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24 October 2022

Obesity and weight loss, it’s time to see your GP.

Don’t be afraid to visit your GP if you’re struggling to control your weight

One of our GPs, Patrick Nerney would like to encourage people to go and see their GP if they are gaining weight, as it’s a serious issue for your health and a problem that they can help with. He also wants to encourage everyone to look after themselves by eating a healthy diet, avoiding sugar and being active every day.

Patrick explains, “The one thing patients in general avoid visiting their GP for is obesity. Some people feel embarrassed, others ashamed, or even more feel that they should be able to handle it themselves and that it isn’t something that they should bother a Doctor with. But this is actually not the case – it is a problem that is hard to handle alone, but your GP in Gibraltar can help. People shouldn’t avoid seeing their doctor for support with obesity, there are lots of professionals who can help with this, depending on the severity of the issue and the health impacts it is having.”

The global issue of obesity and the health risks

Obesity is a growing issue worldwide and the cause of many medical problems. In fact, the World Health Organisation estimate that at least 2.8 million people die each year as a result of being overweight or obese.

Being overweight or obese increases your risk of a wide range of health problems including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and much more. It is often linked to general pain and difficulty functioning, a low quality of life and mental illnesses such as clinical depression.

This is a serious issue and one that should be tackled head on and with the right help to improve your health.

Patrick adds, “We know it’s hard to lose weight without support, but there are lots of things we can do at the Specialist Medical Clinic in Gibraltar to support our patients to get to a healthy weight. I would encourage people to seek that help and take the first step to getting healthier by making an appointment with their GP.”

Weight loss treatment options

There are surgical and non-surgical weight loss treatments out there to support weight loss.

The place to start is lifestyle and nutrition support, we have a number of ways that we work with patients to educate and inform them and give them the tools to reduce their calorie intake.

Laura Soiza is our Dietetic Nurse and Nutrition Specialist in Gibraltar, with 19 years of experience and a real enthusiasm about the impact that diet and lifestyles can have on health. She is a specialist in nutritional education to help prevent and correct different medical conditions including diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, childhood and adult obesity. You can make an appointment with Laura and she can educate, advise and guide you through your weight loss journey.

We also work closely with the Gibraltar consultant for The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan. This is an evidence-based weight loss programme, backed by clinical and independent studies and used by the NHS in the UK. They offer a highly effective combination of meal replacement products and consultant guided support, which has been shown to be highly effective for obesity control.

If a patient has tried to make diet and lifestyle changes without success, or their health is being dramatically affected by their weight, there are surgical interventions available. These are suitable for those patients who are clinically obese (with a BMI of over 35) and can have excellent results. Surgical weight loss options offered in the clinic include insertion of gastric balloon, gastric band.

Whatever your situation, the key is to understand that there is help out there and take the first step to bringing your weight into a healthy range.

Please check our website for more information about weight loss treatments in Gibraltar, or contact our helpful team to find out more.

How to stay healthy

To wrap up our article on health and weight loss, we asked Dr Nerney to give us some tips for staying healthy.

“My top tips for staying healthy are directly related to weight and activity. I advise people to try to maintain a healthy lifestyle in relation to diet, activity and wellbeing. The main thing is to take care of yourself: eat a healthy diet, avoid sugar, avoid drinking alcohol every day, stop smoking, take daily exercise and sleep well. You’ll gain strength and vitality and your body will be in the best shape to be able to fight off disease.

However, even following a healthy lifestyle, illness can of course happen.  If you have any regular or worrying symptoms, I would advise not to delay seeing a doctor. If you are seeking reassurance, or prefer to take a more proactive approach to managing your health, we also provide health screening checks in the clinic.”

Author InformationImage of Dr Patrick Nerney MB DOccMed

Dr Patrick Nerney is a General Practitioner and Family Medicine Specialist.

He has a special interest in Occupational Health and works with our Occupational Health Team.

He also studied at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and has a special interest Travel Medicine, leading our vaccine and travel clinic.

He has been a GP for 45 years, working in Occupational Medicine for 10 years and has a special interest in Lifestyle Medicine.

Please contact us if you would like to make an appointment with Dr Nerney.