Gastric Bypass Provides Sustainable Weight Loss: Study

People who are obese and are looking for medical interventions to help them address weight-related concerns will find many options are now available to them. Aside from standard diet and exercise, doctors can now help with medications, nonsurgical procedures and different bariatric surgery techniques. When it comes to sustainable weight loss assistance, however, studies are finding the gastric bypass may offer the biggest benefits.

The gastric bypass is one of the most commonly used bariatric procedures. This surgery enables patients to lose weight and keep it off by taking a two-pronged approach. Much like a sleeve gastrectomy, the first prong involves shrinking the stomach’s holding capacity. This enables people to feel fuller faster, promoting a reduction in food consumption. The second prong involves rerouting a portion of the digestive track to promote reduced calorie absorption. Research has long shown this procedure can have tremendous and lasting benefits to assist with weight loss.

A new study backs up the findings even more over the long-term as opposed to other surgical interventions. To better understand the long-term benefits of weight loss surgery, a multi-part study was conducted. Thousands of patients were included in the study. Some underwent gastric bypasses, others had banding procedures and some had sleeve gastrectomy procedures performed. The researchers ultimately found that gastric bypass patients were able to maintain their weight loss more readily over the course four years than people who underwent different procedures.

Obesity can have ramification that go well beyond appearance. People who are severely overweight are at risk for such health problems as diabetes and heart attacks. Losing weight can dramatically lower the risks for developing life-limiting conditions. To find out more about weight loss options, both surgical and non-surgical, speak with a licensed healthcare provider. Losing weight can dramatically improve health and may even help treat and/or reverse some related medical concerns, such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

Obesity Rates for Women on the Rise

It is estimated that a third of all Americans are obese, including children. The rate of obesity within a certain subset of the population, however, is growing faster than the others. According to new data, an estimated 40 percent of American women are considered obese. The data comes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and represents a troubling trend that can have serious repercussions down the road.

The data released by the CDC comes from a 2013-14 study that looked at the obesity rates in the United States. It is now estimated that about 35 percent of the male population also struggles with weight.

Finding that the obesity rate is climbing rather than declining is bad news for a multitude of reasons. Obesity has long been linked to a number of potentially life-limiting illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer. While much attention has been focused on the need for people to gain and maintain healthy weight levels, the findings show increases are occurring despite efforts.

Considering the health impacts of obesity, especially in the long run, it is important for people who are overweight to consider their options. These tips can help promote healthy weight loss:

• Seek medical advice – If obesity is a concern, speaking with a healthcare provider may open up a host of possibilities for addressing the issue. Medically supervised diet programs may offer the assistance some people need. Others may find their best bet for shedding pounds is found in bariatric surgery.
• Incorporate healthy lifestyle choices – Proper diet and exercise can make a big difference in the weight loss picture. Work these things into the routine and also consider paying attention to triggers that may promote overeating. Identify issues that prompt poor eating habits and working to overcome them can make a big difference.

Obesity is a real concern in the United States. Individuals who are concerned about their weight will find help is available. The best place to start is by talking with a healthcare provider for insights, advice and recommendations.

Weight Loss Surgery Can Help Type 2 Diabetics, Doctors Say

As more studies support the idea that bariatric surgery can help type 2 diabetics better manage and even reverse their disease, doctors and researchers across the globe are pushing for this treatment to be more readily offered to patients with uncontrolled symptoms who happen to be obese or mildly obese. In the United Kingdom, for example, doctors are recommending this intervention for more than 100,000 patients who might not have otherwise qualified based on their body mass indexes alone. Globally, more than 45 international medical organizations are now recommending bariatric surgery as a viable treatment for some cases of type 2 diabetes.

Obesity and type 2 diabetes have long been strongly linked through research. Obesity is known to greatly increase a person’s risk for developing this disease and it may also make controlling it quite difficult if it does present. A number of studies have shown that procedures, such as the gastric bypass, help type 2 diabetics better control their blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity and lowering inflammation in the body. Some studies have shown that bypasses can even help some type 2 diabetics completely reverse their symptoms. While research is still under way to better understand why surgical weight loss promotes better control of diabetes, some studies have indicated that a change in gut microorganisms may get some of the credit.

