Rarely does a week go by when I don’t talk with at least one patient who shares a narrative that is common with me. Someone in their life – it might be a spouse, friend, parent, child or co-worker – feels their decision to have bariatric surgery is taking the easy way out. That if they just really committed themselves to losing weight, they’d (and should) be able to get it done independently.
Since that is my selected and much-beloved line of work, it frustrates me to hear this misconception used to belittle someone’s alternative. It presupposes that people who come to your determination to have bariatric surgery have never attempted diet and exercise before – or even worse, they just didn’t strive hard enough. It presumes that the need to have bariatric surgery is a terrible failing. It’s completely erroneous on the basis of the present science, although this view – that bariatric surgery is the simple way out – isn’t only condescending and dismissive. I say this with assurance and conviction and can gladly discuss why this reputation is really undeserved with anyone who is interested. So it may surprise you to learn that I used to think in this way, too. What changed my mind?
The Science Behind the Disease
We understand that long-term weight loss in people that have obesity is tough to reach through diet and exercise. We also now know that’s because obesity is a complex disorder, made up of a combination of endocrine, neurological, genetic and lifestyle factors. Together they create maintenance of a lesser weight and essential biological imbalances that work against weight loss attempts. This sets into motion a series of events that makes maintaining lost pounds highly unlikely since even desired fat loss, weight loss is seen by the body, as a stressor. We eat less but feel more hungry, while with each pound fewer calories burn in the same time. Is this reasonable? Unquestionably not. But it is reality in the majority of instances.
Bariatric processes, on the other hand, allow for decreased calorie consumption in different manners. By altering the size of the stomach as well as in the case of the gastric bypass the absorption of nutriments, food that is less results in a feeling that is full more rapidly. These altering hormones can also be considered to cause the rapid developments regularly found in Type 2 diabetes and hypertension that generally follow a bariatric procedure. In many cases, patients may no further need drugs to treat these conditions in the days immediately following operation, long before any substantial quantity of weight has in fact been lost.
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