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What questions should I ask my doctor about obesity?

Nicole Florence, MD
Internal Medicine
It's important to review your ongoing medical issues, as well as medications which may be contributing to your obesity. There are instances where we as phycicans may unintentionally have a patient on medication which may contribute or prevent them from reaching their goal. A full physical and blood panel may also provide insight into a metabolic issue as a barrier, such as sleep apnea or prediabetes as examples. It is important to also address areas such as nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle/mood as possible barriers. A bariatrician and weight-loss team may also assist in this process, if available, to provide a comprehensive assessment and individual plan for you
Review the following questions about obesity so you're prepared to discuss this important health issue with your healthcare professional.
  1. Have my body composition and risk factors -- as well as my height and weight -- been considered in your diagnosis?
  2. Based on my current weight and eating patterns and goal weight, how many calories a day should I eat in my weight loss efforts?
  3. Based on my fitness level, how much and what types of exercise would be best for me to start with?
  4. Do I need to undergo an electrocardiogram or other type of test before beginning an exercise program? What is my resting heart rate? What should my heart rate be while I'm exercising? What signals should I watch out for while I'm exercising that could tell me I'm overdoing it?
  5. I know it will take time and effort to change my eating and physical activity habits. Can you recommend a registered dietitian to help me achieve my goals?
  6. How will I be evaluated to determine if I am an appropriate candidate for appetite suppressant medication treatment?
  7. What other medical conditions or medications might influence my decision to take an appetite suppressant medication?
  8. Am I a candidate for obesity surgery? Why or why not?
  9. What are the complications or possible side effects of any type of diets, medication, surgery or other treatment you are recommending? What symptoms should I watch for?
  10. What kind of program will help me maintain my weight loss?

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.