A journey again to wellness after three kidney transplants and weight achieve

Rowena Roque, 46, was having an issue that many individuals can relate to: doing every little thing in her energy to shed some pounds and get wholesome however by no means succeeding.

From fad diets to two-hour exercises, there is not a weight loss plan or exercise routine that Roque did not attempt.

“My weight challenges have been a difficulty my complete life,” mentioned Roque. “I’ve most likely tried each weight loss plan program on the market.”

Roque, a registered nurse, says her well being obstacles started lengthy earlier than maturity.

At 15, she was identified with immunoglobulin A nephropathy, a persistent kidney illness that may result in kidney failure. In the end, she wanted a kidney transplant.

Over a span of 20 years, her physique endured dialysis, steroid drugs, main stress and two kidney transplants–all contributing components to her ongoing wrestle with weight achieve.

In 2020 Roque underwent her third kidney transplant at Cedars-Sinai Complete Transplant Middle.

My final finish objective is to be wholesome. I’m not doing this weight-loss journey to look a sure means or to be tremendous skinny or seem like a supermodel. My objective is to be wholesome in order that my third kidney transplant will hopefully be my final.”


Rowena Roque

Decided to maintain her kidney wholesome, Roque knew she must hold her blood stress low and scale back her physique mass index (BMI), so she kicked her wholesome habits into overdrive.

Roque spent the following 12 months and a half counting energy, consuming three healthful meals a day and exercising 5 days per week. Her exercise routine consisted of strolling 10,000 steps a day, weight coaching and cardio workouts.

The size did not transfer.

Involved that one thing was unsuitable, Roque reached out to her community of docs, household, and buddies, however nobody may diagnose what was occurring. Some did not imagine her when she defined her weight-loss efforts.

“I turned to a number of docs who simply gave me totally different solutions, comparable to, ‘Possibly your physique simply likes that weight,’ or, “Possibly you simply must attempt tougher,'” mentioned Roque. “It wasn’t till I spoke to considered one of my transplant physicians at Cedars-Sinai, who advisable I am going see Dr. Velazquez.”

Amanda Velazquez, MD, director of Weight problems Drugs within the Division of Surgical procedure at Cedars-Sinai, says Roque’s story shouldn’t be distinctive.

“There may be extreme stigma round weight problems,” mentioned Velazquez. “People are sometimes thought to lack willpower and assume that’s what received them to the place they’re with their weight, when that’s not true. What’s actually occurring is that they might be up towards a extreme persistent illness–weight problems–that may be very advanced.”

Weight problems is an epidemic in the USA, with 42% of adults having a BMI over 30, based on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. This quantity is predicted to rise to 50% in 2023.

A BMI of 18.5-25 is considered wholesome, and one between 25 and 30 qualifies as obese.

“Rowena had been attempting her hardest for years to attempt to assist herself shed some pounds to enhance her well being and protect the well being of her kidney. However regardless of her good efforts, her physique had a propensity for her weight to maintain going up,” mentioned Velazquez.

With weight achieve primarily in her stomach space and a BMI of 35.7–placing Roque at a larger danger for coronary heart illness and different metabolic problems–Velazquez identified Roque with weight problems and prescribed semaglutide.

Semaglutide, offered beneath the model names Ozempic and Wegovy, is a drugs accessible for the therapy of kind 2 diabetes and weight problems, respectively, that may assist sufferers lose and keep weight reduction.

This class of weight administration drugs works by imitating a intestine hormone known as glucagon-like peptide, or GLP1, that helps folks really feel fuller and reduces urge for food.

Since starting her weight reduction journey with Velazquez, Roque has misplaced over 25 kilos and thus far has lowered her BMI to 29.

“The outcomes have been fairly wonderful,” mentioned Roque. “I’m placing in the identical quantity of labor and self-discipline that I used to be already doing a 12 months and a half in the past. The distinction is that I am now shedding pounds due to weight administration drugs.”

Vitamin, train and a wholesome life-style are important to complementing weight reduction drugs.

In the present day Roque’s routine consists of figuring out 5 days per week, strolling at the least two miles a day and having fun with a balanced weight loss plan full of protein, vegatables and fruits.

“We acknowledge and perceive that weight problems is complex-;the physique is working towards you-;so we get that it’s arduous to shed some pounds,” mentioned Velazquez. “Subsequently, we would like people to really feel empowered to hunt out care as a result of these instruments might help you to lose the load and enhance your general well being.”

To study extra about weight reduction drugs, speak to your healthcare group or contact the Cedars-Sinai Middle for Weight Administration and Metabolic Well being.

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