Bariatrics is a field of medication focusing on weight loss and the overall health of obese patients. This includes surgical options as well as a plan of care that doesn't include surgery. The care plan is based on the patient and their weight and health.
Bariatric care focuses on a plan for obese patients to lose weight and increase overall health. To decide bariatric care is right for you or a loved one, you must understand who benefits and why.
Who Needs Bariatric Care?
Doctors use a patient's body mass index, or BMI, to determine obesity. The calculation for BMI takes weight into consideration with height. Whether a person is considered obese depends on where the BMI falls on a chart. Patients with a BMI of 30 or greater are considered obese.
All obese patients are considered bariatric patients. This also means they receive bariatric care.
What Does Bariatric Care Include?
Bariatric care works with obese patients to lose excessive weight. The goal is to use a variety of tools, such as diet, exercise, behavior therapy, and bariatric surgery, to help an obese patient reach a healthier weight. The goal is to reduce a patient's BMI and lower their risk of developing chronic disease.
What Are The Health Risks For Bariatric Patients?
The more overweight a patient is, the higher the risk a patient has of developing chronic disease. Obesity significantly increases the risk of some dangerous conditions that increase morbidity and mortality.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Sleep apnea
Reducing weight greatly reduces disease risks. For patients already dealing with a chronic disease, weight loss helps reduce severity and symptoms.
What Is The Role Of A Bariatric Care Team?
Doctors and nurses treating bariatric patients work to provide support and education along with medical care. Medical professionals help patients understand the importance of weight loss and the treatment plan to reach their goals.
Doctors also monitor and treat any chronic conditions patients have as they work to lose weight. The care teams also work with patients to decide which treatment plan is best based on BMI and overall health. In some cases, bariatric surgery is an option. A patient with a BMI of 40 or greater is considered morbidly obese and can consider surgery as a weight-loss option.
Obesity is a common issue that doctors see and treat. Excessive weight is unhealthy, but with bariatric treatment plans, a patient can lose weight and live a healthier, more active life.