Long-standing patients and quite the characters. 91-year old male and his 88-year old wife came into the office and noticed that I had lost a significant amount of weight. I was hesitant to work with this couple since they were the first elderly patients that insisted on doing the SHAPE Program. “Do you think it’ll kill us?” she said, “Because, we really don’t care if it does. We’re old, we’ve lived our lives and we don’t want to die fat!” After giving it some thought and checking their vitals, I could find no legitimate reason to not let them try the program.
I significantly increased their caloric intake right from the start by doubling their protein and fruit.
When I saw them both two weeks later, he had dropped 16 pounds. He began to brag about walking their stairs without holding the handrail. Advising him this was not such a good idea, he said, “Doc, you don’t understand, I haven’t been able to walk upstairs or downstairs in my own home the past two years. My legs simply wouldn’t hold me.” His snoring reduced and allergies seemed to be better.
Stepping into the next treatment room, I was shocked when I saw her legs. She had congestive heart failure and horrible edema from the knees down. For the first time in two years they were normal size! She had dropped 17 pounds in 13 days! Looking up at her face, I noticed she had a black eye and a bruised lip. She told me her blood pressure dropped significantly from the weight loss and her diuretic had to be adjusted. Between the weight loss and the higher dose of medication, she fainted, hitting her face on the coffee table. She didn’t care about the fat lip or the shiner! She was thrilled to be 17 pounds lighter.
Note: This is a great example of why it is so important for the patient to be working closely with their prescribing physician while on the SHAPE program. Results can be so dramatic that medications continue to work when they’re no longer needed, sending the patient to the opposite extreme. When you, your patient and your patient’s prescribing physician communicate, symptoms like fainting spells due to low blood pressure can be avoided.
Submitted by Dr. Todd Frisch, founder, SHAPE ReClaimed