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Updates in Obesity Part 1 of 3 – The chronic disease epidemic

We need to live with the fact obesity is a chronic disease much like hypertension and diabetes. It requires both a multidisciplinary approach and on-going care. 

In this three part series, Dr Jelena Radosavljevic from CBD Doctors Melbourne will discuss myths, diets and the best way to take control of this epidemic.

In this century the human population has learned how to control many diseases, however there are different conditions that require more care, attention and action than others – one of these conditions is obesity.

Obesity is associated with increased risk of diabetes, coronary artery disease, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnoea, low self-esteem, bullying, depression and self-harm.

If we understand obesity as a chronic disease we will learn how to control it better.  Every patient with hypertension, diabetes or thyroid disease undergoes regular treatment and monitoring by their regular doctor – usually every three, six, twelve months. We assess these patients regularly with a goal to control the disease, reduce medical complications.  The end goal is to increase life expectancy, reduce co-morbidities, and improve their quality of life.

We don’t however do this with patients dealing with obesity, with many myths and impediments in diagnosing, addressing and managing.  Such myths and obstacles do not only exist on the patients’ side, they are also on doctors’ side. On top of this there may be a stigma around obesity and people suffering may also feel ashamed.

We need to focus on the broader overarching points of understanding the why, when and how of obesity – and in what way we can best treat it in general practice.

There are different approaches and all of them include a patient, a doctor, a dietitian, sports physician, and psychologist. Many of these approaches include medications and surgical intervention assisted by dietary supplements and complementary medicines.

Up until now despite very intense research we did not find one treatment that is a miracle treatment.  There is no one single treatment or ‘magic bullet’ that fits all patients to solve the obesity puzzle.

In the next part of ‘Updates in Obesity’ we will take a closer look into the myths and diets that assist around this condition.

 

Dr Jelena Radosavljevic

Practice Principal, CBD Doctors Melbourne

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