Biz Bio- Lifestyle Physicians: Prevention is better than a cure

Carrying excess weight is more than a physical burden. It affects your whole lifestyle and perhaps more importantly your outlook on life. Enter Dr. Sagar Verma, a practicing internal medicine hospitalist at UVA Culpeper Hospital. His passion and interest in obesity medicine came from seeing more and more patients and realizing that 50-60 percent of their issues stemmed from being overweight.

He made the decision to focus his practice on improving the overall health of his clients by helping them build new lifestyles thus the creation of Lifestyle Physicians three months ago.

From heart disease to knee replacement, getting rid of unwanted weight is often the key to a healthier body, mind and soul.

Dr. Vermaâ??s program begins with an initial consultation and a complete medical workup including Metabolic testing, a procedure until recently only available at universities and hospitals. Metabolic testing will give the exact measurements you need to target caloric intake. Everybody burns fat in different ways. Depending on how much you want to lose and how quickly, Dr. Verma and his staff will come up with a plan that often includes a combination of meal replacement and appetite suppressants to give you a kick start. Hormone imbalance or deficiencies affect approximately 55 million women in the United States. Men are affected as well. While synthetic hormones have gotten a bad wrap, Dr. Verma, a member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians, is also certified in Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy. BHRT hormones have the same chemical structure as hormones created naturally in the human body.

Dr. Verma looks back at our early beginnings and why hormone replacement may be beneficial to help with symptoms like fatigue, headaches, anxiety, depression and mood swings.

â??We werenâ??t programmed to open the fridge for our food…we were reliant on things grown in the wild.â?

So far, results have been good. Greg Hatfield, the football coach at Eastern View High School, has lost 70 lbs. since September. Verma, who lives in Culpeper, has attracted a following with more than 50 percent of his clients coming from Culpeper. Another success story is Tripp Butler who has lost roughly 40 lbs.

Dr. Verma knows what it is like to be overweight. Once at 189 lbs. he is now down to 164 lbs. â??Iâ??ve tried the program and products we use,â? said Verma who added that once clients reach their weight goal that a maintenance program will help them keep the weight off. Their STAR (Steps to Avoid Regain) keeps clients on track.

A new addition to Dr. Vermaâ??s staff is Dr. Margery Manuli, a certified DreamBuilder Coach as well as a physician with more than 30 years of experience in clinical practice and teaching. One of the key features at Lifestyle Physicians is support.

â??We are with the client every step of the way,â? says Dr. Verma who added that starting Dec. 28 they will be sponsoring a weight loss challenge.

Dr. Verma is busy these days. His wife, a pulmonologist, is expected their first child in January. â??We are very excited,â? says Verma, â??a new business started up, a new baby on the way…itâ??s a risk to start a new venture but the work is very satisfying…I love it.â?