Thursday, May 21, 2015

It All Comes Down to Appetite

If you've spent much time in organized weight loss groups, you've probably heard more than your share of discussion about the difference between appetite and hunger. The idea seems clear enough, we might feel like eating for a host of reasons, but that's not the same as actually needing to eat. While it's true that sometimes we eat out of boredom or to deal with certain feelings or simply because we love donuts, obesity is not nearly that simple.

While it helps to learn to deal with emotional eating, that's only one small part of the problem. As we have learned at Dr. Feiz & Associates, as we lose get serious about restricting our eating, very strong feelings emerge wich can be almost impossible to distinguish from genuine hunger.

You see, the more overweight we are, and the more weight we lose, the stronger and more impossible to ignore these feelings become. Indeed, even people trying to lose relatively small amounts of weight can find themselves obsessing over food while dieting. That's why there's a need for bariatric surgery; people who have a lot of weight to lose, and who need to keep it off for the long term, need help suppressing these pangs that feel so very close to true hunger.

That's also why many of us get so frustrated when we hear uninformed people describing a weight loss surgery as "the easy way out." The fact of the matter is that, for most people, it's the only workable way out of obesity.

If you've found attempting to lose significant amounts of weight and/or trying to keep it off, an all but impossible task, then weight loss surgery in Los Angeles with Dr. Feiz might your very best option. Call us today.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Making the Best Choices

Earlier today we saw a news story about more diverse food offerings, including some very healthy choices, being promoted as possible movie theater snacks. Moreover, it seems like every day we read an item about this or that giant fast food chain offering selections that might actually be considered compatible with a healthy lifestyle. At the same time, it's hard not to be discouraged when so many of these healthier offerings turn out to be short-lived promotions, not long-term changes.

Yet, if you look at the relatively recent history of food and drink marketing in America, changes do occur. When Starbucks first began opening locations nationwide in the 1990s, many visitors found their coffee unduly strong, simply because it was so different from the typical U.S. coffee of the time. Now, of course, most coffee lovers are used to Starbucks stronger tasting coffee. (Whatever harm they are doing, vis a vis the obesity epidemic, with some of their very sugar and fat laden desert drink offerings is a separate matter.)

Of course, it's up to all of us to actually take advantage of whatever healthy choices we see, whether we're at McDonald's, the local convenience store, a movie theater, or even just shopping at the supermarket. At Dr. Feiz & Associates, we know two things: 1. Our overall health is an accumulation of the big and small choices we make every day and 2. If we buy healthy things, companies will be encouraged to keep offering them.

By itself, none of this is going to cure obesity, but the more healthy stuff we eat, and the more unhealthy choices we avoid, the better off we'll all be. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

For Men and Women, Weight Loss Surgery is an Equal Opportunity Issue!

Recently, a new study came to light concerning the demographic breakdown of patients of bariatric surgery. The most striking numbers showed that the numbers were dramatically skewed toward women, and that, by far, more female patients undergo weight loss surgery than men. According to the numbers, women make up 80% of all bariatric surgeries performed. As a highly experienced and respected center for bariatric surgery, here at Dr. Feiz & Associates we think these numbers are problematic because it means severely obese men are less likely to seek out and receive the treatment they need to achieve a healthier lifestyle. 

Though some incorrectly believe that weight loss is primarily a women’s issue, the truth is that obesity affects men and women equally. In fact, obesity rates in America are nearly equal for both sexes. Further still, the reasons to pursue weight loss surgery in Los Angeles and beyond are not cosmetic. Severe obesity is linked to major medical issues that include diabetes, heart attack, and stroke to name a few. Weight loss surgery is proven to be the best method to combat severe obesity and improve the quality of life. Living a better, happier, longer, and more healthy life is something both men and women deserve!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Making the Right Choice with Bariatric Surgery

If you’re someone suffering with severe obesity, the decision to pursue weight loss surgery in Los Angeles is a good decision, but for many it’s one that’s not pursued due to a lack of information or misinformation based on what they’ve heard. Weight loss surgery is a great option, even the best option to reverse and prevent the serious associated health risks including heart attack and stroke. Nevertheless, it’s important to have the right information going into it, and here at Dr. Feiz & Associates we want to help you make the best decision for a healthier future. 

