‘Early diagnosis is key’: KEM Hospital in Pune launches metabolic and obesity clinic

KEM Hospital, Pune, launched a metabolic and obesity clinic Thursday in a bid to diagnose metabolic diseases at an early stage and treat them with a holistic approach to reduce the risk of complications in future.

Bariatric surgeon Dr Jayashree Todkar, who will be heading the clinic, said: “We are witnessing a significant surge of the combination of diabetes and obesity. If not treated early, there is a risk of ending up with serious complications which have a significant impact on quality of life, leave alone the financial burden.”

Obesity and diabetes are linked to several conditions like high blood pressure, heart diseases, kidney and liver diseases, joint problems, infertility, many types of cancers, fatigue and depression. Such conditions are likely to be significantly more aggressive and progressive for people who are obese. To add to this, the pandemic has fuelled obesity-linked issues among all age groups, Dr Todkar told reporters Thursday.

While awareness about various diseases is on the rise, people approach doctors only when they experience problems, by which time the disease has already progressed, she added.

“To add to this, about 80 per cent of patients with metabolic diseases have central obesity, while 60 per cent have overall obesity. Visceral fat – a root cause of all these problems – is also significantly higher in our country. Therefore, the need of the hour is education and awareness. Diagnosing and starting treatment early, and a stage-wise scientific approach is key here, according to international guidelines. It is important to make the patient understand that any serious issues like heart ailments, joint problems or others may be linked to obesity and should be treated hand-in-hand,” Dr Todkar stressed.

This requires a dedicated metabolic clinic that will conduct a proper evaluation, identify the stage and risk for future complications, and it requires a multidisciplinary approach, she said. The team at KEM’s clinic includes a nutritionist, physiotherapist, physician, surgeon, counsellor, coordinator and other experts with the aim to provide a holistic approach to address the overall metabolic issue rather than treating only individual symptoms like weight, sugar levels, BP or cholesterol. This will help improve the metabolic health of patients and reduce the risk of future complications, enhancing the individual’s overall health and productivity.

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