What is a Bariatric Physician?
Bariatricians, or obesity medicine specialists, are physicians trained to treat the disease of obesity and its related conditions. Weight loss doctors dedicate their practice to helping people lose weight, keep weight off and recover from obesity-related illnesses like diabetes. Every medical obesity specialist must first be educated in another medical field. These physicians have backgrounds in obstetrics and gynecology, family practice, internal medicine and other specialties.
Dr. Paul Thaxton has studied the medical origins of obesity for many years and his concern about its impact on the quality of life of his patients led him to become a Bariatric Physician. Dr. Thaxton is a Diplomat of both the American Board of Bariatric Physicians and the American Board of Obesity Medicine.
Bariatric Physicians conduct a thorough evaluation to assess all the various factors that contribute to and perpetuate a weight problem. This evaluation includes a complete history, physical exam and laboratory testing. Included in this evaluation are the assessment of current and past medical problems, medications, historical weight patterns, previous weight loss attempts, behavioral eating patterns and a dietary/nutrition evaluation. This initial evaluation is designed to uncover any medical, metabolic or behavioral problems that need to be addressed.
After an initial evaluation, a Bariatric Physician will design and implement an individualized and problem-focused treatment plan based on each patient’s goals and preferences. This plan includes nutrition strategy, behavioral changes, exercise and, if warranted, the use of medications to help control hunger. Frequent follow-up includes: education, trouble shooting, goal-setting, encouragement, accountability, and monitoring of safety.
Once a patient meets his or her weight loss goals a long term maintenance program is crucial to help ensure long term weight loss. A Bariatric Physician is uniquely equipped to help you reach these goals and remain successful.