Medical Weight Loss: What Is It?

You may hear our team talking about our “medical weight loss” programs.  Well, what exactly is “medical” weight loss?  To boil it down, medical weight loss is not surgical weight loss.  In otherwords the patient would be enrolling in a program that doesn’t involve a surgical procedure, or any procedure of any kind.

Typically medical weight loss means that a physician (or in some cases a nurse practitioner) will be supervising a patient through a course of treatment with some sort of medication that helps suppress the appetite.  These medications are called “anorectics.”  At JourneyLite Physicians, a registered dietitian will be involved in the care of the patient as well.

The patient will come in for monthly visits (these medications cannot be prescribed with phone or video visits) and see a provider and a dietitian, where they will be assessed and, if doing well, given a prescription to last them until their next visit which is usually 4 weeks later.

The initial consultation at JourneyLite Physicians is $199, and follow-up visits are $99.  These visits are typically not covered by insurance, but if you have an HSA you usually can use that to pay for your visits and medications.

Monthly medication costs can run anywhere from $10 to $150 depending on the medication that the patient chooses, which is usually determined at the initial consultation.

JourneyLite Physicians offers medical weight loss programs at all four of our locations:  Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky.  In order to be eligible to enroll in our medical weight loss program you must not have had any prescription appetite suppressants within the past six months.  For more information simply request a consultation by filling out the form below!

New CurryCare App Feature: Exercise Tracking!

New CurryCare Feature:  Exercise Tracking

The CurryCare app for iOS and Android now offers an exercise tracking feature.  Set your daily exercise goal with a slider in your Profile, then after you complete a workout log it right in the app so you can track your progress.  Our team will be able to view your exercise habits which will help us keep you on track with your weight loss goals.  Download the free app today!

For more info on getting started with the CurryCare app click here.

Get up to $1500 of off the new Obalon Swallowable Gastric Balloon! – offer expired 8/31

obalon only gas filled gastric balloon

The Obalon system is the only FDA-approved, swallowable, gas-filled gastric balloon in the US, and we have been seeing some fantastic results with it.  Dr. Trace Curry does these procedures right in the office.  You can literally come in on your lunch break, have the procedure done, and go right back to work!  A unique design involves a swallowable capsule that is slighly larger than a big multivitamin with a long tiny cather attached.  The patient simply swallows the capsule, the doctor confirms the location with a simple brief Xray, and then the balloon is inflated with a gas mixture.  The process is repeat for a total of 3 balloons over several weeks.

The advantage of the gas-filled Obalon system is twofold:

  1. unlike saline-filled balloons, gas-filled balloons float on top of the fluid in the stomach, so they are less likely to obstruct the outlet and cause vomiting
  2. the Obalon system is a gradual treatment, as opposed to saline balloons where the entire volume is done all at once

The end result is much fewer side effects, in fact we have seen no vomiting issues in any of our Obalon patients.  Mostly patients experience some nausea and cramping for a day or two which is treated with medications.

Paired together with our CurryCare app and our team of registered dietitians, Obalon gives you the potential to lose in many cases up to 50 lbs over the six month interval that the balloons remain in.

After 6 months, the balloons must be removed with a simple endoscopic procedure.

Obalon up to $1500 offThe Obalon system is $7500 which includes 3 balloon swallows, endoscopic removal, 12 months of dietitian appointments, and CurryCare app access.  For a limited time you can get up to $1500 off of your procedure!

Losing up to 30 to 50 lbs can be a life-changing experience, call to schedule a consultation with Dr. Trace Curry, a leading gastric balloon expert, or click here to request an appointment.  Virtual appointments are available for out-of-town patients.

NOTE: This procedure is not covered by insurance, although it may be a tax-deductible medical expense and it typically can be payed for with Health Savings Account funds as it is an FDA-approved treatment for obesity.

The Selvera SMART Balance Scale and The CurryCare App: The Tools You Need To Succeed!

Selvera Bluetooth Scale

The CurryCare/Selvera SMART Balance Scale

Whether you are undergoing a surgical weight loss procedure or a medical weight loss program, tracking your weight is important.  It’s also helpful for our team to be able to analyze your weight trend over time.  Luckily, this problem is solved with the new CurryCare app. It’s free on iOS and Android, and the integrated Selvera SMART Balance bluetooth-enabled scale (max capacity 330 lbs*) helps you easily track your weight and other vital stats.

Rated one of the Top 5 Wireless Smart Scales of 2017 by Riznows,  the scale not only measures your weight but, other important numbers such as  your body fat percentage, body fat pounds, lean mass percentage, and lean mass pounds.  This data then gets automatically fed into the CurryCare app.  Our team can then review it with you at each appointment.  You can get  one of these awesome scales for just $75 at any of our office locations!

You can use your existing FitBit, AppleWatch (or Apple Health-compatible tracker), Google Fit device, or Levl tracker to also sync your activity.  If you use CurryCare’s powerful food journaling option, we can get a great picture of your daily calorie intake vs. energy expenditure.  If you don’t have a tracker we have a basic step and sleep tracker for just $40.  You can even get both the scale and tracker for just $99!

Data is an important in any weight loss journey, and CurryCare gives you the tools you need to succeed.  Get started now!

CurryCare icon

*Alternative scale available with 550 lb capacity.

Getting started with the CurryCare app!

Getting Started with the CurryCare App

“CurryCare” is an iPhone/Android app that integrates with our own optional wireless bioimpedance scale and wireless activity/sleep tracker.  It enables our team to remain in close communication with you, alerts us when you may be deviating from your program, and gives us objective data on your food intake to help keep you on track with your weight loss goals.  We offer the scale/tracker combo for just $99 at any of our office locations and the app is free! To get started, go to the iOS or Android app store and download the CurryCare app.

