Toronto naturopathic doctor

Medical Weight Loss and FirstLine® Therapy

Be healthy, feel great

The negative health effects associated with, not only obesity, but with being overweight or having excess body-fat are now accepted by healthcare professionals of all disciplines.

A very limited list of health conditions associated with obesity includes:

  • Heart disease (including a four-times increased risk of death from heart disease)
  • Type-2 diabetes mellitus
  • At least 13 types of cancer (including increased risk of developing breast, prostate and colon cancers; and a two-times increased risk of death from cancer in general)
  • Infertility (obese women are 43% less likely to become pregnant compared to “overweight” and other “non-obese” women)
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Liver and gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis 
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Sleep apnea
  • Early loss of quality of life (between 3-6 years for men and women respectively)
  • Early death (by as many as 5-20 years; and a 6-12-times increase compared to the general population)

Are you “overweight”?

Overweight and obese are defined in terms of your body mass index (BMI) score. “Overweight” is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) value of 25.0-29.9. “Obese” is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) value of 30.0 or higher.

You can calculate your body mass index (BMI) score here.

Are you “overfat”?

Potentially more important to health than your body mass index (BMI) score, is your body composition. A short, muscular person may have a high body mass index (BMI) score, but in fact be very healthy.

It is excess “adiposity” (body fat) that adversely affects your health, not simply greater than average weight.

Body composition can be determined by bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). This is calculated using a quick, painless, simple in-office procedure.

How can we help?

Naturopathic doctors have more training in nutrition and the biochemistry of decreasing body-fat content than “conventional” medical doctors; and more training in understanding the health conditions associated with obesity, and the psychological and social obstacles to successful lifestyle change than dieticians and nutritionists.

As such, naturopathic doctors are in the unique position to be able to create customized weight management programs that include consideration of your co-existing health conditions, unique nutritional requirements, budget, lifestyle and time constraints; and which can eventually become the basis for a healthy lifestyle.

Medical Weight Loss at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

Every patient at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine receives a personalized treatment plan, but a typical approach to creating a weight management program may include:

  • Measuring baseline values for weight, body mass index (BMI) and body composition (e.g., body-fat percentage)
  • Establishing healthy, attainable goals for weight, body mass index (BMI) score and body-fat percentage
  • Identifying and addressing motivational and psycho-social obstacles to success
  • Creation of a “holistic” nutritional plan, incorporating avoidance of poorly tolerated foods, ideal foods for management of co-existing health conditions (e.g., foods that lower potential for inflammation for those with arthritis)
  • Optimizing nutrition by including phytochemcials (plant chemicals) in your diet to increase immune system function and anti-oxidant levels, and decrease inflammation
  • Prescription of nutritional supplements or metabolic detoxification protocols to support dietary changes
  • Consistent professional support, clinically proven to increase success rate in weight management programs

What is FirstLine® Therapy, and is it right for me?

FirstLine Therapy® is a meal plan and medical food-based weight management program designed to normalize the health effects of cardio-metabolic syndrome (i.e., increased blood-cholesterol, triglyceride and blood sugar levels) by weight loss.

Although developed for the treatment of cardio-metabolic syndrome, FirstLine Therapy® can applied to any setting in which weight loss and improvements in body composition are desired.

A 12-week clinical trial of persons diagnosed as having cardio-metabolic syndrome and hypercholesterolemia demonstrated that participation in a FirstLine Therapy® program resulted in:

  • Reduced weight by 13 pounds
  • Reduced systolic blood pressure by measures 4.9%
  • Reduced diastolic blood pressure by measures 5.7%
  • Reduced triglyceride levels by 35.2%
  • Reduced cholesterol levels by 14.5%
  • Reduced low-density lipoprotein (“bad” cholesterol) levels by 17.3%
  • Increased high-density lipoprotein (“good” cholesterol) by 7.0%
  • Reduced fasting blood-glucose levels by 2.2%
  • Reduced fasting insulin levels by 26.8%

After 12-weeks, 43% of study participants health was improved to the point they no longer met the criteria of having cardio-metabolic syndrome.

The benefits of a FirstLine Therapy® program to reduce cholesterol and blood-glucose levels is comparable to those gained using conventional treatments, but without unpleasant side effects.

“Statin” medications used to manage high cholesterol have been found to reduce “bad cholesterol” by greater than 17.3%, but are less effective in reducing weight, blood pressure, triglyceride levels, and do not increase “good” cholesterol levels as effectively. “Statins” have over 73 known side effects, including diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, heartburn, indigestion, abdominal pain, abdominal gas, nasal congestion, headache, back pain, face pain, painful urination, insomnia and decreased libido.

Metformin hydrochloride, commonly used to manage diabetes symptoms, depending on the dosage and frequency of use, will reduce fasting blood-glucose levels by 2.8 to 10.1%, and fasting insulin levels by 29%, but has over 69 side effects, include diarrhea in over 53% of users, and interacts with over 680 other pharmaceuticals.

FirstLine Therapy® has no side effects. However, the side benefits of reduction of cholesterol and blood sugar by weight loss and improved body composition include:

  • Decreased risk of developing all the health conditions associated with increased weight
  • Decreased inflammation and “aches and pains”
  • Lower foods costs
  • Increased energy
  • Improved sleep-quality
  • Improved self-confidence

Are medial weight loss and FirstLine Therapy® appointments covered by O.H.I.P.?

O.H.I.P. does not pay for naturopathic medicine services, but as a government-regulated healthcare profession, services offered by naturopathic doctors, including medical weight loss and FirstLine Therapy® appointments provided at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine are covered by most extended healthcare plans.

References

Obesity [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; [cited 2015 Apr 1]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obesity/basics/complications/con-20014834.

Obesity [Internet]. Medscape; [cited 2016 Aug 24]. Available from: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/123702-overview#a6.

Obesity and cancer risk [Internet]. National Cancer Institute; [cited 2015 Apr 1]. Available from: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/causes-prevention/risk/weight-activity/obesity-fact-sheet.

Obesity linked to infertility in women [Internet]. WebMD; [cited 2016 Aug 24]. Available from: http://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/news/20071211/obesity-linked-to-infertility-in-women.

Brønnum-Hansen H, Juel K, Davidsen M, Sørensen J. Impact of selected risk factors on quality-adjusted life expectancy in Denmark. Scand J Public Health. 2007 Oct; 35(5):510-515.

Moderate obesity takes years off life expectancy [Internet]. ScienceDaily; 2009 [cited 2015 Apr 1]. Available from: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090319224823.htm.

Blackburn GL. Comparison of medically supervised and unsupervised approaches to weight loss and control. Ann Intern Med. 1993 Oct 1; 119(7 Pt 2):714-8.

Lipitor side effects [Internet]. Drugs.com; [cited 2015 Apr 2]. Available from: http://www.drugs.com/sfx/lipitor-side-effects.html.

Metformin side effects [Internet]. Drugs.com; [cited 2015 Apr 2]. Available from: http://www.drugs.com/sfx/metformin-side-effects.html.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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