“Trust me, I’m a doctor.”
Who has heard these words before? ” Trust me, I’m a doctor.” And what did it make you think? Did you like hearing that? Did it make you feel comfortable? Or did you say, “You don’t know the half of it?”
Hi, I’m Dr. Craig Primack from Scottsdale Weight Loss Center.
Today’s Medical Minute is new and it’s about being a physician who works in medical weight loss. The world of medical weight loss goes back probably even hundreds of years, but back before the 1970s, weight wasn’t a significant problem in our society. But over the past 30-50 years, we’ve more than doubled the amount of people who have significant weight problems in our country.
I am someone who’s very diligent and believe in what I do. I have done nothing else with my career. Since 2006, I have been a full-time obesity medicine physician, or weight loss doctor, as we also call it.
That being said, my recommendations are recommendations. We have not ever studied specifically you. We’ve studied populations of people who seem to be like you. Let me tell you a story.
So I had a patient two weeks ago who I put on a medicine for weight loss. It isn’t primarily made for weight loss, but a good side effect is it results in weight loss. And he came back the following week and his weight was up. He went to the internet and he read a little bit about this medicine and he found an article that talked about a supplement that was over the counter that did exactly the same thing. Now, first of all, what do we know about supplements?
Supplements aren’t Studied Like Prescription Medications
Supplements typically aren’t studied in a blinded and controlled fashion. In a blinded and controlled fashion, you take the real medicine and you make a pill that looks exactly like it, and you give it randomly to a group of people who don’t know if they’re getting the real pill or the placebo pill.
And then you do the study. If it’s weight loss, you’re doing some diet, you’re doing some exercise, and maybe some counseling involved with it. At the end of the study, which is usually a year in the U.S., you analyze everyone and unblind the participants.
Then they are put into two groups: the people that took the real medicine and the people that took the placebo. You can then say what the average person did as far as their weight loss on and off the drug and as far as losing a significant amount of weight, which we’re going to say by medical definitions is at least 5% weight loss, although many people can do much better. And then we come back and we introduced medicines like this. And we don’t know for sure if it’s going to work for you or if it’s not going to work for you. I’ve been pushing for a couple of years to see something more of what we call a WaterFall Plot…
There are certain studies that show WaterFall Plot as far as their results. For example, in a WaterFall Plot, each person gets a little line on the graph, and if we use the line being weight loss, if you’re above the line, you gained weight. If you’re below the line, you lost weight. Take all 100 people and line them up from the most weight loss to the least amount of weight loss from left to right.
On the left side, you’ll see that people drop below the line this much, they had the most weight loss, and then each person gets a little bit shallower, shallower, shallower. There’s going to be some people, and we hope the majority lost weight, there’s going to be a few people who didn’t lose any weight, and then there’s going to be a small percentage of people who actually gained weight on the same treatment.
And so for this gentleman that I started telling you about, he actually falls in that category where he gained, or at least didn’t lose, weight on this particular medicine. And so we decreased the dose and he actually seemed to do better at a lower dose, not a higher dose. We changed a few other things this week. So I’m still not sure if the medicine was doing anything good or bad for him, but less medicine right now is achieving the goals that he set out for. Another key thing that I say all the time is,
“Any medicine can do anything in anyone.”
Once you’ve treated enough people with a medicine, and I don’t care which it is or what it is, you’re going to know that there are side effects that some people get and other people have never had it. There’s going to be benefits that some people get, and again, other people never have it. If you have some of both, if you have benefits from the medicine, but you also have some minor side effects, then we have to weigh out, are the benefits better than the side effects or risks?
Find a Professional Obesity Medicine Physician
So when it comes to thinking about weight loss, my suggestion is you go to people like myself who are around the country, who are experienced in weight loss, potentially have certifications in weight loss, who’ve spent some or parts or the majority of their career in weight loss. They have the experience, they have seen other people who are like you.
Once you’ve seen several 1,000 people, every person is different at the end of the day, because you will have side effects that they didn’t have, you will also have benefits that they didn’t have. In the world of weight loss, we tailor programs as close as we can to what you need. It comes down to four pieces. Which kind of diet is best for you? What kind of activity and movement is best for you? What kind of counseling is best for you? And if you desire, which medication is best for you?
Don’t Trust Me Because I am a Doctor
Do not trust me because I’m a physician or Don’t trust me because I’m a doctor. Last, don’t trust anyone just because of their credentials. But start there with their credentials, look into their experience. If that person looks right for you, try them out. Because most of the time, on your own, you’re not going to get to your goals, unfortunately. Most of the time, with help, you have a much better chance.
Thanks for being with me today. I’ll talk to you next week.
“trust me I’m a doctor”