Dr. Tosh and His Team Battle Obesity
MU Children's Hospital's adolescent diabetes obesity program, called the ADOBE clinic, is mid-Missouri's only state-of-the-art, multi-disciplinary facility aimed exclusively toward helping children and teens battle the myriad of health issues that can come with being overweight. Directed by Aneesh Tosh, MD, assistant professor of child health and adolescent medicine, the clinic has already successfully helped more than 150 adolescents since it opened in August 2007.
"We know that about one-third of Missouri youth are either overweight or obese," said Tosh. "And we also know that weight issues can lead to many very serious health problems. These kids are at a greater risk of getting type II diabetes. They are also at risk for developing other health complications like kidney and liver disease, circulatory problems, heart disease and even high cholesterol and stroke. But the good news is, it is not too late for these kids. If we can work with them to change their behaviors now, instead of when they are adults, we have a much better chance of those behavior changes becoming life-long healthy habits."
Tosh and his team of specialized nurses, nutritionists and other health care professionals have made it their mission to be on the leading edge of medical techniques that will help their patients. That mission led them to a research study on the hot-button medical topic of vitamin D.
Currently, they are recruiting patients for a study to examine how a vitamin D deficiency might be contributing to why some adolescents struggle with their weight.
"First, some of our residents did a comparative data analysis right here and discovered that adolescents who are overweight have a much higher incidence of vitamin D deficiency," said Tosh. "In fact, when we looked at the information they gathered in our own clinic's patient population, we found that 80 percent of them had the deficiency."
Tosh's newest research will look at whether giving high doses of a vitamin D supplement will help his patients stave off the onset of type II diabetes.
"We know that vitamin D has strong anti-inflammatory properties," said Tosh. "We hypothesize that type II diabetes and insulin resistance are actually connected with an inflammatory reaction in the body. By some mechanism that we don't fully understand yet, the body's own immune system senses the inflammation and attempts to heal itself by going into overdrive thus effecting its reaction to insulin. So our hope is by giving large doses of vitamin D as an anti-inflammatory agent, we can stop the body from attacking itself in this way, thereby slowing or even stopping the onset of the disease."
Meanwhile, he and his team will continue to use every available resource to help Missouri's youth combat obesity, one patient at a time.
To schedule an appointment or for more information about the ADOBE clinic call (573) 882-6979 or 800-500-6979.