4-Week Residential Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome Treatment Programme
At Paracelsus Recovery, we see obesity as a symptom of internal imbalances. By tackling these underlying issues, our world-renowned specialists will help you lose excess weight and reduce the severity of your symptoms. Our treatment programmes work because we tailor-make them to you and your unique needs.
Treatment at Paracelsus Recovery
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in many parts of the world, and yet it remains one of our most stigmatised and misunderstood conditions. We know how exhausting it can be when you need to lose weight and nothing seems to work. The prevailing narrative of ‘eat less and exercise more’ is far too reductive in most cases, but societal stigmas and misconceptions make us feel like a failure when it doesn’t work for us.
At Paracelsus Recovery, we know that losing weight has nothing to do with willpower. Instead, obesity occurs when we are suffering from internal imbalances. These can be emotional, psychological, cellular, hormonal, environmental, dietary and/or genetic.
In over 60% of cases, obesity is caused by (or causes) metabolic syndrome. At Paracelsus Recovery, we will make tackling this cluster of symptoms our number one priority. To do so, you will undergo an elaborate testing procedure to determine the exact root causes of your metabolic imbalances and subsequent symptoms. Using our 360-degree treatment model, we will then tailor-make a holistic treatment plan that will effectively address each of these specific issues.
We only ever treat one client at a time to ensure maximum confidentiality and unparalleled care.
“The instinct that drives compulsion is universal. It is an attempt to solve the problem of disconnection, alienation, tepid despair... the problem is ultimately 'being human'.” – Russell Brand
What Causes Obesity?
Obesity is defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that puts your health in danger. These risks include high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, mental health issues, osteoarthritis and many more. The overarching idea is that it is caused by eating too much and moving too little, so treatments focus on changing these two aspects of the condition.
However, this approach to obesity only truly works in a few cases. For example, if someone comes to rely on food as a coping mechanism in a manner like alcohol or drugs. In these cases, psychotherapy to process the difficult emotions and adopting alternative coping mechanisms will help you eat less and move more, which will lead to weight loss. (You can learn more about how we treat emotional eating here).
But there are numerous complex reasons why people gain weight that can have little to nothing to do with how much you are eating. For example, someone could be eating the same as they always have and suddenly gain weight due to hormonal imbalances such as increases in their estrogen, progesterone, cortisol (stress) or testosterone levels.
The situation can run deeper still, whereby someone could show signs of emotional eating when in fact, they are suffering from an undiagnosed mental health condition (such as anxiety or depression) which is leading to neurochemical imbalances. For example, if someone is suffering from depression, they are in a dopamine-deficit state. Their brain is hardwired to seek out substances that will spike up those levels, such as refined sugars or carbs. But, if they received a proper diagnosis and treatment, their excessive cravings for these substances would naturally decrease.
Hence, it is crucial to tackle the underlying root causes of obesity and act against the stigma that still associates weight gain with willpower.
To note - there are a host of underlying issues that can cause obesity (i.e., hormone regulation issues, undiagnosed mental health issues or Cushing’s syndrome, to name just a few). Thus, it is hard to outline exactly what your programme will contain, as our number one priority is to address these root causes. However, in general, your treatment programme will include varying degrees of:
Physical Health Restoration
- Nutrient-dense plan for you that will replenish any lab-identified inflammatory or immune system issues. We take your dietary preferences into account and anything missing from your dietary plan we can provide via nutritional supplements.
- We will make sure your body has optimal levels of water, vitamins, minerals, proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. Once these levels are restored, you will already begin to feel fewer cravings for refined sugars or carbohydrates (if that is something you struggle with).
- Your own private chef who works closely with our nutrition team.
- Intestinal detox and pre/probiotics therapy to restore your gut health.
- Complementary body therapies to minimise stress levels and restore balance. These include massages, acupuncture, reflexology, and yoga.
- You will work with some of the world's leading fitness instructors to help create a long-term daily exercise routine that works for you. We have access to some of Zurich's finest gyms, and we can always bring equipment to you in one of our penthouses.
- Psychonutrition education to help you understand how to ensure your diet contains all the key ingredients to keep you healthy and content after your stay with us.
- A specialised psychotherapist will help you process any mental health issues. For example, we can help you process any emotional-eating triggers or to combat any internalised stigmas or low self-esteem issues brought on by the misconceptions and stigmas that surround obesity.
- A live-in therapist will be available to provide you with 24/7 emotional support.
- Obesity is the excessive accumulation of triacylglycerols in fatty tissue. We use individualised formulas of nutritional supplements and IV solutions based on comprehensive laboratory testing to address these cellular issues. Supplements and IVs may include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other substances.
- We use functional medicine to help restore your health and facilitate your body's natural healing process. IHHT (Intermittent Hyperoxia-Hypoxia-Training) to boost mitochondrial function. We can provide treatment in Zurich and London
What is Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together and increase your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. A person is diagnosed with metabolic syndrome if they have three or more of the following:
- High blood sugar
- High blood pressure
- High levels of triglycerides
- Low levels of HDL cholesterol (so-called good cholesterol)
- Large waist size
Metabolic syndrome is highly related to obesity, inactivity and insulin resistance. When we consume food, our digestive system turns that food into sugar. Insulin is a hormone produced in our pancreas that helps that sugar enter our cells, where it will be used as fuel.
If you suffer from insulin resistance, cells do not respond to insulin. As a result, sugar cannot enter those cells so easily. This makes your blood sugar levels rise even as your body produces an excessive amount of insulin to try and lower your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar typically produces signs and symptoms related to diabetes, such as fatigue, blurred vision and increased urination.
Although not everyone who is diagnosable obese has metabolic syndrome, the majority do. In fact, some studies even argue that ‘metabolically healthy obesity’ is a misleading idea because it just means that the individual is yet to develop metabolic syndrome. However, someone can still develop metabolic syndrome even if they are thin.
Chronic conditions are defined as conditions that last more than one year and require ongoing medical attention or limit daily activities. In that sense, yes, obesity is a chronic condition with a multifactorial aetiology including environment, genetics, lifestyle, metabolism, and behavioural components.
Body mass index (BMI) is one of the most widespread tools used to measure body composition and predict how it will impact a person’s health. However, recent research indicates that BMI is not an accurate depiction and can have serious limitations in weight distribution, body fat percentage, and different demographics.
Absolutely. Through lifestyle changes, holistic treatments, nutritional supplementation and (sometimes) medications, you can effectively reverse metabolic syndrome and reduce your risk of developing a more serious health condition.
At Paracelsus Recovery, we believe that obesity cannot be treated as a condition in and of itself. Instead, you need to tackle the underlying causes which include numerous conditions, imbalances and emotional factors. That being said, once those are addressed, changes in diet and physical activity, nutritional supplementation, psychotherapy, minimising stress and enhancing emotional regulation skills are vital.
There is a prevailing myth that because smoking can momentarily decrease appetite, it can make you lose weight. In reality, heavy smoking is directly related to obesity. Risk of obesity decreases once that person quits smoking.