Saturday, December 03, 2016

weight loss surgery not really effective, admits top surgeon



It's pretty common knowledge for those who access the Internet, that weight loss surgery is not only ineffective but risky.

But recently, Dr "Now" of "My 600 lb life" admitted on TV that weight loss surgery isn't effective after 5 years, a telling admission for him since he actively, is pursuing clients for his surgery although there is some evidence that he might be doing the safer gastric sleeve, more than the gastric bypass.

Weight loss surgery, all of it, is based on an idea we now know to be false i.e. that the appetite center is in the stomach. 

The appetite center is in the brain which is why weight loss surgery isn't effective unless you diet and exercise which of course, causes a weight loss without surgery!

The inventor of the gastric bypass, Edward Mason, found, in the 1960's, his ulcer surgery patients were losing weight and thought he could do similar surgery on overweight folks with the same results.  Thus began a long era of surgeons quite literally, going to the bank, doing weight loss surgery procedures.  Because there was so little followup, surgeons were neither aware of the high rate of regain nor the alarming number of deaths and/or repercussions.

When one procedure proved ineffective as well as risky, another one came into vogue.  Right now, the gastric sleeve, a surgery which calls for the permanent removal of up to 90% of the stomach is the surgery "du jour".  

Trouble is, the remaining "thumb sized" stomach which results from a sleeve gastrectomy, probably does not digest B12, fats or proteins really well.  And this surgery, although safer than the gastric bypass, is not reversible.

In a society where the medical profession is profit making, abuse is common.  Thankfully, the internet can inform people but sadly, many people either don't have access to the Internet or cannot really utilize their access well enough to do research.

Less than 5% of dieters can keep the weight off and that number who can keep off weight, is only 2% higher among weight loss surgery patients...that is less than 7% of weight loss surgery patients can keep off all of their weight for any amount of time.

Bottom line, if you want to take off weight, you might be best to just do the diet and exercise part and skip the surgery.  (Diet, unless you do it very carefully, has its own set of risks).

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Obesity Code - is it really new?



"The Obesity Code", a new book out, while saying it's the final solution to weight problems, is nothing new. And, people, tired of dieting, are buying it rapidly off the shelves, over the internet, or whatever.  I read a few reviews of it while deciding if I needed to add it to my always growing library on Weight Loss.

From what I can see, the meat of "The Obesity Code", pun intended, is intermittent fasting. You can fast...water only, or liquids or a bunch of ways. While I don't know what type of fasting is suggested in the book, it all amounts to basically no food... one day a week or one day a month or ?? 

That's supposed to keep off the weight forever. It's not new because I tried it in the 1970's. I lost about 25 lbs but eventually, I got horrendous cravings, couldn't stomach the fasting part anymore and regained the 30 lbs I'd lost and another 70, probably a result of a lowered metabolism and being really, over, fasting! :)

The only thing that really works to lose the weight and keep it off, is calorie restriction and portion control - for life. Staying away from calorie dense stuff like fast foods is a good idea or use the Gwen Schamblin method for fun foods, (from the book, WEIGH DOWN). That is, take one bite of a fun food, and chew it slowly, savoring it. Because as she rightly, points out, the first bite tastes the best and if we slow down enough to experience this, we can find out that this is very true.  Gwen has kept several pounds off for many years and she enjoys her fun foods also.

We all have to experiment with things and see what works the best for us. 

After trying just about everything else, I realized that calorie restriction and portion control is the only way that worked for me, to lose and keep off weight.  

 In 2008-2010 I lost 112 lbs, and have kept off 107 lbs ever since. I count my calories every day on My Fitness Pal, a great website which offers a free  calorie counter and found that a small bite of treats or even programming small amounts into my day, keeps away the cravings monster.

Eating big portions of veggies with no butter etc, fills you up and no one ever got a weight problem from too many veggies!

Every "diet book" claims it's new and revolutionary because the diet-fatigued, overweight public craves an answer that is easier than daily calorie counting or restricting food amounts in some other way... but in reality, "there is nothing new under the sun".

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Surgery for weight loss



A sad thing for me is when weight loss surgery post ops come back and say "Oh Sue, I wish I'd listened to your warnings".

The warnings I've posted can actually be found on most weight loss surgeons' websites but they aren't in a very prominent place.

