Obesity (Weight Loss)
Obesity is well-managed using naturopathic medicine.
Obesity is a condition defined as having an excessive amount of body fat, or a “body mass index” (BMI) score of 30 or greater. It is not only a cosmetic concern, but it also increases your risk of many diseases and other health problems.
Obesity is caused by a variety of factors, including genetic and hormonal influences and caloric balance. Excess dietary calories are stored in the body as fat.
Complications of obesity include heart disease, type-2 diabetes mellitus, a variety of cancers and gynecological problems (e.g., infertility, irregular periods), metabolic syndrome, osteoarthritis, fatty liver disease, sleep apnea, impaired quality of life and early death.
Seek professional healthcare if you have a body mass index (BMI) score of greater than 30, or if you experience symptoms associated with obesity.
You can calculate your body mass index (BMI) score here.
Symptoms of Obesity
Possible symptoms of obesity include:
- Back and joint pain
- Shortness of breath with minor exertion
- Constant sensation of warmth and excessive sweating
- Rashes or infections in folds of your skin
- Snoring, poor sleep quality or sleep apnea
- Daytime sleepiness or fatigue
Treatment of Obesity at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine
At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, the goals of obesity treatment are to create a healthy lifestyle to reduce body mass index (BMI) value into a healthy range, improve body composition (i.e., ratio of muscle to fat tissue), improve overall well-being (i.e., energy, confidence) and maintain gains long-term.
Conventional treatment for obesity may include surgery and variety of medications, including Meridia® and Xenical®. These treatments may have short- or long-term side effects.
For this reason, you may choose to try natural treatment to possibly avoid use of conventional medications, or together with conventional medications in order to decrease dosages of conventional medications required to help you manage obesity.
Naturopathic treatment of any chronic health concern must be recognized as a process that involves:
- Identifying specific treatment goals
- Development by your naturopathic doctor, of a thorough understanding of all factors affecting your health, including physical, psychological, emotional and lifestyle factors
- Development of a comprehensive treatment plan
- Implementation and maintenance of that plan through periodic monitoring and adjustment
At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, a typical approach to treating obesity may be to:
- Identify and address underlying factors in your lifestyle (e.g., poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, poor stress management, smoking, use of certain medications, social and economic issues) or general health (e.g., diabetes mellitus) that may be contributing development of obesity
- Create a lifestyle plan that integrates obesity treatment “responsibilities” (e.g., healthy meal preparation, exercise) into your present lifestyle
- Create a sustainable nutritional plan that is calorically and nutritionally balanced
- Support your nutritional plan with nutritional supplements
Where appropriate, a number of therapeutic options are available, to be used alone, or more often in a complementary fashion, including:
- Nutritional counseling
- Nutritional supplements
- Metabolic detoxification protocols
- Botanical (herbal) medicines
- Bowen Therapy
- Exercise prescription
- Relaxation (meditation) training
- Lifestyle medicine and counseling
- Registered massage therapy
To learn more about our approach to managing obesity and weight loss, please visit our page on Medical Weight Loss and FirstLine® Therapy.
Treatments provided by naturopathic doctors and registered massage therapists are covered by most extended healthcare plans.
Obesity [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; [cited 2010 Jan 16]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obesity/DS00314.
Obesity [Internet]. Medscape; [cited 2016 Aug 24]. Available from: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/123702-overview#a6.