Friday, October 9, 2015

Fear of an Open Door

Halloween is still a few weeks off, but we've been thinking about fear and the question of what it is that humans fear most of all. Well, while there have been polls indicating that some of us fear death slightly less than public speaking, we're willing to bet that mankind's greatest fear is of the unknown. It's what's behind our innate fear of the dark and the reason that creepy movies and TV shows slow down the pace and delay giving us information other productions would wack us over the heads with.

At Dr. Feiz & Associates, we're acutely aware of this because we see how many patients may take years to work up the nerve to finally take a serious look at a weight loss procedure. Of course, a certain amount of caution with a bariatric surgery, or any other surgery, is entirely warranted. However, we're not just talking about trepidation around getting a surgery, understandable as that is; we're also talking about the fear of what life will be like afterwards.

Losing weight is obviously a very good thing. However, if you've been obese for most of your life and have been looking at food as one of your greatest sources of recreation, the idea of changing your relationship with food once and for may be more than a little daunting. Of course, in return for getting to enjoy food only in much smaller quantities, a gastric sleeve or other procedure will also likely show us the way to a healthier and happier life with all kinds of personal benefits.

Weight loss doesn't solve all of problem, but it can open an awful lot of doors. Sometimes, it seems, walking through a door can take some courage. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Choosing a Path

In this day and age, there is not likely anyone who is not aware that their obesity has a strong possibility of leading to long-term health problems. Dr. Feiz notes that the reason why people do not lose weight is not out of lack of knowledge, but because it is an extremely hard task to accomplish. Even when a person makes the commitment to lose weight, they are still faced with the decision of how they will go about doing this. While there are a seemingly infinite amount of fad diets out there, many of these have already been tried by obese patients, and are found to be insufficient in helping them lose weight. For those patients that cannot sustain a lower weight through traditional dieting, weight loss surgery is an outstanding option for a path to a healthy lifestyle.

Even when a patient has decided to choose weight loss surgery, they still have to have a conversation with their surgeon to determine what procedure is best for them. Recently, more and more patients of Dr. Feiz & Associates have been opting for the sleeve gastrectomy procedure because of its ability to deliver fantastic weight loss results with minimal complications. With most obese patients, the benefits of weight loss surgery far outweigh the risks, but it is still important to go to an experienced, board-certified surgeon like Dr. Michael Feiz.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Insurance Question

Luckily, with more and more information coming to light about the advantages of weight loss surgery, both in terms of improving health and in saving money on healthcare costs down the line, insurance companies are becoming increasingly more amenable to providing bariatric surgery coverage.

Still, Dr. Feiz & Associates remind patients that there are still certain criteria that patients must meet before they are considered eligible by these insurance companies. While a patient’s BMI is the most widely used metric for determining weight loss surgery eligibility, these companies are learning more and more that providing coverage with patients that are suffering from co-morbidities is also incredibly important. In fact, new research has showed that, strictly from a financial standpoint, weight loss surgery is perhaps the best investment when performed on patients who are currently suffering from these obesity related diseases.

While achieving a healthy lifestyle should always be the primary goal for those considering weight loss surgery, it is understandable that insurance companies think about the financial aspect of providing coverage when making their decision. Regardless of their motivations, what remains true is that expanding coverage to more patients is a positive step forward in the worldwide fight against obesity.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

We All Have Our Reasons

Contrary to the belief of some in the outside world, weight loss surgery patients never arrive at the the decision to obtain a bariatric surgery on the spur of the moment. Almost all weight loss patients have made a real attempt to lose weight simply by adopting a more healthy lifestyle but, as most of us know first hand, there's a lot more to defeating obesity than a little exercise, eating more vegetables and going easy on sugary sodas, doughnuts and french fries. At the same time, even though weight loss surgery has become extremely safe, it's still a surgery that, if everything goes well, will permanently alter your digestive system. Nobody undertakes something like that lightly.

