Bradley Sevy, DO, is an Adena Board Certified Family Medicine Physician who works out of Adena Family Medicine and Pediatrics – Jackson. He has been seeing Adena families for over three years and has a unique perspective on weight loss since he personally has lost over 160 pounds. He knows that each patient’s journey is different and works with patients to help make their weight loss sustainable and part of their life-long healthy habits.
Weight, I Can Relate!
Dr. Sevy’s story is like many others. Growing up, he was always bigger than the other kids around him. He was told he’d grow out of it, but never did. Consequently, he has always struggled with being overweight, having to check chairs before sitting in them and not feeling good due the stress on his body. When he had children of his own and was starting to have weight-related health consequences, he decided to take action. He initially lost 60 pounds on his own and then opted to have bariatric surgery to help him continue to lose weight. Unfortunately, Dr. Sevy, had a rare unknown genetic blood clotting disorder which complicated his surgical outcome. He ended up losing “110 to 120 pounds in three months” which was much too fast and led to several hospital stays. “I always tell patients my story with the understanding that I am part of the rare 1% that had an adverse complication,” says Dr. Sevy. “Although there is always some risk with bariatric surgery, there is a much higher rate of success. I would go back and do it again if I didn’t have the clotting disorder.”
The Right Tool
Part of how Dr. Sevy helps patients is by helping them find the right means to a healthier lifestyle. Overcoming obesity is not easy and it’s an ongoing health issue in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 1962 and 2000 adult obesity in U.S. increased over 17%. Many of the health issues patients face today, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, joint pain, and sleep apnea, are all linked to excess weight and obesity. “We often address weight issues with patients in order to help reduce negative health consequences -- also known as comorbidities,” says Dr. Sevy.
Adena can offer patients a variety of tools to help guide them through healthy weight loss. “We typically start with diet and increased activity,” says Dr. Sevy. From there, Adena has additional levels of solutions which are designed to help patients on their individual path to reducing weight and improving health. Dr. Sevy works with patients to connect them to the right resources, such as access to Adena nutritionists and dieticians. He can counsel patients through possible drug therapies or even bariatric surgery. “What is important for patients to understand, is that these are tools, means to a healthier lifestyle,” says Dr. Sevy. “What we’re ultimately working towards for our patients is a way to change their lifestyle and develop healthier habits.”
Don’t Be an Impatient Patient
Dr. Sevy knows the weight loss journey has its peaks and valleys. “Consistency is key,” says Dr. Sevy. “We encourage patients to remain focused and persevere through weight loss plateaus -- just stick to their plan.” Dr. Sevy explains that when patients “plateau” or seem to get “stuck” at a certain weight, they often get discouraged and fall back into old, unhealthy habits. “When patients first start to lose weight, they tend to lose a lot upfront which is often attributed to losing water weight,” says Dr. Sevy. When the amount of weight loss starts to decrease, patients can get discouraged. “Really, a half a pound a week, is safe, realistic weight loss.” He adds that generally patients lose weight at different rates, so trying to target any particular number per week is not realistic.
Fad Might Not Be Fab
“When we talk to patients about diet and exercise, we talk to them about ‘weight management’ not just weight loss,” says Dr. Sevy. He also cautions patients against fad diets like low carb or high protein diets. These diets may have quick results, but they are often too difficult to maintain over time and can deny the body of certain nutrition. Ultimately, they may make dieters gain weight once they reintroduce dietary items they had cut. “If patients are really looking for a diet to follow, we will often recommend the ‘Dash Diet’ or the ‘Mediterranean Diet,’ says Dr. Sevy. They are based in making healthier food choices across the nutrition spectrum.
“My job is to help patients get ahead of health problems, to try and be preventative,” says Dr. Sevy. He coaches patients to read food labels, focus on controlling portions, lower calorie intake and increase activity to get them started. Dr. Sevy and the team of Adena Family Medicine professionals are helping patients daily take control of their health. If you have health concerns or questions about how to improve your diet, exercise, weight and general wellness, please contact Adena Family Medicine and Pediatrics – Jackson by calling 740-395-8090, or visit Adena.org to find an Adena primary care provider near you.