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If you’ve tried dieting or other lifestyle changes and still find it difficult to lose weight, our Weight Management Center can help you reach your goals.

Contributed by Shanail R. Berry, MD | Internal Medicine/Pediatrics, Obesity Medicine

Obesity is a chronic disease, and if you’ve tried healthy lifestyle changes like regular exercise and a balanced diet, you know the struggle to stay at or even reach your goal can feel like an impossible feat. That is because having abnormal or excess body fat changes the hormones in your body, making lifestyle changes only part of the solution.

As early as 1948, the World Health Organization recognized obesity as a medical problem that requires medical treatment. Obesity also causes or worsens other health problems such as sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, many types of cancer and depression.

Many types of weight loss medications

Studies show that medications can help patients achieve somewhere between 10-20% weight loss, depending on the individual. Injectable medications are typically more effective than oral.

  • Injectable treatments Wegovy and Saxenda are the most effective, taken daily or once a week. They work by slowing down digestion.
  • Oral medications consist of Qsymia (a stimulant taken once a day) and Contrave (a combination antidepressant and anti-addiction medication taken twice a day).
  • Sometimes providers prescribe a treatment shown to cause significant weight loss for “off label” use if it has FDA approval to treat other conditions. Ozempic, used to manage Type 2 diabetes, is an example.

These medications differ in how they work in the body, but they all have the same goal: to reduce hunger and cravings and increase the feeling of being full after a meal.

So, what’s the downside?
  • If you have a Body Mass Index of 35 or higher, or have Type 2 diabetes or another metabolic disease, taking a pill or a shot isn’t enough.
  • Your individual and family health history may exclude you from taking certain medications.
  • You may experience side effects like nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • You must commit to taking the medication as prescribed.
  • Your insurance may not cover the cost and a generic option might not be available.
Weight loss surgery

For people who have struggled with obesity and need to lose a significant amount of weight, bariatric surgery is a safe and effective option. Unlike medications, bariatric surgery helps most people lose up to 60% of their excess weight — and keep it off. Click here to read a blog about when bariatric surgery is the best option.

  • Successful Outcomes: Bariatric surgery has been proven to help 85% of patients achieve a healthier weight and maintain it over a long period of time.
  • Safety and Quality: All surgeries come with risks, but weight-loss surgery is as safe as having a gallbladder removed. Patients usually go home the next day.
  • Diabetes Treatment: If you have Type 2 diabetes caused by excess body weight, bariatric surgery has been found to be the most effective treatment. Improvement or complete remission of Type 2 diabetes occurs in nearly all cases, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).
“Sometimes surgery is the safest and most effective option for patients who need to lose a significant amount of weight or have certain diseases, like diabetes, for which bariatric surgery can be a cure,” says Shanail R. Berry, MD, a Weight Management Specialist at MetroHealth.
Helping you achieve the healthiest outcome

No matter what your personalized weight loss plan includes, MetroHealth’s experts – including board certified weight management specialists, nutritionists and behavioral health providers – are here to guide you before, during, and after treatment.

“Ultimately, the foundation of any weight loss plan, whether it involves medication or surgery, should include healthy food choices and exercise – lifestyle changes that will last,” says Dr. Berry.

Ready to start your weight loss journey?

Call 216-778-7433 for more information or visit

MetroHealth has consistently earned a Comprehensive Center accreditation from the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program.

Click the video below to watch WKYC’s Good Company interview with Dr. Shanail Berry about weight loss solutions that may work for you.

Shanail R. Berry, MD

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics, Obesity Medicine