Friday, March 29, 2013

Friend and Foe

Most of us tend to automatically assume that, when it comes to obesity, technology is much more our foe than our friend. There's no doubt a great deal of truth to that as our work and leisure time activities seem to be trending every more towards sedentary tasks, so that weight loss in Los Angeles and every other American city seems to be harder than ever before. Still, there is the occasional technological trend that goes in the opposite direction and may actually move some of us ever so slightly further away from requiring bariatric surgery.

For example, it might be tempting to paint with a broad brush about teenagers sinking ever deeper into their couches playing video games. However, not all video games encourage couch-potato behavior. The fact of the matter is that such games as Dance Dance Revolution and even Rock Band to some degree encourage people of all ages to get up and move around.

Today, however, there was a new idea that seemed worth entertaining. Writer Ron Recinto on his Yahoo! blog, "The Lookout," described an effort being spearheaded by the Pediatric Comprehensive Weight Management Center at the University of Michigan. It essentially boils down to using cell phone technology to send teenagers targeted suggestions for keeping control of their weight by avoiding junk food and fitting more physical activity into their day.

Skeptics might argue that the idea simply amounts to a form of high-tech nagging; supporters will point out the message are specifically targeted toward individual teenagers' interests and preferences. While we're pretty sure it won't prove to be an alternative to a gastric sleeve surgery, we're also pretty convinced that almost any idea is worth trying. The studies consistently show that even a few pounds can make a significant difference in health, so if this use of technology can help weight-conscious teens drop only five or ten pounds, they can make a not unimportant difference in young people's health over the long term.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Lisa Lampanelli Update: Over 100 Pounds Lost

Last time we checked in on Lisa Lampanelli, she had lost about 80 pounds after receiving a gastric sleeve procedure. Now, in an interview with Wendy Williams, she is proud to say that her total weight loss is now over 100 pounds. Furthermore, her husband who also got the gastric sleeve has now lost over 85 pounds.

We here at Dr. Feiz & Associates really appreciate Ms. Lampanelli's openness when discussing her procedure. The whole interview is very informative about the personal side of weight loss surgery (the video can be seen at the end of this post). She has really shown the work she's put into achieving her new body. She also mentioned something we stress in our office, that all types of weight loss surgery aren't necessarily right for everyone. Ms. Lampanelli didn't choose the Lap Band, for example, because she's over 40 and her metabolism has slowed down to the point where it might not be effective.

One perk of the weight loss, according to Lisa, is that "you can buy really cheap clothes and look good." We'll have to agree with Wendy Williams and agree that Ms. Lampanelli hasn't lost her funny bone.

If you're considering surgery for weight loss in Los Angeles, please contact Dr. Feiz' office for a free consultation at 310-817-6911.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Rewards and Punishments

A brief article we saw today via CNN described a Mayo Clinic study which indicated that people who were given a fairly modest cash prize tended to do better on their weight loss regimen than those who were not. It seems pretty obvious that, for a person with severe obesity, it will take more than a $20.00 reward to take the place of a well thought out approach that includes bariatric surgery. It did, however, get us thinking about the way we humans are motivated when it comes to such issues as food and exercise.

A old friend of ours had a mother with a serious weight problem that had caused her to have fairly severe high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Even so, she invariably come back from the store with a wide selection of just the kind of fat-laden foods that had caused her condition. When her son asked her why she'd kept buying such large amounts of this kind of food, she's start talking about how inexpensive it was (usually, a coupon was involved). Her son told her to think of the doctor bills. In fact, her later-life health problems, including a stroke and kidney failure, did eventually cause her a great deal of suffering while also requiring extremely expensive 24-hour care that wiped out a very large portion of her life savings-- but that was all far in the future at the time.

We don't have to tell anyone reading this how strong the body's drive to eat really is. One reason we believe that gastric sleeve surgery may be so efficacious is that it removes the part of the stomach that produces a hormone called ghrelin which appears to be at the root of that drive, which often tells overweight that they "need" to eat more despite the fact that they've consumed more than enough calories. In this way, the gastric sleeve appears to short circuit the means by which we become too overwhelmed with faux hunger to actually consider the real rewards and punishments of eating the right amount of the right foods or eating too much of the wrong foods. Since hormones like ghrelin basically work on the human brain, it really seems to us that the the chemistry of the mind may be the last great frontier when it comes to battling obesity.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Defeat the Negative Emotional Cycle with Dr. Feiz & Associates

Obesity has certainly been linked to depression, as well as mood disorders, anti-social behavior, and other personal issues. Leading bariatric surgeon Dr. Michael Feiz is familiar with his client's physical, mental, and emotional struggles. In this way, the office of Dr. Michael Feiz & Associates and the surgeon himself extend emotional support, perform psychological screenings, and supply useful education that helps combat pre-surgery and post-surgery depression; remember, Dr. Feiz and his patient are in this together.

 Even if the person is excited for their bariatric surgery and the positive life-changes that will result, the individual can experience melancholy feelings in the first days following gastric sleeve surgery. While many patients do not feel compelled to over-eat while their bodies adjust to gastric sleeve, depression can trigger emotional eating in the weeks that follow. Through balanced eating habits and a good exercise regimen advised by Dr. Feiz, the patient takes power over these feelings. They say old habits die hard, but the proper plan of attack replaces negative self-talk and behaviors with a healthy outlook and lifestyle.

In the case that the gastric sleeve patient may benefit from some counseling, Dr. Feiz & Associates make proper referrals and can link the patient with an influential support group. Pre and post-surgery, Dr.  Feiz and his team are the cornerstone of your support system.

To schedule a free consultation for gastric sleeve, contact Dr. Feiz & Associates today at 800-868-5946.