Friday, May 27, 2016

A Weight Loss Surgery Enthusiast...for a Reason!

Jessenia Reyes is enthusiastic when it comes to the possibilities of weight loss surgery, and it’s easy to see why. Prior to her surgery with Dr. Feiz in July of 2013, her dreams of motherhood seemed remote. Weighing 220 pounds at only 5’1” and with multiple health problems, the health risks associated with gaining as much as 40 additional pounds seemed too much to bear.  Just a few years later, however, she is over 90 pounds lighter and has two highly successful pregnancies behind her.  Specifically, she lost all of her baby-weight both times and is now the proud mom of two healthy and adorable daughters Lila, 1½, and Mila, 3 months.

Discussing the matter today, Jessenia is clearly an effective evangelist for bariatric procedures and a supporter of those who obtain it. “I would do it again in a heartbeat,” she says without being prompted. 

Clearly, her persuasive powers may have encouraged others in her sphere to explore a weight loss surgery. That includes her sister, who has lost some 70 pounds, but that’s only the beginning. A manager of multiple car-washes with a husband in the armed forces, Jessenia tells us that five of her clients have obtained the procedure, and she has also offered support to a number of her fellow military wives. She’s also pen pals with a number of other post-surgical patients of Dr. Feiz.

Still, what may be most interesting to people considering a weight loss procedure is the internal change that allowed Jessenia to achieve her ideal weight. She says that, since the surgery, her entire relationship with food has changed. It just doesn’t have the same power over her as before. “Today, sometimes the smell of food, which before would have made me want to eat, just kind of makes want to leave it alone. I used want to eat meat all the time, but now just a very small amount is fine with me. A lot of the time now, I just eat off the kids’ menu.”

Jessenia, who had a gastric sleeve procedure, may very well be benefiting from the hormonal benefits involved with the procedure. Sleeve gastrectomies typically remove roughly 75-85% of the stomach, which also appears to drastically reduce the body’s production of ghrelin, an important, appetite-inducing hormone. Regardless, she also knows that the change following a weight loss procedure is not only physical.

“Social support is really important. Sometimes people can be discouraging, but I’ve been lucky that my husband has been really supportive. Really, everything has been good for me since getting my gastric sleeve. No complaints at all.”

Friday, May 20, 2016

Don't Believe the Hype

The struggle to lose weight and improve one's health is nothing new. So, if you’ve followed or dabbled with a fad diet, you’re certainly not alone. And if you actually lost weight with one of them, the pounds probably didn’t stay off for long, did they? What happened? Even in our era of unparalleled knowledge of the human body, we are sometimes still uncertain about what works and what doesn't, although that’s changing. It all comes down to leading a healthy lifestyle that’s rife with physical activity and the right portions of food you enjoy.

But we all know this. Yet we still see similar trends and fad diets come and go. And while we now have a better understanding of what constitutes a healthy diet and lifestyle, people with significantly high amounts of weight to lose experience a great degree of difficulty in achieving their weight loss goals. Fortunately, bariatric surgery is the only approach proven to help people with severe obesity lose weight and keep the pounds off.

We at Dr. Feiz & Associates have a comprehensive understanding of the struggle that obese patients endure in their weight loss journeys. When diets fail and exercise doesn't seem to be helping, bariatric surgery, while not a cure-all or miracle pill, is actually proven to work.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Eye of the Beholder

It's a bit of a cliche to say that perception is everything, but it is an awfully big part of just about everything we do in life. At Dr. Feiz & Associates, we are particularly concerned with, naturally, how people perceive food and representations of food. We were thinking about this as we contemplated a picture of a pile of cheeseburgers and fries that accompanied a recent Facebook post.

Here's what interesting: While the picture clearly was meant to be less than appealing, it was before lunch and we found ourselves thinking about those cheeseburgers in a way that was clearly not intended. That, in a nutshell, is the problem that obese people have. We might know intellectually very well that certain kinds and amounts of food are very bad for us and, over time, will make us less happy as well as less healthy, but their short-term appeal overrides just about everything...even if we know the foods themselves might not even taste particularly good!

Fortunately, it's those kind of impulses that procedures like the gastric sleeve can help us deal with. Like all forms of bariatric surgery  it makes the available stomach area a great deal smaller, making overeating acutely uncomfortable. However, by removing roughly 75-85% of the stomach itself, it also greatly reduces the production of an appetite stimulating hormone called ghrelin. While patients still have to do a great deal of the work of weight loss on their own, reducing the number of powerful brain signals which cause us to be driven to eat food that we would be able to easily avoid if we were in our right mind, is an enormous help.

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Wonders of Water

We at Dr. Feiz & Associates try to do our best to stay on top of news and scientific breakthroughs in the weight loss community. One concern that has recently come up is whether the old adage of drinking more water prior to meals helps in dieting. In fact, a recent study in the journal called Obesity suggested that there may be some validity to this tip. In the study, men and women were placed on hypocaloric diets (1200 calories per day for women and 1500 for men). 30 minutes prior to each of their three daily meals, they were instructed to drink 500 ml  (2 cups) of water. Interestingly, while participants in both the water and non-water groups lost a significant amount of weight (11-17lbs) as a result of the diet, those who consumed more water before their meals actually lost an additional 4.4 pounds! So, in accordance with these findings, doctors may soon be recommending patients to consume approximately 2 cups of water prior to most meals. And because many people find themselves to suffering from the minor symptoms of dehydration, this may be a solid all-around health practice.

Whether you're seeking bariatric surgery options to reduce excess body weight, or are simply trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, we encourage all former, current, and prospective bariatric patients to follow health- and weight-loss related news. Remember, if you or a loved one is struggling with severe obesity, we're here to help.