By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Jean Fortier of Portsmouth, New Hampshire has struggled with her weight all her life. “I’ve been heavy since I was a little girl,” says Fortier. At 35, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

“I did Weight Watchers…Oprah had a book, someone else had a book, someone had a system,” says Fortier. Like so many others, she couldn’t figure out the best way for her to lose weight.

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Researchers at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center are analyzing the blood of patients with obesity to try to figure out if there is a genetic reason why some patients respond to certain weight loss treatments and others don’t.

Dr. Dmitry Nepomnayshy is a weight loss surgeon at Lahey. “If I did a test and it showed that you have a very low metabolism,” says Dr. Nepomnayshy, “Maybe I could tell you that the general guidelines don’t apply to you and instead of exercising 30 mins a day for three or four days a week, it should be 45 minutes a day.” Or doctors could tell a patient that a low-carb diet is better than low-fat.

Researchers also hope that down the road, medications could be tailor-made for each patient based on her particular genes.

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“The genetic analysis will help everyone who is struggling with overweight and obesity,” says Dr. Nepomnayshy.

Four years ago, Fortier found her solution, gastric bypass surgery. Almost 150 pounds lighter and off all diabetes medications, Fortier thinks a genetic test is a good idea.

“It would help people understand that it’s not always your fault,” says Fortier. “There is something going on in your body that is causing it to be difficult.”

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For more information on Lahey’s Weight Loss Center go to:

Dr. Mallika Marshall