cropped view of caucasian young man measuring waist with yellow tape. Horizontal shape, mid section, side view

Weight Loss Surgeries: Heaven and Hell

Weight Loss (Bariatric) Surgery has done the unimaginable and miraculous:  cure people of diabetes within a week.  Between half and three fourths of all patients who undergo these surgeries find that their diabetes disappears almost overnight.  Of course, this is extremely desireable, because even well-controlled diabetes contains sinister swings in blood sugar and that accelerate aging of many tissues throughout the body.  (See my link on Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction for example.)

How does weight loss surgery do its magic?  Scientist are not completely sure, but one of the answers seems to lie in the fact that these surgeries permanently increase GLP-1, glucagon-like-peptide-1, which increases insulin and decreases blood glucose, both critical for diabetics. However, one study showed that GLP-1 is certainly not the only explanation. [1]

Regardless, this permanent increase in GLP-1 is one of the reasons that Weight Loss Surgery can permanently decrease appetite. [2]  Many patients are delighted to find that they suddenly no longer have those binge cravings that plague them.  Bariatric surgery also affects gherlin, a major appetite hormone, in a positive way as well.  Again, this is another miracle of Weight Loss Surgery for many patients:  instant appetite control.

Of course, Weight Loss Surgery generally helps miraculously with its #1 goal:  weight loss.  Patients usually lose a good 50 pounds and it is, of course, easier to keep those pounds off when your stomach, one way or the other, because the size of a walnut!  Of course, you can also pack back on the pounds even with the smaller eating are provided by the three big bariatric surgers, Adjustable Lap Band , Gastric Bypass (Roux-en-Y) or Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy.  However, most of these surgeries leave your stomach with about an ounce of space, which ain’t much.

So why would anyone somewhat overweight not have one of these surgeries done?  Simple – they are just as much Hell as they are Heaven.  These surgeries seem to permanently alter digestion – and scientist don’t know why yet – such that the body aborbs much more poorly vitamins and minerals.

This is bad.  Very bad.

Surgeons know about this and most patients are advised to take a multivitamin.  However, even with a multivitamin, a big block of patients end up having to be treated for malnutrition. And, by the way, this cannot be explained by just the smaller size of the stomach and eating less:  researchers have determined that it stems from phyiological alterations in the body itself.

Now think about this:  if many are experiencing short term malnutrition, imagine what a lifetime of poorly absorbed vitamins and minerals does to their systems?  We do not yet know the damage that will occur in people decades after bariatric surgery, but it will likely not be pretty.  Many people already struggle with enzyme deficiencies, atrophic gastritis and other problems that results in malabsorption of vitamin and minerals.  Throw in aging and the poor nutritional quality of our modern crops and you’ve got major issues for these men and women even if they eat very well.

Potential signs of this nutritional malabsorption show up short term post-urgery with such common symptoms as major depression,  thinning hair and bone loss.  This is very dangerous stuff indeed and we emphasize the good old-fashioned weight loss techniques that have no side effects, unless your Overtrain, of exercise and cutting back on calories.

Yes, these are work.  Yes, for some people these aren’t fun.  But these are the only reliable way to do long term weight loss without side effects and they are both incredibly good for your health, fitness and sex life.

And let’s be honest:  most people have accululated their extra weight through years or even decades of sedentary living and/or overeating. Any natural method is going to take a considerable amount of time to reverse the process.  For example, losing weight too fast can whack testosterone as I often mention.

ADVICE:  Get back your life without going under the knife…


1) OBESITY SURGERY, 2006, 16(12):1594-1601, “GLP-1 and Changes in Glucose Tolerance following Gastric Bypass Surgery in Morbidly Obese Subjects”

2) The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2006, 91(5):1735-1740, “Glucagon-Like Peptide-1, Peptide YY, Hunger, and Satiety after Gastric Bypass Surgery in Morbidly Obese Subjects”

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