Moreover, people want to believe there is a quick way to doing this weight loss thing - so maybe many folks don't look for the small print like 1-2% of gastric bypass patients die within 30 days of surgery or like undermining the delicately balanced system we have for nourishing our bodies with the hundreds of nutrients we need on a daily basis, isn't a very good idea.   As one doctor put in it in a book I read in the 1970's, this type of thing is similar to trying to run our cars on French perfume... how long would they run? Sadly, we often treat our cars better than we treat our bodies! 

The body adapts in a way to various forms of starvation, but of course does not last very well in the long run as it starts to consume protein and macro nutrients from itself, like the brain, the heart, calcium from the bones etc.

It's meant as a short term way to survive a starvation period and not for something in the long term.

I remember when I started studying this stuff in 1990.  I called a medical provider, an intelligent well educated one, and asked him to tell me what he knew about the GI tract. He gave me a short basic explanation.  I asked for more details but he said that was all they got in medical school!

I ended up reading bunches of books and medical journals to get the rest of the information, a research which took more than 10 years of study (not counting the many books etc I read before my specific study on weight loss surgery - I'd been studying weight control since the 1970's and still am studying it).  Sadly, this is not easily available to the public and apparently many medical providers don't have the time or ? to study this in more detail.

Eating healthy and exercising at least 5 days a week (the only thing which strengthens our hearts is cardio exercise or as it was formerly called, "aerobic exercise") is the best way to go.  That's what they say if one studies the subject and I can attest from personal experience, it works.

Eating healthy usually means avoiding fast or fatty foods and eating mostly veggies and some fruits.

Not eating healthy and exercising raises our risks for heart disease, stroke, thrombosis and more.  I've lived through this thing of heart disease and clogged arteries - not in myself but in my hubby who never heard from a medical provider about a heart healthy diet or how important aerobic exercise is. I made him exercise daily but he only did 20 minutes most days.  Never-the-less, that 20 minutes is probably the reason why he's still living albeit required five major surgeries to fix his heart and clear out the clogging from his arteries. 

And all this, while seeing medical providers regularly and paying lots of bucks - where were the warnings he should have gotten?  

And basically, not looking for the quick way out of a weight problem because there is no quick way that is healthy and works.  Terminal cancer patients don't have a weight problem but I suspect most of us would not want to go there.  But having one's stomach and bowels cut up and/or rearranged in a very unnatural manner, as done in surgeries for weight loss, isn't a good idea either.

As Beverly Sills has said "there is no quick road to a place worth going!"

Friday, August 12, 2016

Dominique Lanoise - an American Tragedy



Recently, I watched the Dominique Lanoise story...this was a lady, bed fast from her weight (over 600 lbs). The doctors kept saying about how she "needed" a gastric bypass. How modern physicians could buy into the myth that there is anything lifesaving about a surgery which interferes with the digestion of the many nutrients we need on a daily basis, I will never understand.  Understandably Dominique's life (she was in her 40's when the show was made) would have been cut somewhat short by her weight and inactivity, but it's significant to point out that she died, only a couple of weeks after what the TV show called, the "lifesaving" surgery. 

How sad that ignorance, hers and perhaps the medical providers who had bought into the myths told about this surgery, ended up killing her prematurely. As her daughters, who missed her after she died, said, "even in bed, she sang songs with us and talked to us."  The medical profession denied Dominique's children, the few years they would have had with their mother. How sad. :(

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Eating Coleus for weight loss? Not a good idea! :)



Coleus is a lovely plant. I used to have Coleus plants years ago.  But there is one thing to remember about Coleus. It's highly poisonous.  Best to keep it away from kids (I had a toddler in those days) and pets, and handle it carefully.  It also likes showers about once a week.

Imagine my surprise this AM when I was flooded with ads for coleus extract claiming it causes weight loss. I've heard of a lot of crazy schemes to lose weight but this one seems one of the more insane variety! I found out about this product because they put a bunch of ad links in the comments of one of my blogs (and since I have moderated comments - these never saw the light of day!).  But curious because I was familiar with this plant and it's poisonous aspects, I visited their website.

Not sure what this group is about but you might receive mail from them (or comments on your blogs). If you have a blog, I highly suggest moderating comments - that way, comments which are inappropriate never see the light of day.