  • Open the app and tap on “Don’t have an account?  SIGN UP”
  • Enter personal info, create a password, and choose which office you will most commonly visit.
  • After you have completed all the fields, click “Create Account” at the bottom.
  • Scroll through the mini-tutorial pages and you will be at the home page and ready to go!

CurryCare App Goals
Profile

The first thing to do is to populate goals in your Profile.  Access this by tapping on the 3 horizontal bars at the very upper left-hand corner of the app, then tapping on “Profile.”  You will see various goals you can set (depending on the size of your phone, you may need to scroll down to see them all).

  • Weight goal
      • Use the slider to set your weight goal.  Talk to your team about what a reasonable goal weight should be for your particular program.
  • Daily steps goal
      • Typically a minimum of 10,000 is recommended, however for some patients this is not practical at first.  Just start with a goal somewhere and you can increase it with time.
  • Daily water goal
      • Start with a minimum of 64 ounces.  If you are working out a lot you may need to increase this!
  • Daily sleep goal
      • Typically this should be 8 hours.
  • Daily calories goal
    • Discuss this with your dietitian.  They will be able to send a message in your app that has goals for calories, protein, carbs, etc.
  • Weekly exercise goal (you may need to scroll down to see this depending on your phone size)
    • Use the slider to choose your goal for how much time you want to spend exercising each week.

Once you complete these, tap on the left arrow at the top to get back to the home screen.

Home Page CurryCare App

Home Screen Sections

Weight (upper left):  If you are using the integrated bluetooth Selvera SMART Scale from our office, this is where you go each morning to weigh-in by syncing your scale (you need to put batteries in it first). When you first get up, after you empty your bladder, just tap on “Weigh In” and step up on your scale in your bare feet. Stay still for about 10 seconds and the app will notify you on the screen when the sync is complete!  If you don’t have our scale, no problem just click on Weight in Manually at the bottom and you can enter your weight (and other data if your scale measures it).

Steps (upper right):  If you are using the integrated tracker from our office, this is where you go to sync your steps.  If you have an Apple Watch, FitBit, or Google Fit Device, click on the small settings icon and you will see an option to connect these devices as well.  It’s a good idea several times throughout the day to tap on the “Sync tracker” button and then the “Sync now” button on the next page to update your steps.  For third-party devices this should happen automatically without the sync tracker button.  (Note: as of the current release there is a small bug for Apple Watches that sometimes requires you to exit and restart the app to sync your steps.) 

Calories (middle):  This section will show your daily calorie intake goal, your consumed calories that you’ve tracked thus far, and your remaining available calories to be consumed for the day.  Tap on “View Meals” to make food journal entries throughout the day.

Exercise (middle):  When you complete any form of structure exercise, you can click on this section to log it in the app.  Once the exercise screen opens, click the “plus” sign in the upper right, and pick the activity type, start time, duration, and intensity of your workout.

Water:  Tap on this as you consume fluids through the day to track your intake.

Supplements:  For most programs the dietitians will be recommending vitamins and/or supplements to be taken twice a day.  After your complete your morning regimen, tap here to go to the Supplements screen and hit the plus button and then Save.  You will see on the home screen that your morning supplements will indicate that they are completed. Do the same for your evening regimen.

Other Important Areas

Contact:  Here you can send private messages to the team member of your choice, and we can send you messages as well.  Currently the app does not support notifications in iOS (it’s coming soon!), but you will get notified via email when you have a new message and then you will need to log in to read the message. 

Scheduling:  In the future, dietitians and providers will be making some time available for scheduling through the app for phone or virtual appointments.  Stay tuned for this as it’s coming soon.

Plus Icon:  At the bottom center there is a “+” symbol.  When you tap it a menu will cascade out. Most of these are duplicates of functions already available on the home screen except for:

  • Sleep:  If you are using the integrated tracker from our office, click the moon with the zz’s by it when you go to bed to put it into sleep mode. Likewise click it when you wake up to put your tracker back into activity mode.
  • Fork/Knife: This section is quite extensive and is where all your food journaling happens.  If you are eating a product out of a box or a can, you can click the barcode icon at the upper left and simply scan it to get the nutritional info.  Otherwise you can enter part of a food item in the search box and quickly find almost anything. Once you select an item you can click on the star in the upper right corner to add it to your favorites so you can find it easily again.  
    • It is critical to add every single food item you consume to your journal!
    • Add items as you consume rather than adding them all at the end of the day.

Obalon Pre-Procedure Meds

obalon pillThe Obalon swallowable gastric balloon is unique in that treatment is gradual, and the balloons are filled with nitrogen gas which makes them float on top of the gastric contents.  These are the primary reasons that Obalon patients tend to have much less nausea and vomiting than patients receiving traditional saline-filled balloons.  Although symptoms are usually minimal, we highly recommend a pre-procedure medication regimen that will reduce symptoms even further.

It is recommended to start this regimen THE DAY BEFORE each scheduled balloon swallow:

  • Zofran (generic ondansetron) – 4mg tablets
    • Take one tablet every 6 hours.
    • Start the morning before each balloon swallow and continue until your appointment.
    • Continue for 24 hours after then use as needed.
  • Levbid (generic hyoscamine) – .375mg tablets:
    • Take one tablet every 12 hours by mouth with a sip of water.
    • Start the morning before each balloon swallow and continue until your appointment.
    • Continue for 24 hours after then use as needed.

These medications can be ePrescribed for you, so if you have not yet given us your pharmacy information please call us with the pharmacy name and full address (with zip code).

It is required to have liquids only on the day of the balloon swallow, with minimal intake for two hours immediately prior to the appointment to ensure that the stomach is fairly empty.

After the swallow you must do clear liquids only for the next 24 hours, pureed food for 24 hours after that, then you can transition to solids on the 3rd day.