Obesity Is A Disease
The most common misconception when it comes to obesity is that people need to just stop eating too much and go exercise. Simplistic at best, and completely false at worse, it offers no real solution for those who are trying to lose weight. Why? Obesity is a disease and it must be treated as one. The World Health Organization and the National Institute of Health both define obesity as a chronic relapsing medical disease. Let’s break that term down:
- CHRONIC: You are not going to cure it. You are going to need to manage it for the rest of your life.
- RELAPSING: Refers to chronic you don’t just lose the weight once and expect it to stay off. (Actually, many people do expect that.) It can come BACK.
- MEDICAL DISEASE: It is a disease that needs to be treated. It’s not a weakness that the patient should just be able to get under control on their own.
Let’s take a look at diabetes, another chronic, relapsing, medical disease. Here is a clinical example:
A 5′ 2?, 250 pounds, 48 year old Caucasian woman is in her doctor’s office and her lab work shows she has a fasting blood sugar (no food for 12 hours) of 180 mg/dL (normal is 99 mg/dL or less). Her doctor diagnoses her with Type 2 diabetes and gives her a prescription of an oral diabetes medicine. She may receive a referral to the diabetes educator or a one-time visit to a dietician.
After two weeks, the patient returns for a checkup with the doctor and a finger stick blood sugar shows a random blood sugar of 92 mg/dL. Does the doctor say ,”That’s great! Now that your blood sugar is normal, you can stop the medication!?” Of course not! He/she is treating a Chronic Relapsing Medical Disease. If the medication is stopped, what will happen to the blood sugar? Yep, you guessed it, it will go back up!
If she could lose 10%-20% of her weight by changing the quality/quantity/and timing of her food guess what most likely would happen to her blood sugar? It would come way down. Though there is never a guarantee that it would normalize, but it’s a definite possibility. But notice what was not treated? Her obesity. Here is another example. A 5′ 9?, 52 year old man that is 292 pounds has a blood pressure of 185/98 (High Blood Pressure). What will the doctor do? Obviously, the doctor will treat it. The patient gets put on a high blood pressure medicine. Two weeks later, the same patient comes in with a blood pressure of 120/80. Does the doctor take the patient off the medicine? Well, NO. The doctor is treating a Chronic Relapsing Medical Disease. If the blood pressure medicine is stopped, what will happen to his blood pressure? It will go back up. Again, if the patient got his nutrition under control and lost 10% of his weight what do you think would naturally happen to his blood pressure? It would go down. Which is the disease and which is the symptom?
The Disease is Obesity and the Symptom is High Blood Pressure. You could say the same thing for patients with high cholesterol or a combination of hypertension, diabetes and high blood pressure. The medical community treats all of these conditions. But we never treat the obesity. It has been well established that obesity can cause or even worsen many medical ailments. Unfortunately, many in the medical community not only don’t treat obesity, they minimalize it. As a result, there are thirty thousand diets and two rows of weight loss remedies that are over-the-counter at Wal-Mart and your local grocery store. You don’t see two rows of blood pressure or diabetes remedies over-the-counter at Wal-Mart. They are behind the counter with the pharmacist. These obese patients are desperate and have to attempt to treat it themselves. Guess what? IT AIN’T WORKING!
We Need To Treat Obesity As A Disease
Why as medical practitioners do we not treat obesity? Because we (the medical community) don’t know how. We are not even trained that obesity is a disease. Maybe the medical students of today are getting some education but for the majority of practitioners in the trenches of medical care, we don’t have the first clue on how to treat obesity. In my experience, I cannot even remember seeing any education about obesity but I learned how to treat Malaria and Intermittent Acute Porphyria and in 11 years of practicing medicine have never seen a case of either. After seven years of medical training and achieving my first board certification in Emergency medicine, I had a major moment of realization in my own personal life. I was a 3rd year senior emergency resident, I was 38 years old and I found myself at 250 pounds. This was the heaviest I had ever been and my weight was starting to cause some major medical issues.
I did Atkins, the Zone, Slim Fast, Sugar-Busters, and Atkins again, Nutra-Systems, Jenny Craig, South Beach and even Cabbage Soup Diet. I was desperate. I would lose weight, plateau then regain over and over. I, the doctor, had to self teach myself what I was not taught in my first seven years of medical training; how to treat my own obesity as a disease. Obesity is incredibly complex. I’m not just talking about all the good and bad stressors in your life and all the medical conditions, medications and family dynamics, jobs, marriages, divorces, traveling, children, illnesses, man in your life, woman in your life, kids in your life or a variety of other contributors.
It is incredibly complex within all the intricacies of the body. There are numerous neurochemicals involved with the brain that mediate desires, satisfaction and hunger cravings. Our emotional and medical state can change those levels. The types of foods you eat can affect the different levels of these neurochemicals. There are neuro (brain) gastro (intestine) endocrines (hormones) that communicate between the gut and the brain that also control your hunger, your satisfaction, your cravings. The fat cell itself has been found to be an incredibly complex cell that secretes over 10 different hormones that control your hunger and satisfaction.
The Food You Eat Affects Your Body
Then, of course, the food you eat stimulates all of these signals that can cause satisfaction, pleasure (brief), or even worsen hunger. Yes, food can make you hungry! Then the food we eat affects blood sugar levels, which affects insulin levels, which in turn affect blood sugar levels, which can affect your brain chemicals which then affects your hunger. I could go on, but I think you get my drift! So, let me ask you this? Do you think “burning energy” (losing weight) is as simple as stop eating and go exercise? When I am searching for new products to add to the CarbEssentials line, there are two very famous quotes that are the foundation of the criteria that I use. The first quote goes like this:
Isn’t it sad to see that in the last 100 years that this has not happened?
The second quote:
Isn’t that a great thought process? If you take care of your body and eat better quality nutrition the body will take care of itself. That was said by a very wise man around 2200 years ago. Back when junk food didn’t exist and fast food meant you had to chase it down, Hippocrates knew that our bodies need quality nutrition to be healthy. If you are struggling with the disease of obesity, you need to seek medical treatment from a specialist who is trained in the treatment of overweight and obesity. (Go to www.carbessentials.net for a link to the American Society Of Bariatric Physicians.) There is something you can do first that is simple and will make an immediate difference. The first step in this whole process is to actually eat! Don’t go all day without eating because your life gets so damn busy and then eat all at once at the end of the day. Do you honestly think that is healthy for you?
The Carbessentials concept and the Sneal® concept (www.Snealtime.com) matches perfectly with the philosophies of those two famous men. The foods available through www.Carbessentials.net are of the highest quality. They come in smaller amounts and most are single-servings to avoid overeating. By eating these “Sneals®” every two to three hours throughout your day, your body will respond to you and you will have “made your food your medicine.”