Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A New Year's Sleeve?

New Year's resolutions and weight loss seem to go hand in hand. Still, there is a big difference between someone with just 10 or 20 pounds to lose starting a new diet and joining a gym, and a seriously obese person committing to a gastric sleeve or another type of weight loss surgery.

The problem with many of these resolutions is that they tend to create a sense of failure when the big change a person is promising herself fails to materialize. This is especially an issue for people with very large amounts of weight to lose, who have the hardest job ahead of them. It's the case largely because hunger hormones like ghrelin, which can cause us to feel physically hungry even when we know intellectually we have consumed more than enough food, tend to go into overdrive after we begin to lose substantial weight. This is one big reason why people who insist that obese individuals can simply take up a truly healthy lifestyle, as if it was like turning on a switch, are so wrong.

The reason the kind of thoughtfully applied bariatric surgery we employ here works is that, by reducing the capacity of the stomach, we make it less comfortable to overeat and therefore easier to consume a great deal less food than before. In the case of sleeve procedures, the numbers of hunger hormones may also be dramatically reduced, since they remove a portion of the stomach that actually manufactures these chemical signals to the brain that tell us we need to keep eating.

So, if you're severely obese and are ready to make a big change in 2016, resolving to seriously explore a weight loss procedure -- perhaps by attending one of our regularly scheduled free informational seminars -- might be an excellent idea. Regardless, we're here to help all year long.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Trends Come and Go

Because losing a significant amount of weight is so difficult to do, a whole cottage industry has arisen to offer tips, suggestions, and methods for losing weight to the millions of dieters looking for answers. Far too often, these trends are nothing more than ineffective short-cuts that don’t lead to real results. After all, if any of these hip diet trends were scientifically proven to work, then dieters would not move on to new, different crazes each year. Bariatric surgery, on the other hand, does not wane in popularity simply because it has been scientifically proven to be the best method for losing a significant amount of weight.

While it is true that the gastric sleeve has grown greatly in popularity over the past decade, this is because people have only in the past several years realized just how effective it can be at helping patients lose a significant portion of their excess weight. While studies vary, the average patients can expect to lose 50 to 60 percent of their excess weight with weight loss surgery, and see numerous improvements in overall health. Of course, results are more likely to be positive when patients have a committed medical team guiding them through their weight loss journey, and we at Dr. Feiz & Associates aim to do just that.

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Best Way to Eat?

If you follow online features and news stories in a regular way, you'll definitely notice a recurring motif that basically asks a seemingly simple question: "What is the best way to eat?" Given our nation's ongoing obesity epidemic, it's clear that this seemingly simple question has a seemingly simple answer: "Less!"

The fact of the matter is that, while we should all be working harder to include more healthy foods -- fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, lean proteins, etc. -- in our daily diet, the biggest challenge increasingly heavy Americans face on the path to a truly healthy lifestyle boils down to the matter of portion control. With our love of outsized steaks, burgers, and ice cream sundaes, to name just a few national delicacies, traditional American cuisine has always been largely about abundance. This dates back to our agrarian past when most people engaged in fairly demanding physical labor on a daily basis, no doubt mitigating the less healthy effects of our nation's love of fatty red meats and fried potato dishes.

Now, of course, we mostly work in offices and, if we get any exercise at all, it's during our off hours at the gym or doing laps around the park, and -- for the most part, anyway -- obese people know better than anyone that portion control is the key to getting healthy again. After all, even if we're eating a diet rich in all the right foods and relatively free of the wrong ones, it's still entirely possible to be obese if we're eating too much of it. The sad truth is that it's a lot easier to alter the type of foods we eat than the actual amounts.

Indeed, the human brain is designed to encourage us to eat more than we might actually need -- after all, it's essential to our survival and through most of human history, food scarcity was a real issue. Our job, at Dr. Feiz & Associates then, is making it easier for people to do something that might feel more than a little bit unnatural...deliberately eat a lot less than we're used to. Fortunately, we're good at it!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sticking with Science

When it comes to losing weight, it seems as though everyone has an opinion about what the best approach is to shed pounds. Some suggest fasting, other restrictive diets, and some recommend intense work-out regimens. No matter what these people say, it is important to separate opinion and conjecture from scientifically proven facts. Luckily, bariatric surgery has quite a bit of the latter to back it up.

Even though doctors and patients have long known many of the benefits of weight loss surgery, studies are constantly coming out that reaffirm the procedure’s abilities to help patients control their appetites once and for all. Rather than other methods of weight loss that are simply supported by anecdotes and claims of “common sense,” weight loss surgeries like the gastric sleeve have a vast library of scientific data and fact to back up their success. Surely there is anecdotal evidence as well – after all, visitors to our website can see the many patient success stories from the patients themselves, and learn exactly how weight loss surgery has helped their lives. Of course, not everyone has the same results, but it nevertheless important to see how losing 50 percent of one’s excess body weight can help people finally achieve a healthy lifestyle.

Friday, December 4, 2015

As Young as You Feel

We serve patients across a broad span of ages at Dr. Feiz & Associates, so a new study reaffirming the safety and efficacy of weight loss surgeries for people 60 and over was definitely of interest. The fact of the matter is that, as medical science improves in term of extending people's lives, we are becoming a more and more aged society.

Not so long ago, people tended to accept a dramatic decrease in their health and the quality of their life as simply a byproduct of getting older. Fortunately, that is no longer the case and people are looking at interventions such as bariatric surgery as a means not only of extending their life, but also of maintaining the quality of their lives.

We all know that obesity leads to such serious health conditions as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. While these conditions are both potentially life-threatening, as medical science has gotten better at saving people lives, they are increasingly becoming as much a matter of the quality of a life as the length of it. Indeed, a growing number of people who had health problems while relatively young are finding themselves surprised to be living well into their eighties and echoing hard-drinking baseball great Mickey Mantle, who famously said that "If I knew I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself."

It's a funny quote, but the travails that more and more of us go through as we age are not so funny. As more and more people find themselves surviving many years after such health calamities as strokes and kidney failure, the benefits of preventing these events actually become more obvious. Getting such procedures as gastric sleeve are about a lot more than simply extending our lives, it's about something that might be even more important: making sure we're healthy enough to actually our life for as long as we're lucky enough to be alive.