Weight loss a team ef­fort Mac­quarie’s one-stop shop for slim­ming down and get­ting healthy

Monthly Chronicle - - Health & Well-being -

Fed up of traips­ing from one health pro­fes­sional to an­other in a quest for a joined-up think­ing weight loss regime? Some smart clin­i­cians at Mac­quarie Univer­sity Hospi­tal recog­nised this and have opened a one-stop shop at a hospi­tal clinic there, with a host of weight loss spe­cial­ists un­der one roof. Here’s Monthly Chron­i­cle reader Fiona Wil­son’s story:

“Since the birth of my third child 10 years ago, I’ve ac­cu­mu­lated an ex­tra 15 ki­los around my mid­dle. I found it im­pos­si­ble to drop more than two or three ki­los, dread­ing sum­mer and do­ing my best to avoid beach vis­its! Yet not only have I been sen­si­ble with my diet but I‘ve also done four hours a week of ex­er­cise, in­clud­ing Zumba and walk­ing.

An ad­di­tional pre­dis­po­si­tion to Type 2 di­a­betes - my fa­ther has it - which is char­ac­terised by raised in­sulin re­sis­tance lev­els, has also had an im­pact on my abil­ity to lose the weight. My self es­teem and con­fi­dence have taken a big knock along the way.

I’ve since been told, it was th­ese fac­tors – my in­flam­ma­tion, my pso­ri­atic arthri­tis (arthri­tis in peo­ple with pso­ri­a­sis) and in­sulin re­sis­tance, that were im­pact­ing my abil­ity to lose weight.

A friend men­tioned the ‘Healthy Weight Clinic’ at Mac­quarie Univer­sity which opened in May - it’s the first of its kind within the pri­vate sec­tor in Syd­ney. The ‘one stop shop’ of­fers all the spe­cial­ist ser­vices un­der the one roof, con­ve­niently housed at Mac­quarie Univer­sity Hospi­tal Clinic. I couldn’t wait to go. Stop 1: At ini­tial con­sul­ta­tion I met three spe­cial­ists. First, Dr Veronica Preda, an en­docri­nol­o­gist. We dis­cussed at my med­i­cal and fam­ily his­tory, life­style and ge­netic pre­dis­po­si­tions. I learned my BMI was 27. She was very thor­ough and was able to form a pat­tern of symp­toms quite quickly. I was stor­ing weight around my midriff, was tired and lethar­gic, and not sleep­ing well, and I had a bit of a fuzzy head, all caused by my in­sulin re­sis­tance. Dr Preda ar­ranged for blood tests and a scan of my thy­roid gland. She started me on Met­formin, a drug that helps lower blood glu­cose lev­els by im­prov­ing the way the body han­dles in­sulin. Stop 2: Next stop was with di­eti­cian Phoebe Star­ling who sug­gested the use of the app Diet Tracker to track calo­ries. We set a few goals, such as a low calo­rie diet and she gave me a writ­ten food plan which in­volved avoid­ing car­bo­hy­drates which my body was stor­ing as fat. Stop 3: Lastly I saw Joanna Jaques, the ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist. She gave me very use­ful tips on us­ing my tread­mill at home to in­crease fat burn­ing, which in­cluded shorter but higher in­ten­sity ex­er­cise. This meant shorter bursts of faster speeds with a higher in­cline, and then slow­ing right down again. She as­sessed my fit­ness lev­els and wrote an ex­er­cise pro­gramme, rat­ing me at “fit”. But my goals be­came to en­ter the “very fit” cat­e­gory, as well as weight and waist cir­cum­fer­ence re­duc­tion, con­trol­ling my in­sulin re­sis­tance and low­er­ing my choles­terol. Stop 4: Blood tests found I had raised choles­terol, and a clear pic­ture had formed re­gard­ing my slow weight loss. I then vis­ited the clinic ev­ery two weeks and then less fre­quently as I pro­gressed through the treat­ment. Stop 5: Now five months since that first ap­point­ment, my mo­ti­va­tion has rock­eted. Af­ter strug­gling to lose weight for so long, I’ve now lost 9 kg, and am down to 66 kg and have a lot more en­ergy. My new BMI is 24. I feel like I’ve been in the dark and come out into the light.

I’m well on my way to achiev­ing my goals: my in­sulin re­sis­tance is un­der con­trol, my choles­terol is no longer high, and at my last visit I was de­lighted to hear from Dr Preda that I’m now fight­ing my ge­netic pre­dis­po­si­tions of Type 2 di­a­betes and au­toim­mune dis­ease - a won­der­ful turn­around!

If you’ve been strug­gling to lose weight, whether you’re suf­fer­ing from obe­sity, or are over­weight, or have any health risks as­so­ci­ated with ex­tra weight like in­sulin re­sis­tance or high choles­terol, this clinic of­fers a com­pre­hen­sive ser­vice backed up by a car­ing, proac­tive team. Fiona Wil­son with ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist Joanna Jac­ques

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