Email :
Phone : +27 (0)12 362 2422

Welcome to the Weight Control Clinic
On Friday, 1 June 2012, Dr Arien van der Merwe (MBChB FRSPH MISMA) re-launched the Weight Control Clinic in Pretoria.  ‘I am excited about the prospect of continuing with Dr Gauché’s scientific and clinically proven treatment protocol while adding the mental-emotional, health coaching and educational components to our offering’, says Dr Arien.

The Weight Control Clinic was founded by Doctor W. Gauché in 1970 and is renowned for providing a safe and effective, medically supervised weight loss program. The bariatric medical practice predominantly focuses on identifying medical and dietary reasons for weight gain and obesity. Dr Gauché has made the decision to retire from the practice at the age of 74, which has subsequently been bought by Dr Arien van der Merwe. She will continue to offer the Weight Control Clinic’s comprehensive, individualised medical weight release program, a scientifically formulated eating plan and an integrative medicine approach, including effective and well researched botanical medicine and scientifically formulated and proven, nutriceuticals.

There are many medical, mental-emotional and dietary reasons for weight gain and obesity, says Dr Arien. ‘Many make the mistake of looking at one aspect of a person without taking the entire person into account.  The physical body is important, but you also have to consider the mental body (intellect, found in the left brain), emotional body (limbic system that resides in the right brain) and the soul body (life meaning and purpose) in addition to the occupational, environmental and social dimensions of a person.  There is always a bigger picture at play and if you look at a person from all of these dimensions you are more likely to find a solution that is life-changing and effective’, explains Dr Arien.

Getting yourself to an inner state of joy, peace, love and harmony is easier said than done.  ‘We all have a little voice in our heads that can have a negative impact on the immune system, heart and whole body.  Molecules of emotion course through the blood stream and enter the cells. You quite literally become what you think because your cells ‘feel’like you do.  This is why the whole person needs to be considered to get to the heart of the matter and to find that elusive balance in life’, says Dr Arien.

Besides the role that the emotional self plays in the weight control challenge, many physical reasons prevail such as insulin resistance, specific organ dysfunction (e.g. pancreas, underactive thyroid, digestive system, heart), metabolic syndrome and the stress hormone:  cortisol (fight-or-flight and cold-and-hunger responses).

‘More women than men suffer from metabolic syndrome, and they may not even be aware of the fact’, says Dr Arien.  Metabolic syndrome comprises of a group of risk factors that occur together, increasing the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke and type two diabetes.

At root-level, metabolic syndrome is related to both being overweight and obesity.  Two of the main risk factors associated with it are extra weight around the middle and upper parts of the body and insulin resistance that hampers the body’s effective use of glucose.  Additional factors that increase your risk are a lack of exercise, hormonal changes, aging and genes that can increase your likelihood to develop the condition, as well as the important emotional factor of ‘looking for sweetness in life’.

Metabolic Syndrome: Symptoms and Signs

  • Increased waist circumference: Population & country specific cut-off points. Usually > 102 cm men, > 88 cm women
  • Increased triglycerides (or drug treatment for it): 1.7mmol/1
  • Decreased HDL (or drug treatment for it) : < 1.0 mmol/l for men; < 1.3 mmol/l for women.
  • Increased blood pressure (or antihypertensive drugs used): 130 mmHg systolic; 85mmHg diastolic or above.
  • Increased fasting glucose (drug treatment for increased glucose) >5.5 mmol/1
  • Increased fasting insulin levels (>10mmol/L)

Statistics for Metabolic Syndrome

Addressing metabolic syndrome in an integrative medicine approach, that can be applied to private practice, local clinics, community primary care facilities and in the workplace, has to become a top priority to address the burden of this disease (health challenge) in South Africa. By 2010, 150 million people have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, using the diagnostic criteria as per the previous article summary. We know that only about 20% are actually diagnosed, hence the utmost importance of regular health and wellness screenings, one of the main reason for promoting workplace wellness interventions with regular health and wellness screenings. It is predicted that this figure will increase to 300 million by the year 2030. Compare this figure to the 35 million positive HIV people globally, with 22 million of those in Africa, and it is clear that metabolic syndrome is an even bigger health challenge to for which to find integrative medical and wellness solutions.

‘There are many integrative ways to address the health challenge of metabolic syndrome’, says Dr Arien.  ‘Corrective, balanced eating is a good place to start, as is managing your stress levels on a daily basis.  Regular, fun, physical activities are advisable, as are regular relaxation and stress breaks.  Sleep is of course the best medicine, as it defrags body and mind’.

‘At the Weight Control Clinic, a dedicated team of professional health practitioners work with the individual to establish the cause, while providing the best possible treatment, with the essential ongoing motivation and support’, concludes Dr Arien.

Contact: Dr Arien van der Merwe
Office no: 012 3622422

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