A Brief History of The Lifestyle Clinic
This clinic was initially set-up to provide a service to tackle the rising obesity crisis within the local community.
The clinic first opened its doors to 10 diabetic patients in November 2018. It receives funding by the Amman-Gwendraeth GP cluster on a year-on-year basis, currently agreed until March 2021.
Dr Frater has completed a diploma in Obesity & Weight Management and works as a GP in Brynteg Surgery, Ammanford. These sessions are extra to routine surgery work.
The ethos of the clinic is very much around using lifestyle as medicine. We aim to treat chronic health conditions and empower patients to take control of their own health. Educating people to understand how their lifestyle choices impacts on their health is core to the programme, and often results in many positive changes. Weight loss and deprescribing are at the core of what we aim to achieve.
During the research phase of the programme, Dr Frater developed an interest in the low carbohydrate diet and felt that it needed to be incorporated as a separate ‘option’ for patients. This quickly became an important part of the programme with diabetics being encouraged to join this arm of the service. With time, interest grew, and we now offer a ‘low carb course for non-diabetics’. The upsurge in research and evidence in this area is growing by the year and it gives us another powerful tool in managing the diabetic crisis.
Group sessions have proven extremely popular and found to be the most effective way of sharing our knowledge. The focus of this clinic will be to change what individuals are eating and their attitude to food. Three of the group sessions will be dedicated to this, but as this is a lifestyle clinic, and the latter sessions will cover essential topics such as stress management, importance of sleep hygiene and behavioural techniques designed to create new positive habits.
Due to the powerful impact changing your lifestyle can have, it can cause quite a rapid decrease in blood sugars which is why supervision by a trained clinician is crucial to ensure safety. This aspect is unique to the service and allows heavy supervision, support and the ability to provide regular advice.
Delivery will be via group sessions, one to one appointments and with email contact to ensure the best chances of success.
We are extremely proud to be able to provide this service, as it is unique within the area, and indeed, within Wales.
I sincerely hope you get as much reward and enjoyment as we get from providing this service and look forward to embarking on this journey together!
Dr Nerys Frater and the team