In part 6, the conclusion of this Exclusive Interview, Dr. Ken Fujioka talks with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed during the ADA 2017 Scientific Sessions in San Diego, CA about the potential treatments in development for weight issues and the growth of the discussion among today’s healthcare providers.
Ken Fujioka, MD is director of the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center and the Center for Weight management in La Jolla California at the Scripps Clinic.
Transcript of this video segment:
Steve: What do you see as the future of treating weight as far as the technology goes. Now there are balloons we can swallow, pills that explode, different forms of bariatric surgery, just so many things out there. What do you see coming down the pike as far as something that can be very effective, even looking into the future?
Dr. Fujioka: Looking into the future, if you are looking at particularly meds, you are looking at the meds that will clearly treat both. They are going to help you burn more calories, help your blood sugar get better, they are going to lower your appetite – they’re going to do all three. The future is really promising, because we now understand the pathway. We didn’t understand the pathway, we used to think humans were cued to eating. They would walk by the bakery, smell the bread, and go in and eat. But no, we are turned on to eat all the time. Now that we now the hormones that come back and tell us to stop eating, and where those hormones go – the sky is the limit. We are going to really be able to help out patients.
Steve: What would you want a PCP to know for a newly diagnosed type 2 diabetic that walks into the office? Most PCPs, I would think, are going to be looking at blood sugars and A1c and treating that, number 1 – hypertension, lipids – that’s part of the scheme of blood sugars. It’s not unusual for a patient to get a prescription for each one of those. I don’t see weight as one of the primary. You see it as a primary because it deals with all the other things; makes common sense. But, I don’t know if PCPs have reached that point. What is your experience?
Dr. Fujioka: I think we are in a turning point right now where I feel very fortunate that myself and other people who have been doing this for while, that have done the research, and have taught how to do obesity medicine, we are being asked to go to these primary care conferences and to teach it. So, I think that the knowledge is just now getting into the hands of primary care doctors. They will be able to treat this and address it. It is as simple as if somebody comes in with the A1c of 6.7% – sure give him metformin. Metformin does help with losing a little bit of weight and it controls your glucose. That is the way we will be looking at things; how can we treat both when that first patient comes in?
Steve: Is there anything at this meeting that is exciting to you, as far as the new information?
Dr. Fujioka: At this meeting? The biggest thing is that obesity has a presence now in diabetes. There is a lot of really excellent talks on obesity in the diabetic. A fair number of them who are top notch are at this meeting. So, it is clear to me that the information is getting out there.
Steve: And that is a change, isn’t it?
Dr. Fujioka: Yes, exactly. You didn’t see this before. You just saw blood sugars, but now we see both.
Steve: I want to thank you for your time. I have to say, I have spoken to a lot of doctors here, you are one of the more motivated ones.
Dr. Fujioka: Thank you.