At present, gastric bypasses are generally reserved for people with a BMI of 40 or above. For those with diabetes and other obesity related conditions, a BMI of 35 or higher may open the door for surgical intervention. As more doctors push for changes, it is possible type 2 diabetics with lower BMIs may find bariatric surgery made available to them as a treatment option.

People who are obese are urged to speak with their healthcare providers about all weight loss options. Losing weight can dramatically improve health and may help with the control of certain conditions, such as diabetes.

Why Gastric Sleeve Procedures Are Growing in Popularity

Anyone who has explored the potential of weight loss surgery to help them shed pounds and adopt a healthier lifestyle knows there are lots of options available. One particular surgical procedure, however, is continuing to gain ground in popularity. The gastric sleeve procedure, or sleeve gastrectomy, is beginning to overtake gastric bypasses for a few very good reasons.

The gastric sleeve procedure involves the surgical removal of a large portion of the stomach. Roughly 70 percent of its volume (holding capacity) is removed. The stomach is then reshaped to resemble a banana or “sleeve,” to complete the procedure. In addition to shrinking stomach holding capacity, the sleeve procedure also involves the removal of the portion of the stomach that creates hunger-causing hormones.

Although similar in concept to the bypass, the sleeve procedure does have some distinct differences. This operation does not involve the rerouting of the digestive system. That means concerns about vitamin deficiencies are not necessarily present, which is seen by many to be a huge benefit. There are others though, including:

• Effectiveness – Over the course of roughly three years, people tend to lose about 80 percent of their goal weight. They will generally see a stabilization of weight after about five years, but the weight loss benefit tends to continue to assist with maintenance.
• Somewhat less invasive – The sleeve procedure is considered less invasive overall than the gastric bypass simply because the small intestine isn’t rerouted. This, as mentioned, can be a big benefit for those worried about postoperative nutrition. What’s more, the procedure is often performed laparoscopically, which tends to be much less invasive and has a faster recovery time.

For people who are obese, losing weight can dramatically improve health while lowering the risks of serious complications. The gastric sleeve procedure may offer the solution required. To find out more about bariatric surgery and its benefits, consult with a licensed healthcare provider.

Can Mediation Help With Weight Loss?

For the estimated third of all Americans who are considered obese, taking action to address weight is critical for maintaining health and preventing potentially deadly diseases. While lots of options exist to help those who are obese shed pounds, some are more invasive than others. As it turns out, something as simple as adding mediation into the routine, can greatly help those on a quest to shed pounds do so.

Mediation doesn’t have to involve sitting on a pillow or striking a pose. It can involve nothing more than taking a few moments out on a busy day to concentrate on deep breathing and releasing stress. For those who struggle with weight, the momentary reprieve can help focus their minds on the goals at hand while building up their resolve to face mealtimes and snack times with grace and willpower.

Here are just a few ways mediation can assist in the quest to lose weight and keep it off:

•    Stress reduction – Mediation has been long proven to be an incredible stress buster. By relaxing the mind and the body, this act enables more direct focus of thoughts as stress melts away. Since many people eat inappropriately, sometimes binging, when stress levels are high, meditation is a win here.
•    Focus – Mediation can also help laser focus the mind on particular goals or actions. When weight loss is the plan, using mediation to visualize achieving the end goal or mini-goals along the way can help make the necessary actions materialize in reality.
•    More careful eating – Mediation can even be used during the act of eating itself. Simply making the conscious choice to set a fork down between bites so food can be savored (and properly chewed) can promote consumption of fewer bites.

Obesity is a serious health concern that can and should be addressed. Mediation can help along the way.