Here at Dr. Feiz & Associates, we've noticed that, very often, it's one event -- big or small, that finally gets patients to take the big step of getting a weight loss surgery. Sometimes, it's simply a very real scare from another doctor, perhaps the cardiologist warns us that a heart attack might well be on the way, or an endocrinologist might let us know that, thanks to a combination of high blood pressure and diabetes, kidney failure and regular visits to a dialysis center are likely in our future. For others, having children and wanting to be able to keep up with them as they grow-up...and simply to be around for them as long as possible, might be the motivator.

Of course, there is no wrong reason or right reason to take a major step. It just needs to be right reason for you. Helping patients make these decisions, of course, is what those of us in the medical field are here for. If you're unsure of what to do, feel free to give us a call.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Omnivore's Other Dillemma

You may have heard the short and sweet aphorism created by author/food guru Michael Pollan. "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Sounds good, right? Certainly, it's hard to imagine our current massive obesity epidemic if most of us actually followed this plan. Pollan advocates truly enjoying our food, while eating healthier and, for most Americans, at least a bit less of it. Sounds even better.

At the same time, even those  of us who never really struggle with obesity know it's a lot easier said than done. And, of course, for those who do find themselves at the doorsteps of weight loss clinics like Dr. Feiz & Associates, typically we've tried countless times to at least follow the "not too much" part of Pollans's dictum, only to be foiled by the body's tendency to make us feel increasingly hungry the more weight we lose.

Now, we're not arguing that there is no element of individual responsibility for our own weight. The problem is that we're put on a track toward obesity quite early in life and, the older we get, the more set that track appears to be. It's one reason why preventing childhood obesity is so crucial. Still, once we're in our adult years and lacking a time machine with which to undue the bad habits of our younger days, losing weight and then maintaining a truly healthy lifestyle gets more and difficult. Fortunately, we do have at least one tool that works in the form of bariatric surgery, which really does seem to cut the Gordian knot of severe obesity for many of us.

Of course, bariatric surgery isn't for everyone and it's not a silver bullet all by itself. At least for right now, however, it's mostly what we've got.

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Scientific Method

Just today, a new study made the rounds across major news outlets that showed just how effective bariatric surgery was at helping patients with Type 2 diabetes. The study showed that about half of all diabetic patients who had weight loss surgery no longer had diabetes five years after their surgery. What’s particular interesting about this study is that not all of the positive effects were correlated with the amount of weight lost, but simply whether or not the patient had weight loss surgery. Typically, patients can expect to likeliness of remission to increase as more weight is lost (through whatever method), yet this study showed that there was likely some other benefit associated with the procedure at work.

Countless patients of Dr. Feiz & Associates have come into their offices severely obese and with a wide range of medical issues, and have found tremendous success with weight loss surgery. Whether they opt for the gastric sleeve or the lap band procedure to help them lose weight, patients of Dr. Feiz take comfort in the fact that they have embarked on a weight loss journey that has been scientifically proven to help patients lose weight and improve their health.

Friday, August 28, 2015

It's Not Just One Thing

If only we lived in a world where the obesity epidemic could be cured with a pint of water.

If you're wondering what we mean by that, we're talking about a study which just came to us via the the UK's University of Birmingham which seems to indicate that drinking a pint of water before meals might add to weight loss efforts. While we certainly support the consumption of healthy H2O at Dr. Feiz & Associates, we are once again forced to remind everyone that there are no magic bullets, only aids to doing the hard work of altering our relationship with food.

Indeed, as much as weight loss surgeries have been proven effective in terms of making significant weight loss a great deal less difficult, even they are not the be-all and end-all of weight loss. The fact of the matter is that everyone who manages to lose even relatively small amounts of weight has cobbled together their own personal collection of strategies for avoiding overeating and maybe also making sure they get enough exercise. It's the key to that all-important "healthy lifestyle" we're always talking about.

On an intuitive level, drinking that pint of water before a meal seems to make sense. After all, at least for a time we will at least be more full on a literal level for as long as the water remains in our stomach, so that might help curb the impulse to overdo it at mealtime. However, even if the water trick actually turns out to work for most people, it will remain just that -- a trick, or a hack in today's parlance, that might assist us in our weight loss efforts a little bit.

Like it or not, however, losing weight for real requires not just one trick, but an entire proverbial bag of tricks. Still, plain old water is good for you, so drink up!