Gastric bypass surgery can reverse diabetes! That was a major point in an article released yesterday that looked at research released in Tuesday’s edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association. It’s true. There have been multiple documented cases of obese, diabetic patients who underwent gastric bypass to lose weight and who not only lost weight but also found they were no longer diabetics. If you are overweight and considering such an approach, there are some things you should think about before making your final decision.
First, like with all other surgical procedures, there are risks. In gastric bypass the biggest risks are intestinal blockage, bleeding and infection. If you get as far as talking with a surgeon about gastric bypass, take the time to talk at length about the risks and potential complications so you can make a truly informed decision.
Second, as mentioned in the article, it is not yet clear what the best way is to treat patients who are both obese and diabetic. The article notes that while truly devastating complications are rare, other complications occur frequently enough to be “problematic.”
Is gastric bypass surgery right for you? Only you can really answer that question, after considering your unique situation, other options and in consultation with your physician and a surgeon. This author, while not a physician, has been a Registered Nurse for twenty-two years. Seventeen of those years were spent working in the Operating Room. In addition, he has been practicing hypnosis for over twenty years. So, this is not medical advice. The author makes no claim of being qualified to give medical advice.
People ask questions about obesity surgery that are very similar to those asked of hypnotists who work with clients wanting to lose weight. Here are some examples for comparison:
- Will gastric bypass make me lose weight? No. You’ll lose weight because of reduced portion sizes and reduced calorie absorption.
- Can hypnosis make me lose weight? No. You’ll lose weight by learning to take in fewer calories than you burn.
- After gastric bypass surgery can I eat whatever I want, whenever I want without losing weight? No. It is possible to learn to “eat around” your surgery and regain the weight you lose. The best way to keep the weight off is to eat smaller portions of healthy foods and exercise regularly.
- If I lose weight with hypnosis is it impossible for me to regain the weight? No. The only way to keep the weight off is to eat reasonable amounts of healthy foods and exercise regularly.
- With gastric bypass or hypnosis (or any other method) do I really have to change my lifestyle? Yes, you do. One of the things to consider is that gastric bypass surgery is generally non-reversible. This is why most bariatric surgeons require potential patients to undergo significant pre-surgical counseling. Remember, neither obesity nor weight loss are about the food.
- Are the risks of hypnosis comparable to the risks of surgery? Not from the perspective of this author. Hypnosis poses very little risk.
The point of the comparisons above is this: There is no magic pill, surgery or method for losing weight. There is no way to successfully lose weight (“successfully” means to lose it and keep it off) that does not involve a lifestyle change. Your quality of life can be greatly improved by not only losing the weight but also by the lifestyle changes that can affect you in other positive ways. There are hypnotic methods for losing weight that can be very effective, up to and including a “hypnotic lap-band” (while this is not a good option for all weight loss clients, it can be very effective for some). There is a significant amount of research supporting the effectiveness of hypnosis.
Each person is different. Each situation is different. You may be a person for whom gastric bypass is a viable option. If your circumstances allow you to consider other options, then do so. There are a number of effective weight loss strategies out there. In consultation with your physician, find the one that is right for you.