Gastroenterologist in Managing Obesity

The gastroenterologist, whether in academic or clinical practice, must face the reality that an increasingly large percentage of adult patients are morbidly obese. Morbid obesity is associated with significant morbidity and mortality including enhanced morbidity from cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, hepatobiliary and colonic diseases. Most of these associated diseases are actually preventable. Available treatments for obesity include diet and exercise, behavioral modification, medications and surgery. Gastroenterologists are becoming increasingly involved in the care of obese patients. Although much of this care has historically centered on the preoperative and postoperative care of the bariatric patient, gastroenterologists are also evaluating and managing a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms and disorders that occur more commonly among obese individuals and are increasingly involved in the primary treatment of obesity. In this review, the gastrointestinal symptoms and disorders that are associated with obesity will be reviewed, the gastrointestinal contribution to the pathogenesis of obesity will be described and the current treatment options of obesity and where the gastroenterologist typically plays a role in the management. 

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