Dr. Adrienne Youdim MD is a board certified physician of internal medicine and obesity medicine and a physician nutrition specialist. She has authored several academic papers, a textbook on the treatment of obesity; and teaches medical students and residents at UCLA School of Medicine and Cedars Sinai Medical Center on the treatment of obesity.
She has extensive experience in all aspects of medical weight loss including counseling on dietary plans, use of meal replacements, prescription of FDA-approved medications for weight loss, exercise prescriptions and behavioral modification. After a detailed consultation she will discuss how some or all of these modalities can be used to create an individualized weight loss plan for you.
Dr. Youdim will obtain an extensive social and medical history to determine present medical and health status, prior weight loss attempts and personal goals to create a personalized weight loss strategy for each patient. The consultation is approximately 45-60 minutes and will include a physical exam and body composition testing.
INTERPRETATION OF LABORATORY TESTS
After the medical consultation, Dr. Youdim will make a recommendation on necessary laboratory tests which may include labs for general health status, evaluation of at-risk metabolic conditions and nutritional deficiencies. Results of these laboratory tests will help guide the treatment plan.
Prospective patients may provide recent laboratory tests if available, but this is not necessary or mandatory prior to the consultation.
BODY COMPOSITION TESTING
Body weight is an assessment of body size however does not provide information about body composition – meaning how much fat mass, muscle and water make up the total body weight. Body composition testing is a much more detailed way of assessing body weight.
In addition to above, body composition testing provides information on percent body fat, segmental muscle mass, fat mass, visceral fat and metabolic rate. It also allows for an accurate calculation of the necessary protein requirements while dieting. Body composition testing is performed at the first consultation and every subsequent visit with a quick non-invasive 45 second test.
PHYSICIAN SUPERVISED WEIGHT LOSS
Dr.Youdim personally plans and supervises every patient and weight loss plan. This allows detailed attention to individual patient challenges and successes and allows for necessary modifications to ensure success.
In addition, as a medical doctor, Dr. Youdim will take into account medical concerns such as medication interactions; disease states such as diabetes and thyroid disease for example and any other potential medical issue ensuring safe and effective weight loss.
Finally, Dr. Youdim is able to prescribe and manage FDA-approved weight loss medications when appropriate.
DIETARY MEAL PLAN
Dr. Youdim tailors each diet/meal plan based on the patient’s health status, dietary preference and weight loss goals. Dietary approaches may include vegan/vegetarian meal plans, Mediterranean style diet among others all the while maintaining adequate protein prevent loss of muscle mass. The prescribed diet may comprise completely of conventional food, meal replacements or a combination of both. Dr. Youdim uses the highest quality of premium whey, soy or vegan protein powders.
FDA APPROVED MEDICATIONS FOR WEIGHT LOSS
There are several FDA-Approved medications for weight loss. FDA approved means that – unlike supplements – these medications have been vigorously tested, studied and evaluated for efficacy and safety. Patients may or may not be candidates for weight loss medications based on BMI or Body Mass Index and the presence of co-morbidities ie medical conditions related to excess weight such as diabetes, hypertension, abnormal cholesterol.
At the initial consultation, Dr. Youdim will determine the candidacy of weight loss therapy. She will then review available treatment options and deem which if any are indicated. The decision to use medications for weight loss are based on several variables including initial weight, medical history and patient preference.
Exercise is an essential component of good health, successful weight loss and successful weight maintenance. Exercise includes aerobic, endurance, strength, flexibility and balance. The type of activity recommended is dependent on an individuals health status, level of fitness and health goals. Dr. Youdim will provide an exercise recommendation as part of the treatment plan which will take into consideration these principles and will modify the prescription based on changing outcomes and goals.
Dietary change in part includes behavioral change. There are numerous effective behavioral strategies that have been studied including self-monitoring, contingency management, stimulus control among others. There are also various tools that can be used to monitor and augment weight loss. As part of the treatment, Dr. Youdim will provide strategies for behavioral modification and will modify as the treatment progresses.
Many chronic diseases affecting Americans today including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even numerous cancers are affected by body weight. Weight loss can result in the elimination of medications for these conditions; better sleep in OSA or obstructive sleep apnea; can restore ovulation and fertility in infertile woman with or without PCOS; and can result in improvement of many other health outcomes and indicators.
Studies have demonstrated that as little as 5-10% (ie 10-20 pounds) weight loss can have dramatic cardiometabolic and health benefit. Lifestyle modification as a treatment for chronic disease is a viable and necessary adjunct to medical therapy.
POST-PARTUM WEIGHT LOSS
Weight gain during pregnancy is normal and physiologic. Nonetheless, the new or expectant mother may have difficulty losing weight in the post-partum period. Restoring weight to the pre-partum level is necessary for the health of the mother as well as future babies.
Often times mothers will “wait till they are done with kids” to engage in personal weight loss efforts however this strategy is not recommended. Excess weight during pregnancy can result in complications for both mother and baby including pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes and complicated delivery in mother and is a risk factor a greater likelihood of high gestational weight and future diabetes and obesity in baby.
Dr. Youdim can provide a safe and effective weight loss strategy any woman who needs guidance in post-partum weight loss.
PRE-OPERATIVE WEIGHT LOSS
Excess weight is a risk factor for increased complications following surgery. Studies have shown that as little as 5 to 10% weight loss is effective in reducing complications of surgery including prolonged intubation, prolonged hospital stay and infections.
Pre-operative weight loss has also been shown to improve long-term outcomes following surgery for example reducing risk of recurrence of a hernia following hernia repair.
Dr. Youdim can provide guidance on expedient weight loss in those who require upcoming surgery as a means to reduce risk of complications and improve post-surgical outcomes.