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With a case of extreme obesity slowly killing a man, Dr. Phil has called in Naples bariatric physician Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D., with hopes that her expertise and her medical delivery diet can offer critical help to the situation.
On the show, set to air on January 29, Dr. Phil employs his popular team approach, and he'll have input from his usual posse of medical experts for Kevin, who at age 44 has reached the stunning weight of 715 pounds. But faced with a weight problem that extreme, not just any doctor has the depth of experience to offer meaningful help.
So, Dr. Phil called in Dr. Cederquist, a board-certified family and bariatric physician who has at the core of her treatment a focus not on extreme diets or radical regimens, but on addressing the metabolic irregularities that develop in overweight people, from mild insulin resistance to full-blown Type II diabetes. These irregularities actually make it progressively easier for an overweight person to produce and retain fat, and harder and harder to for them to lose it, typically leading to a cycle of increasing gain, even if the person doesn't increase their caloric intake.
"Kevin is disabled and virtually homebound," says Dr. Cederquist. "He has gained 300 pounds in the past five years. He suffers from diabetes and severe sleep and breathing difficulties. Problems with his joints and his sheer mass make it almost impossible for him to move around, and as a result, he scarcely leaves his bed, let alone his house. Getting him from home to the Dr. Phil studios was a major undertaking."
Dr. Cederquist said Kevin had been rejected for weight-loss surgeries because the medical conditions related to his obesity make him too high-risk as a candidate for surgery. He has sunk into a depression over his worsening situation, and resorts to eating for comfort, further worsening his conditions and his despair.
"When I met with Kevin, I felt his anguish," Dr. Cederquist says, "but it was not unfamiliar to me."
Dr. Cederquist says such despair is common, even among those with much less severe weight problems.
"These are often people who have been successful at everything else in their lives, and they cannot understand why their efforts to lose even 20 pounds are so futile," she says. "But for them, it's just not as simple as eat less, burn more. Losing weight is not just about eating less of the wrong things; it is about eating more of the right things."
Dr. Cederquist analyzed Kevin's intake logs and determined he was eating more than 4000 calories a day, mostly in low-quality junk food. Kevin had long since become diabetic and is currently injecting 600 mg. of insulin a day to control his blood sugar.
"That's a massive amount of insulin. That means his metabolic abnormality, coupled with his poor-quality diet, has led to a situation where his body cells are starving," Dr. Cederquist says. "A starving organism will resist weight loss even if it is carrying 500 pounds of excess body fat, which is what is happening in Kevin's case."
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