Lap Band Myths: The Truth About the Procedure

The quest to lose weight and get healthier isn’t easy for everyone. Sometimes medical intervention is necessary to help those pounds come off and stay off. Surgical procedures have been proven to be very helpful in this arena, often enabling those who have been incapable of losing weight to drop large percentages of body fat. For those looking for a reversible option, the lap band procedure is a popular choice. Myths about this procedure, however, have some not so sure if the option is worth pursuing.

The lap band procedure involves the placement of an adjustable band around the top portion of the stomach. This band essentially reduces stomach capacity, making it easier for people to eat smaller amounts. Fully reversible, the procedure is a sound option for those who would prefer to avoid permanent alteration of their bodies.

Here are some of the common myths surrounding this procedure and the facts to bust them:

Lap Band is a dangerous option
Yes, all surgeries have their share of risks. The lap band is no different in this regard. Even so, there is a very low chance of complications for this procedure, especially when compared to more involved weight loss surgeries, such as the gastric bypass. Complications that do arise are often easy to resolve.

The surgery prevents pregnancy.
This is simply not true. Women with lap bands in place can become pregnant and may safely do so. The truth is, however, that most doctors prefer women to wait until about two years after surgery to do so since the bulk of weight loss will occur in this procedure.

Quality of life drops
This is also simply not true. While the procedure will require lifestyle adjustments, the side effects tend to be lower than with other forms of weight loss surgery.

People who are severely obese will find surgical weight loss options may offer the help they need to lose weight once and for all. To find out more, consult with a reputable bariatric surgeon.

Tips for Avoiding Discomfort After Gallbladder Removal

Gallbladder surgery is designed to relieve chronic, often severe, pain. That, however, doesn’t mean that discomfort doesn’t go along with prospect of having this organ removal. While gallbladder surgery will stop those sharp, incredibly painful flare ups, learning to live without a gallbladder does take a little getting used to. Fortunately, there are some tips that can help.

Keep in mind the gallbladder isn’t an essential organ. It is, however, an important part of the digestive process. That means the body will have some acclimating to do when it is removed. In the process, people may find they suffer from digestive discomforts when consuming foods and drinks.  These tips can keep discomfort to a minimum:

•    Take it easy when adding foods back into the diet – It’s a good idea to avoid solid foods in the first few days after surgery. Liquids, broth and gelatin are often the best bets. This is especially so while the surgical site is especially tender.
•    Eat small – Opting for smaller portion sizes can help greatly in the days following surgery. Low-fat foods are also especially helpful since they don’t necessarily demand the bile that the gallbladder once held to digest.
•    Keep track of foods – It’s a good idea to keep a food journal as foods are reintroduced into the diet. This makes it easier to avoid foods down the road that create particular problems.
•    Take care with high-fiber foods – Adding fiber back into the diet after surgery is important, but do take it easy. It’s best to avoid these at first as they can contribute to gas, which can be especially uncomfortable right after surgery.

Gallbladder surgery is typically an outpatient prospect that delivers strong results. Even so, recovery can take a little time. If any symptoms are especially alarming, be sure to check with a healthcare provider for advice. A little discomfort is normal following surgery, but extreme symptoms are not.

When is it Time for Bariatric Surgery?

Making the decision to undergo weight loss surgery is a very big step to take. While these procedures have proven themselves time and again to be highly effective, most involve the permanent alteration of the body. With that in mind, those who are obese may find themselves asking how to tell when the time is right to consider this option.

Here are a few signs, courtesy of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, that can help people gauge if this type of procedure might be right for them:

• An excessively high BMI – In most cases, surgeons recommend bariatric surgery for patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher.
• A lower BMI with obesity-related health conditions – People with weight-related health concerns, such as diabetes, may find themselves candidates for procedures, such as a gastric bypass, if they have a BMI of 35 or higher.

Gastric bypass procedures and sleeve gastrostomies are generally only recommended in the above circumstances. People with BMIs of 35 or less and health-related concerns, however, may find themselves eligible for a different type of procedure. Gastric banding may be indicated in cases where obesity levels are not in the severe range.

