With heightened awareness of personal health during the pandemic, more seek medical help for weight loss | Ascension

With heightened awareness of personal health during the pandemic, more seek medical help for weight loss

After Sue’s brother had complications with COVID-19 due to his weight, she was motivated to seek help for her own weight.

The COVID-19 pandemic was a turning point for all of us. For many individuals, it was a chance to take a closer look at their health and well-being and make some life altering changes.

Sue, a 54-year-old nurse and stroke coordinator, wanted to make those changes for herself. "I come from a family where obesity runs thick and deep, no pun," Sue said.

Before the vaccine was available, Sue’s brother was hospitalized for COVID-19. He spent 153 days in the hospital and was on a ventilator for 5 weeks. His only underlying health condition was obesity. Thankfully, her brother recovered, and inspired Sue to make her health a priority.

"I knew my cholesterol was up. I just was unhealthy and how could I be a good nurse?" Sue said.

Sue decided to connect with Christopher Weber, MD, a medical weight-loss doctor at Ascension Wisconsin. During her initial consultation, Dr. Weber and his team took the time to learn about Sue’s health history and listened to the concerns she had with her weight.

“Losing excess weight can improve all sorts of medical conditions, from diabetes and high blood pressure to arthritis and depression and many other conditions,” said Dr. Weber.

She had seen success in the past with diet and exercise, but a battle with cancer and changes in her lifestyle had caused her to gain the weight back. After evaluation, it was determined that while Sue didn’t qualify for bariatric surgery, she would be a great candidate for medical weight loss. With Sue’s history and current lifestyle in mind, the team started her off with the appropriate medications and a nutrition and exercise plan that would fit her needs and personal goals.

In the beginning, Sue met with the team regularly. But with time and great success, she now only follows up with Dr. Weber every three months. Sue hopes that by sharing her story it will open up the conversation around obesity and weight concerns, something many have struggled with long before the pandemic.

“While there are countless different responses, [for why people want to lose weight], one of the most common reasons people give is that they would like to be healthier. This was amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic when we saw how severe COVID-19 infection could be in someone with excess weight,” Dr. Weber said.

Many people struggle alone with their weight and health concerns long before they talk with a doctor. Start a conversation with a compassionate doctor today. Our doctors and nurses listen to understand your goals and your health concerns. Then, we work with you to create a weight-loss plan that’s right for you. Get started today at ascension.org/WIweightloss or by calling 414-441-5677.

Weight loss results may vary depending on the individual. There is no guarantee of specific results.