patient’s problems. Because functional medicine is an integrative, comprehensive way of approaching wellness, it is applicable for patients with all sorts of chronic conditions, including eating disorders, diabetes, food sensitivities, and even depression.
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