HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg's Southern Medical Care Family Physician Dr. Lara Otaigbe knows first-hand the burden metabolic diseases have on our society every day.
"Problems with diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol," Otaigbe said.
As the Medical Director of Radiant Reflections Weight Loss Clinic, she said she sees patients struggling with all three of those diseases, and their costly medicines.
"When one medication maybe costs $300, maybe insurance doesn't pay for it, or doesn't cover it completely, maybe your co-pay is $100, then it gets to be a problem" Otaigbe said.
Otaigbe's solution may seem unorthodox.
"I really try to work with them and talk to them about what is going on in their lives," Otaigbe said.
Instead of another expensive prescription, Otaigbe simply gets to know her patient's lifestyle, pinpointing habits they can tweak to manage the disease. So, if a patient has joint pain or fatigue, she suggests short bursts of movement throughout the day.
"Can you at least do some sort of movement five minutes on the hour, three or four times a day? That adds up to 15 or 20 minutes a day," Otaigbe said.
Do you buy that $3 latte every morning?
"If you multiply three by 30 that's a $90 a month habit!," Otaigbe said.
She said if you kick that habit, think about using that money for a gym membership. She said nix the processed foods for fresh options and protein. Otaigbe added you could also get active at your home by simply walking. Otaigbe suggested this to her patients and has seen results in a matter of weeks.
"They feel a whole lot better, and you end up having more money in your pocket because where you were having to buy maybe three to four vials of insulin a month, you're down to buying two vials a month. That's change you can use," Otaigbe said.