How Functional Medicine Improves Obesity and Heart Health in Dallas
It’s no secret that everyone is worried about their weight, but how often are your patients concerned about their heart health? Most people latch onto fad diets and diet culture misinformation. But are doctors addressing heart health holistically or prescribing a quick fix?
Functional medicine is the holistic approach to reducing obesity and poor heart health rates in Dallas by viewing the body as a whole. This approach implements lifestyle changes that will improve overall health, including the heart. Here’s how functional medicine can reduce your patient’s risk of obesity and increase their heart health.
Obesity and Heart Health in Dallas
Unfortunately, obesity is common in our country, with a national rate of 41.9%. In 2020, Texas reported having a 35.7% obesity rate in the state, and the Dallas area is just below, reporting 33.1% obesity. How did we get here, and what causes obesity?
Many doctors have been asking these questions but are finding it hard to provide sustainable healthcare. Patients often spiral into yo-yo dieting, which wrecks their metabolisms and develops an unhealthy relationship with food, exercise, and body image.
As we know, obesity happens when a person consumes more calories than they burn during their regular activity and exercise, causing the body to store it as fat. But it’s often more complex. Obesity can be exacerbated by factors such as genetics. Also, when our body isn’t working optimally, it makes digestion, weight loss, and exercise harder to achieve.
The solution is not to stress about just eating less or exercising more, but to identify the root problem. Functional medicine is about identifying the root cause of a health issue and then creating a plan to correct the issue.
By addressing the root cause behind heart health issues with functional medicine strategies, you help patients live longer, enjoy activities they once loved, and have less stress about their health.
How Obesity Causes Poor Heart Health
Obesity isn’t just about how someone looks on the outside. Being overweight can cause your overall health to diminish quickly. Penn Medicine has outlined three ways that obesity can contribute to poor heart health:
- Changes cholesterol levels
- Raises blood pressure
- May lead to diabetes
Let’s break this down a bit more.
Obesity can contribute to poor heart health by changing your cholesterol levels. Not only does obesity cause bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels to increase, but it can also lower good high-density lipoproteins (HDL) cholesterol. This type of cholesterol is needed to remove bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
The second way that obesity can contribute to poor heart health is by causing your blood pressure to rise. When a person is overweight they need more blood to supply oxygen and nutrients to their bodies, which can cause an increase in blood pressure. The body will also require more pressure to move the blood around. High blood pressure can lead to heart attacks because the heart is working too hard.
The third way that obesity contributes to poor heart health is by causing diabetes. People that are obese are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with diabetes, which commonly leads to heart disease.
These are just a few ways obesity causes poor heart health, but being overweight can lead to many diseases and illnesses. When someone is overweight, the joints receive added pressure, causing the body to work harder than it should.
Patients that are obese should be made aware of these realities and should consider functional medicine strategies to reduce their weight and increase their heart health. You should focus on the improvement of their overall health if they reduce their weight, rather than their aesthetics. With this goal in mind, functional medicine is ideal for reducing obesity and increasing heart health.
How Functional Medicine Improves Obesity and Poor Heart Health
The functional medicine approach is all about looking at the root problem behind an illness, not one isolated symptom. Once you can identify the cause of a disease or illness, you can treat and prevent it from happening again. This applies to obesity as well.
There are simple lifestyle changes that patients can make to reduce their weight or prevent obesity: adding whole foods to their diets, exercising more, and reducing the number of processed foods they consume.
However, while these are clear simple steps that should be taken, there are other factors that should be considered when presenting a plan for a patient.
Doctors should consider a patient’s metabolism, environmental factors, and other bodily issues that could be making it difficult for a patient to lose weight. For example, hormones may not be functioning properly, making it hard to maintain a healthy weight. A patient may also be genetically predisposed for certain health issues such as heart disease.
Addressing these issues and lifestyle changes will help patients improve heart health.
Offer Cardiac Testing with Vasolabs
Obesity can affect a patient’s overall heart health and can be fatal if left untreated. It’s important to monitor your patient’s heart health with routine cardiac tests. Make it easier for you and your patients by providing on-site testing when you partner with Vasolabs. Learn more about us online and book a consultation.