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Dietary Surgical and Medical Solutions.

Health professionals always recommend weight loss through diet and exercise, but in some instances they will perform weight-loss surgery, known as bariatric surgery. As with any surgery, it comes with many risks, and it's not a solution for everyone. In order to qualify for surgery, most people must be severely obese or obese with serious medical conditions. Doctors will usually have patients attempt to lose weight through diet and exercise or drug therapy before agreeing to surgery. Patients must also understand that with surgery comes a lifelong commitment to changes in eating habits and exercise. It's not a "quick-fix."

There are two types of obesity surgery, restrictive and malabsorptive.

Restrictive Surgery - Restrictive surgery means just what it sounds like it restricts food intake by making the stomach smaller. Gastric bypass is the most common type of restrictive surgery.

Malabsorptive Surgery - Malabosorptive surgery is less common than restrictive surgery because it's riskier. These surgeries limit the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs, causing an increased risk of malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies.

Gastric bypass - In gastric bypass, the stomach is stapled to created a tiny pouch that can only hold about one ounce of food. The small intestine is then cut, and part of it is sewed directly onto the pouch. This procedure directs food from the small pouch directly into the second section of the small intestine instead of going through the entire stomach the first section of the small intestine. This limits the number of calories absorbed by the body. Most people who have gastric bypass lose around half of their excess weight, and many keep it off for 10 years or more.

As successful as it may be, it's not free of risk. Approximately one in 200 people die from the procedure, and people who have the surgery may experience side effects such as iron and B-12 deficiency, gallstones, and bleeding ulcers. Also, since the stomach is so small, eating too much could cause vomit or severe pain.

Malabsorptive Surgery - Malabosorptive surgery is less common than restrictive surgery because it's riskier. These surgeries limit the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs, causing an increased risk of malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies.

Drug Therapy - Drug therapy is available for people with a BMI 30 or over with no medical conditions or for people with a BMI of over 27 with two or more obesity-related conditions. Like surgery, drugs do not the place of a regular diet and exercise program.

With regards to other medical solutions, there are three most commonly prescribed FDA-approved weight-loss medications. They are Orlistat, Sibutramine, and Phentermine.

Orlistat - Orlistat is a fat-blocker. It blocks about 30 percent of dietary fat from being absorbed in the body. This undigested fat is removed from the body in bowel movements. Patients usually take one capsule three times a day with each meal. Side effects include oily bowel movements, stomach pain, increased number of bowel movements, and irregular menstrual periods.

Sibutramine - Sibutramine is an appetite suppressant. People normally take it once a day with or without food. It is approved for long-term use, but it can be habit-forming. Side effects include headache, constipation, insomnia, mood changes, and stomach pain.

Phentermine - Phentermine is also an appetite suppressant. People usually take it one single dose in the morning or three times a day 30 minutes before meals. Phentermine is not prescribed for long-term use and is usually only prescribed for three to six weeks. It can be habit-forming. Side effects of phentermine include dry mouth, unpleasant taste, diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting.

 Obesity An Overview

Obesity and its Relationship to: Anorexia, Bulimia and Other Special Eating Disorders

The Science of Obesity: Fats & Cholesterol

Childhood Obesity

Popular Dietary Treatments

Natural Alternatives

Exercise Management

Behavioral Changes






Fort Madison, IA 52627

What I Read

Books by

Lyle McDonald

The Protein Book, The Protein Book is a comprehensive look at the issue of protein intake for both strength/power and endurance athletes. Coaches looking for the latest scientific developments in terms of optimizing protein nutrition for their athletes as

A Guide to Flexible Dieting is a look at some of the psychological and physiological reasons why diets so often fail. Among these is the research demonstrated fact that individuals who are too rigid in their approach to dieting (e.g. expecting complete un

The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook offers a scientifically based approach to quick weight and fat loss. Recognizing that people need or simply want to lose weight and fat rapidly, I set out to develop the safest, most effective way of accomplishing that goal.

The problem of stubborn body fat (typically the abdominals/low back for men and hips and thighs for women) is one that lean dieters have been trying to deal with for decades. Various simple explanations (typically involving estrogen) have been offered but

When trying to diet to extremely low levels of body fat, muscle mass and performance loss, crashing hormones, runaway hunger and others are perennial difficulties that the non-genetic elite (or natural) dieter has to face.

Very low-carbohydrate (aka ketogenic) diets such as The Atkins Diet, Protein Power and The South Beach Diet have come and gone repeatedly over the years and there is currently great research and real-world interest in their effects. Unfortunately, altoget

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