Friday, September 6, 2013

The Most Important Weight Loss Tool

When we discuss such issues as the various types of weight loss surgery with patients, one question that almost never comes up is which organ of the human body plays the most important role in weight gain and weight loss. That's likely because we all intuitively know it's not the stomach, but the brain. "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so," wrote William Shakespeare and no words were ever more self-evident.

This came up today in a Forbes piece about six science based "tips" -- really, more like facts -- about weight gain and weight loss that writer Alice Walton feels are salient. To us, by the far the most important was the final item, which began thus:
...when it comes down to it, it’s not the body or the metabolism that are actually creating overweight or obesity – it’s the brain.
Ms. Walton goes on to discuss how poor habits can lay down certain types of neural pathways that may lead to more poor habits, and how that can be reversed to a greater or lesser degree with good habits. That may be well be true, and it's a fascinating thought. But we would have liked to see a brief reference there to the research being done on a hormone called ghrelin. It's a substance that works directly on the brain to stimulate the feeling of hunger we all know so well, and which overweight and obese people seem to feel even when they have consumed plenty of calories.

As we've mentioned before, sleeve gastrectomy surgery removes the portion of the stomach responsible for the body's production of ghrelin (the fundus). It's one reason we believe we may be seeing so much consistent success with this surgery. While other surgeries can also be very effective, and they have their own advantages, their impact on the brain may be less intense.

Of course, every patient is different. If you're reading this and interested in pursuing a weight loss procedure, and are curious about a gastric sleeve or lap band in Los Angeles we would love to hear from you. Please get in touch with us by phone at (800) 868-5946 or through our contact page.

No comments:

Post a Comment