The first thing potential patients should understand about bariatric surgery is that it’s proven to be safe as well as effective. Weight loss surgery by an experienced expert has a very  low complication rate compared to other surgeries. Our team, for example, is able to boast a 0 fatality rate. It’s also important to remember that there is no simple and easy fix for severe obesity. In addition to being a safe procedure, it’s also the only one proven to consistently yield positive results. If you’re ready to being your journey to a new, more healthy you, All you have to do is call!


Friday, April 24, 2015

Should More Patients be Eligible for Weight Loss Surgery?

In an article recently published by General Surgery News, several doctors put forward the idea that bariatric surgery could benefit patients with a BMI below 35 just as it does for patients whose BMI exceeds that threshold. Current standards say that only patients with a BMI over 35 are eligible for weight loss surgery in Los Angeles, but after studying cases in which people with a BMI below 35 had a procedure, it was found that the benefits for them were great as well.

While the results just from patients of Dr. Feiz & Associates are not big enough sample to wholeheartedly support this change, what is clear is that the risks associated with bariatric surgery are much lower than many people used to think. One of the reasons for this past threshold was that the procedures were perceived as risky, so they would only be performed when a patient’s obesity was detrimentally affecting their health. Now that we know bariatric surgery is as safe as common procedures like an appendectomy, this concern merits revisiting. For now, though, if you have a BMI over 35 and believe you can benefit from bariatric surgery, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Power of Fame

It was, of course, good to hear Chris Christie tell Matt Lauer of "The Today Show" that his decision to take advantage of bariatric surgery has turned out well for him. We're happy, of course, not only for the health of this very likely presidential contender, but because his example will help many other individuals struggling with severe obesity to take the plunge and learn more about their weight loss options.

Of course, some might say that famous people -- whether they are actors, musicians or politicians -- hold too much sway over the popular mind. After all, why is Chris Christie's success with his lap band or Rosie O'Donnell's good fortune with her gastric sleeve any more important than the results enjoyed by countless men and women around the world?

Regardless, at Dr. Feiz & Associates, we believe that anything that gets people's attention on their health and happiness is a net positive. So, we're always delighted when anyone well known decides to go public with their procedure. Of course, while a weight loss surgery in Los Angeles or anywhere else is of huge help for a great many people, it's not for everyone. If you'd like to learn more, give us a call at 310-855-8058 to find out more about one of our free informational seminars.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Science of Hunger

If you're a veteran of traditional weight loss courses, you've probably encountered the efforts to help overweight people distinguish between a psychological craving and actual hunger. Still, more and more the evidence we're seeing here at Dr. Feiz & Associates is pointing to the very strong likelihood that, especially for severely obese people, the distinctions between these feelings may, very often, be close to meaningless.

An extreme example of what we're talking is exemplified in the case of 13 year-old Alexis Shapiro. Recent news stories have told of the the success of bariatric surgery in treating obesity caused by uncontrollable bouts of hunger. As a 9 year-old, young Alexis had a brain tumor removed. Unfortunately, along with the tumor, doctors also had to remove the brain's hypothalamus, which largely controls the body's appetite and metabolism. The result was a rare condition, hypothalamic obesity, caused by the girl's suddenly uncontrolled appetite.

This syndrome is an extreme example of how powerful the brain is in terms of creating the feeling of hunger, a drive which really can be all but uncontrollable...even if we know intellectually that we've had enough to eat. Indeed, while hypothalmic obesity is rare, it appears that nearly everyone who loses any weight deals with an increase in the production of certain hormones, most notably ghrelin, that tell the brain we're hungry and create a feeling all but identical to actual need-driven hunger. This may be be a major reason why it is so difficult to lose weight and to keep that weight off over the long term.

As we've mentioned many times before, this hormonal link may be a significant reason that a sleeve gastrectomy may be especially effective for many patients.That particular surgery removes a large portion of the stomach, including a section, the fundus, believed to be responsible for the production of ghrelin. All in all, it's a sign that we should be spending a lot less time shaming people with weight problems for gluttony and a lot more time examining the role of the brain and hormones in driving overeating.

In the meantime, if you or a loved one is dealing with severe obesity sustained by persistent feelings of hunger, it might well be time to consider weight loss surgery in Los Angeles or one of our other Southern California offices.