While the above are general rules of thumb for those seeking gastric surgical procedures to promote weight loss, other factors should also generally go into play. Some surgeons prefer their patients also:

• Undergo counseling – Pre-surgical counseling is often highly recommended to ensure patients understand the full scope of the procedures, what to expect and the potential side effects that may crop up.
• Exhaust other methods – Many surgeons prefer their patients try exercise and health eating plans prior to moving forward with surgical procedures. Gastric bypasses, for example, are often seen as a last resort effort.

Obesity is connected with a number of serious illnesses and may even prove to be life-limiting. Those who are considering surgical options to lower weight are urged to discuss all their options directly with their healthcare providers.

Weight-Loss Surgery May Lower Alcohol Tolerance

People considering weight-loss surgery might want to keep a possible side effect in mind if their particular bariatric procedure happens to involve a gastric bypass. Researchers are finding this highly successful form of weight loss surgery may also lower a person’s tolerance for alcohol courtesy of faster entrance into the bloodstream.

Gastric bypass surgery is one of the more popular long-term, surgical weight loss solutions. This procedure involves lowering the stomach’s holding capacity while also rerouting digestion directly to the small intestine. It’s the latter half of the procedure that might cause some patients to feel the effects of alcohol faster and more profoundly, researchers have found.

A small-scale study on the topic was recently conducted by the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University’s School of Medicine in St. Louis, Miss. Here researchers pulled in 17 obese women for the study. Eight of the women had undergone gastric bypass procedures within five years prior to the study’s start. The other nine had not yet undergone the procedure.

During the course of the study, all women involved were asked to consume two standard alcoholic drinks or two non-alcoholic drinks within two 10-minute sessions conducted roughly a week apart. Researchers ultimately found that BAC levels among the bypass group exceeded legal limits for a half-hour following consumption. Those in the non-bypass group never saw their blood alcohol levels rise above the legal limit for driving.

While the study only involved a small group, it does point to the potential for alcohol to be more rapidly introduced into the blood stream following gastric bypass procedures. Patients considering this long-term weight loss solution may want to be very mindful of this potential side effect.

Gastric bypass procedures and other similar operations can be especially helpful in assisting people who are seriously obese in bringing weight down to more healthy levels. Before diving into any surgical option, however, patients are urged to discuss all the alternatives carefully with their healthcare providers.

Can Bariatric Surgery Change Your Life?

Carrying around an extra 100 or more pounds on a daily basis can take its toll on a person’s life in the present and future. When those pounds come off, however, some people find they feel better, look better and are much less likely to develop serious weight-related medical conditions. With that in mind, many seriously obese people consider the solution that bariatric surgery can provide for them.

While bariatric surgery has proven itself incredibly helpful for assisting those who struggle with excess weight, there are some things patients need to understand. Bariatric surgery is not a magic solution that will guarantee weight lost is kept off forever. It can have dramatic impacts in helping diets become much more successful, but it is up to the patient – not the surgeon – to produce effects that truly change lives.

What Patients Need to Know

Bariatric surgery has been the focus of much study in recent years with most studies finding it can truly prove to be the boost those suffering from obesity need to shed the pounds. That said, however, patients need to understand that:

• Bariatric surgery alone won’t do the trick – In order for patients to experience success, they must follow post-surgical diets and even begin exercise routines.
• Bariatric surgery is often permanent – While it’s not always the case, many types of bariatric surgery involved the permanent alteration of the stomach. Patients who opt to go in that direction will find what is done cannot be undone.
• Support following surgery must continue – Bariatric surgery patients often seek out and receive a great deal of support in the first few months to years after surgery. After about the three-year mark, however, some drop up from obtaining continued support and see their weight climb as a result. The struggle with weight is often a life-long concern, even if surgery is performed.
• The surgery is not the diet – Weight loss surgery is not a diet. It is meant to help make diets more effective.

People who are considering weight loss surgery are urged to speak with a licensed healthcare provider. This option can help the pounds come off, but it’s up to patients to ensure that the results are truly life-changing.