CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A family medicine physician in Charlotte is trying a comprehensive approach to weight loss.
What You Need To Know
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds that 80% of overweight people who lose weight do not keep it off in the long run
- It’s why several companies and clinics across the country are trying to take a different approach to weight loss
- Companion Health in Charlotte aims to find the root cause of weight gain by measuring gut bacteria, hormone and cortisol levels. They also ask about sleep habits and how a person relieves stress
- One couple says they lost a combined weight of 120 pounds thanks to a new clinic
Mike and Ana Abranches have been playing tennis for about a year. They usually play three times a week. The couple enjoys the sport because it’s a fun way to get exercise. But two years ago, they could barley play.
“Absolutely, no way,” Mike Abranches said. “It’s a very hard sport and you need to run. You need some speed to go around the court. It would have been almost impossible.”
The couple moved here from Brazil six years ago and say in less than a year, they both gained about 40 pounds. They tried dozens of diets, but nothing worked. Until they came to a new clinic in Charlotte, known as Companion Health.
“Our cardiologist mentioned Dr. Jorge’s name,” Mike Abranches said. “He said he was starting a new business and said maybe we needed a more broad and complete approach.”
Family Medicine Physician Dr. Carlos Jorge is also board certified in functional and integrative medicine. He started up the clinic two years ago.
“One of the things that drove me to do this type of medicine is that I felt in traditional medicine, it was a very much a reactive approach,” Jorge said. “So if someone came in with a problem, here is a medicine. But I felt we needed to understand why people get sick and to do that we have to understand multiple complex systems.”
At his clinic, they measure gut bacteria, hormone and cortisol levels. They also ask about sleeping habits, stress and how a person relieves stress.
“We deal a lot with people who have complex medical issues, weight issues, blood pressure issues and cardiovascular disease,” Jorge said. “The beauty of functional medicine is that is allows us to understand the root cause of why people get sick.”
The Abranches were also paired with a health coach to work on their eating and exercising habits. They both admit it has not been easy.
“It’s hard,” Mike Abranches said. “It’s not just about, OK, we are going to reduce the food. We had tried that. But it is not just about losing weight. It’s about how can we improve our health.”
The Abranches say they have lost a total of 120 pounds combined. So far, they have kept it off for six months, but they believe their optimal health will last much longer.
“It’s a life change, and it’s a lifetime program,” Mike Abranches said. “You do not have to cut off everything you might enjoy, but instead replace it for a good thing.”
The Abranches say they still indulge sometimes and exercising several times a week can be a challenge, but they have developed healthy habits they believe will last for decades to come.