Meet Tanya

Dr Tanya Balov is a board-certified family physician in the East Valley of Arizona. She is an advocate for a healthy lifestyle with an emphasis on preventative and nutrition medicine for the improvement of chronic diseases such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. Dr Balov is a strong believer in a better quality of life for her patients by empowering them to be proactive in their physical and emotional well-being.



Dr Balov is a board-certified family medicine physician and well-trained graduate of A.T. Still University in Mesa, AZ.

She completed her residency training in Tucson where she also served as the chief resident of her class and was recognized with the “Practice Improvement” award at graduation. Not only did she complete her undergraduate studies at UCLA, but she also completed a post-baccalaureate program through Harvard University.

Dr. Balov is a strong advocate for a healthy mind and body utilizing preventative medicine and nutrition. She also strives to improve her patient’s current chronic conditions including diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

Dr. Balov is unequivocally committed to the health of her patients through education and communication.

In her free time, you can find Dr. Balov traveling with her family, going to Pilates, and listening to audiobooks.



In this program, we delve into the world of weight loss medications and their role in supporting individuals on their weight loss journeys. We explore the different types of weight loss medications, their mechanisms of action, and their potential benefits. I also discuss the importance of incorporating lifestyle changes alongside these medications for effective and sustainable weight management.

Throughout the program, I will provide insights from medical professionals, experts, and individuals who have used weight loss medications as part of their weight loss programs. I will also address common misconceptions, potential side effects, and the importance of medical supervision when using these medications.

Additionally, I highlight the significance of personalized approaches to weight loss and the need for comprehensive lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet and regular exercise, as the foundation for long-term success. I also emphasize the importance of seeking professional guidance, understanding individual needs and considerations, and making informed decisions when considering weight loss medications.


The take-away message from this program is that weight loss medications can be a valuable tool in supporting weight loss efforts, particularly for individuals struggling with obesity or overweight. However, they are not a stand-alone solution. Combining weight loss medications with lifestyle changes is essential for sustainable weight management. It’s crucial to work closely with healthcare professionals to determine the suitability of weight loss medications, understand potential side effects, and develop an individualized plan that addresses the underlying causes of weight gain. The program aims to empower individuals with knowledge and guidance to make informed decisions about weight loss medications while promoting the adoption of healthy lifestyle habits for long-term success.

Program can be customized for specific client needs.

TOPIC:  Weight Loss
Raise your hand if you have ever tried to lose weight. Now raise your hand if you felt you were successful. Now raise your hand if you were able to keep the weight off. I am sure the number of hands has gone down and I am here to tell you it is not your fault. Of course, a sedentary lifestyle and processed food do not help matters, but there is so much more to losing weight than a healthy diet and exercise. Genetics and hereditary makeup contribute significantly to a person’s body habitus. Not only that, but also any endocrine abnormalities like hypothyroidism can hinder a person’s ability to lose weight effectively. Thyroid function can appear well controlled on routine blood work, however, this can still impact weight loss. Not to mention, the way in which foods are processed in today’s times versus about 30 years ago has differed significantly – it is no coincidence that the rate of diabetes has skyrocketed in the past 30 years. Unfortunately, all of these factors do not promote successful and long-lasting weight loss and I would just like to drive the point home that this is not for lack of trying on your part.

Luckily, there is a new kid on the block that may revolutionize our relationship with the scale. GLP-1   medications have now hit the market and are showing promising results in the realm of weight loss. GLP-1 medications, also known as glucagon-like peptides, mimic a hormone that naturally occurs in the small intestine to stimulate the release of insulin. Insulin is another hormone that allows cells to take up glucose (or sugar) in the body. Therefore, most GLP-1s are indicated for the use of controlling blood sugars in diabetic patients. However, these medications have also demonstrated a particularly favorable side effect – weight loss!
Now how does this happen? GLP-1 medications also delay gastric emptying. In other words, they slow  down the rate at which your stomach empties itself of food which results in feeling full longer. Portion size tends to dramatically decrease as a result as well. Ultimately, food intake and appetite are affected and therefore promote weight loss. Due to the way this medication works, common side effects may include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Anecdotally, I have not had many patients experience vomiting and most have expressed to me that the nausea is typically short-lived. On the other hand, I have had some patients experience constipation rather than diarrhea likely due to eating less. If my patients wish to continue the medication despite side effects, then anti-nausea medication and stool softeners can be used as needed if desired.

The most common GLP-1 medications on the market are semaglutide (brand name ozempic or wegovy), dulaglutide (brand name trulicity), and tirzepatide (brand name mounjaro). Tirzepatide is slightly different in that it acts on two different types of receptors – it is not only a GLP-1 but also what is known as a GIP. For those of us that like to geek out on pharmacology, GIP stands for glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide. Despite the long complicated name, it is essentially another hormone that causes insulin to be released in response to a meal. These medications have been shown to produce results, but not everybody is a candidate for them. More specifically, these medications are contraindicated in patients with personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC is a type of thyroid cancer) or multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN 2). What we mean by contraindicated is that we would not recommend taking this medication due to potential harm. What we mean by MEN 2 is a rare disorder that can cause tumors in the endocrine glands such as the thyroid, parathyroid, or adrenal glands. Thyroid tumors have been found in studies using rodents, but have not been found in humans at this point; however, we still recommend against it in anyone with this relevant history. Ultimately, more studies will need to be performed to further investigate this possibility.

Historically, medical weight loss typically came down to stimulant medications that help to suppress appetite. One of the more commonly used medications is phentermine. I have prescribed this medication often for patients and have seen results, however, as a stimulant we have to monitor closely for the subsequent side effects. Side effects may include rapid heart rate and palpitations, increased blood pressure, and insomnia. For my patients that have a history of hypertension (or high blood pressure) this may not be the best choice.Often, phentermine is combined with another drug called topiramate (brand name topamax). Topiramate is traditionally an anti-seizure and migraine prevention medication and comes with its own list of side effects; however, most importantly for my younger female patients, this medication can potentially cause birth defects and we strongly advise women of child-bearing age to also take birth control along with this medication. Subsequently, these medications come with certain stipulations and may not be appropriate for everyone.

Now, every medication will have side effects simply for the reason that every medication has to be processed through the liver and kidneys and certain breakdown products can result in side effects. Not to mention, the mechanism (or the way it works) can cause side effects as well. However, in order to determine if a medication is right for you depends heavily on your own body chemistry and risk versus benefit of the drug in question. Every person and every body is unique – what works for one person may not be best for your neighbor and that is ok. If side effects are minimal to none and we see benefit, then that is the most desirable outcome. If side effects are terrible and make my patients feel worse, then let’s move on and go a different route. Remember, this is about your overall well-being. I am not a physician that treats every ailment with a prescription, but if a medication exists that is more helpful than harmful, then let’s utilize science and medicine to our advantage.

Lastly, this is about more than the number on the scale, this is about feeling good in your skin, feeling good when you slip on those jeans, and feeling more confident in your own health and well-being. This is about not shying away from mirrors but embracing your projection. Taking off weight is not simply for a superficial benefit, but it means reducing the potential complications of obesity – heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, and sleep apnea to name a few. This is about your health and taking control of your future health as realistically as we can when faced with the things we cannot control – our genes, our food sources, and certain diagnoses. This is about you and what nourishes your mind, body, and soul.