Beyond Calories and Exercise – New Insights on Taming Obesity

obesity

 Functional medicine specialist Uday Jani, MD presents free library talks in November:

  • Wednesday, November 2, 3 to 4:30 pm, Lewes Public Library, 111 Adams Avenue
  • Thursday, November 3, 5:30 to 7:00 pm, Milton Public Library, 121 Union Street

If you’ve tried a series of the latest ‘no-fail’ diet programs, eliminated fat, dialed back the calories, pumped up the exercise, but still haven’t lost weight… it may be time to get to the root of the problem. Functional medicine looks at diet in a very different way, according to Dr. Uday Jani, a well-respected local internist who specializes in functional and integrative medicine.

“We consider the root cause of obesity in each individual, which can result from myriad factors,” he explains. “These can include eating foods packed with preservatives and additives, environmental toxins, hormonal changes and stress. All are prevalent parts of our lifestyle…but all make it difficult to lose weight and to keep it off.”

At his November library presentations, Dr. Jani will offer a new perspective on obesity, with effective strategies for finding a better way to tackle what is often a lifelong challenge.

“There is no ‘quick fix’ or one answer for everyone,” he says. “That is why the functional medicine approach, taking into account patient-specific issues, often succeeds where more traditional strategies don’t.”

Functional medicine begins with a thorough and highly individualized physical to identify the origins of obesity in the patient. Creating a personal timeline of when obesity began – in childhood, a steady creeping up in the middle years, or a sudden weight gain – is essential to effective intervention, says Jani.

“While there are genetic factors that can impact weight, there are early environmental influences that can be responsible for the way insulin is processed or nutrients are absorbed,” explains Jani. Potential triggers for weight gain can also be viewed through the prism of the patient’s history, and thoughtfully addressed.

Medical conditions may be at the root, such as an imbalance in estrogen, progesterone or testosterone levels; chronic inflammation caused by certain foods or vitamin or mineral deficiencies; low levels of brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine; thyroid problems; or elevated cortisol, the stress hormone released from the adrenal glands.

Other, less common causes are also studied. Sleep disorders, for instance, can have a significant impact on weight. “How much sleep patients are getting each night is an important question to ask, because there is a strong link between obesity and inadequate sleep, even the possibility of sleep apnea.” Digestion and absorption problems such as those caused by imbalances in the microbiota (bacteria in the digestive system) can influence weight gain as well, and may require a high-fiber diet to restore a healthy balance. Other factors considered: immune and inflammatory processes, psychological and spiritual equilibrium, relationships with family and friends and attention to self-care.

“Going beyond the traditional diet and exercise regimen to get to the root causes can make a profound difference in treating obesity,” says Dr. Jani. “I encourage those who are struggling with this issue to come and learn about this unique, and very effective approach.”

Coming up…

Dr. Jani will also offer advice to males dealing with the challenges of aging at a talk later this year, titled “Life in the Middle Ages: Understanding Male Menopause.” Issues ranging from a depressed libido and erectile dysfunction to increased risk of prostate problems will be explored and coping strategies discussed. The community is welcome to attend:

  • Tuesday, December 6, 5:30 to 7:00 pm, Milton Public Library
  • Wednesday, December 7, 3 to 4:30 pm, Lewes Public Library

About Dr. Jani

Dr Jani, a board-certified Internist, completed a two year Integrative Medicine fellowship in 2012 at the University of Arizona under Dr. Andrew Weil, the renowned founder of Integrative Medicine. The Fellowship in Integrative Medicine has achieved international recognition as the leading integrative medical education program in the world. Dr. Jani’s concierge medicine practice, Shore View Personal Care, is located at 28312 Lewes Georgetown Hwy, Milton, DE. For more information, please call (302) 684-0990 or visit his website at www.udayjanimd.com.

Sources: The Institute for Functional Medicine; PracticeUpdate, Getting to the Root Cause of Obesity, May 2014

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