I suppose if you eat poison (like Coleus), you might lose weight but ... isn't that getting a bit uh...over the top?  My suggestion is that you enjoy the beauty of the Coleus plant but keep it out of reach of animals and kids and please - don't eat it or "coleus extract". Losing weight eating something poisonous, just isn't worth the trouble.  Just saying! :)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Latest questionable study on obesity



Obesity signifies a lessor brain, states the latest - shall I say - questionable study.  The cohort was 32 people both men and women and claimed to not included people with known brain damage.  The researchers concluded that (after imaging the brains of the cohort) that people who are overweight have "less gray matter" in their brains and thus lack the mental capability to make good food choices.

Now true, the study was reported in the UK Telegraph (which is the UK equivalent of the US "National Enquirer") i.e. not a real reliable source, but it appears to be a real study.

I really don't have to say much about this study because it is so inane. But I will remind, that some of the greatest brains of this and former centuries, happened to be very overweight i.e. GK Chesterton is one example.  President Taft was so overweight, he got stuck in the bathtub one day. And there are numerous other examples.  Attend a meeting of the high IQ group, MENSA, and you will see many overweight folks, suggesting the opposite of this study i.e. that overweight people might have more powerful brains on the average.  This would be a no brainer (pun intended) - overweight folks are often better nourished than slim folks.  But I would also, know this from experience - there is a lot of obesity in my family.  Mother had a Master's degree, Dad, a PhD and so forth.

Whether a person was obese was decided by BMI (in this study) and we all know BMI isn't an accurate measurement anyway - because it fails to take in consideration, bone structure, musculature and several other factors.

So, where did the researchers go wrong?  Ironically, intelligence cannot be judged by brain imaging - the brain turns out to be one of the last frontiers in medicine and can be a real fooler.

For example, when David Snowden reported on his famous "nun's study" (he actually forensically examined the brains of several Catholic nuns after they died - he had permission, of course), he found rather surprisingly, that nuns with dementia might have large good looking brains. But his greatest surprise came when he dissected the brain of a nun who lived into her 90's.  She was mentally sharp and functional until the date of death and Dr. Snowden was anxious to examine her brain.

To his surprise, her brain was small, less convoluted and more shriveled up than some of the nuns suffering dementia.  

Enough said.  Obviously, one cannot judge intelligence from what a person's brain looks like.  (Photo is of Cheryl Hayworth, gold medalist Olympic weight lifter).


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Misleading study finds that gastric bypass is a good idea?



Most people only read the first paragraph of a news article and the media takes advantage of that fact, assuming most folks will not read the rest of the article and only a very small percentage will research the article.  Therefore, the news media can inform the public of anything they want to sell, pretty much assuring that their disinformation will hit the target audience.

The first paragraph of a recent Reuters news service article reads: 

"Ten years after gastric-bypass weight-loss surgery, patients in a recent study had managed to keep off much of the weight they'd lost."

That sounds impressive but even reading the rest of the article raises rather large doubts - for example they were only able to contact a little more than half the original patients who got RNY between 1985 and 2004.  The cohort was 1087 patients and they were able to contact 651 of them.  That raises the big question of how hard did they try to contact the cohort - did they, for example, check and see which ones had died?  (Obituaries are public domain and easily searchable on the internet).

And despite the impressive sounding first paragraph, 10 years after an invasive surgery which is known to cause malnutrition etc, patients contacted had only kept off 25% of their excess weight.  That is, if the excess weight was 100 lbs, then at the 10 year point, they only were 25 lbs lighter than when they had the surgery - hardly worth an invasive surgery which has a higher mortality rate than open heart surgery.

Another questionable thing, is, this was a contact by phone - in other words, the patients they did contact, self reported the results and it's common knowledge that patients when self reporting, especially after elective surgical procedures, can be extremely inaccurate or leave out very pertinent facts - like for example, it appears non of the patients were asked if they had metabolic bone disease, a common repercussion of gastric bypass surgery.

At the time of their surgeries, 59% had high blood pressure... but 10 years later, that percentage had only gone down a few points i.e. 47% still had high blood pressure, a risk factor for many things including stroke.

It appears that many surgeons are, for some reason, not learning the newer procedures like gastric sleeve which are safer than gastric bypass.

And one might question whether surgery is any longer a viable option since newer research suggests that the appetite centers are in the brain and not in the GI tract.  It should be noted that Dr Nowzaradan of TLC TV fame, admitted in an honest moment, that 5 years after a gastric bypass the surgery is no longer effective as far as weight loss.

Sadly most folks who read the Reuters article will only read the first paragraph and thus be impressed, perhaps making a life changing decision which while a questionable treatment for obesity, might endanger their health for life.