Weight Loss for health and wellbeing
There are numerous complications that people develop as a result of being obese. These may include heart disease, diabetes or sleep problems including sleep apnea. These problems can lead to further complications including stroke. The increasing occurrence of obesity and therefore the need for effective weight loss programs (Australia) is therefore a serious medical issue.
Weight Loss Surgery
Bariatric surgery is increasingly being used to achieve initial rapid weight loss. This surgery includes reducing the size of the stomach with a gastric band or through removal of a portion of the stomach (sleeve gastrectomy or biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch) or by resecting and re-routing the small intestines to a small stomach pouch (gastric bypass surgery). Any of these surgery’s may be a beneficial tool for losing weight, particularly for individuals that are morbidly obese. Gastric surgery is typically reserved for individuals that are between 40 Kg to 50 Kg or more overweight.
Weight loss surgery limits the amount of total food that you can eat, helping to facilitate weight loss. This can result in losing weight quickly. The best way to make weight loss work permanently following surgery is to follow a healthy diet and engage in an exercise program regularly. Physicians will often let their patients know that eating healthy foods and adopting a regular exercise program is really the best way to lose weight in a healthy and permanent way, and keep it off.
Bariatric surgery reduces the size of the stomach, preventing clients from eating large portions of food. There are generally two types of surgery offered to patients. One is restrictive surgery where the stomach is made smaller by either the physician removing a section of the stomach or an adjustable gastric band is applied, limiting the amount of food a patient can eat. This makes a patient feel fuller quicker. It is possible however, to stretch the stomach again over time if excessive food intake continues post operation. This may lead to problems down the road for patients.
The other type of surgery is malabsorptive surgery, where a physician removes a portion of the small intestine or changes the place where it connects to the stomach, so not all of the food that is eaten is digested completely. Thus, food is not absorbed correctly, leading to weight loss.
Risks and Complications
There are risks and complications associated with quick weight loss. Bariatric surgery has risks, including the development of infections associated with performing major surgery and incisions made in the body. Other complications may include developing hernias, or blood clots following surgery. To help minimize the risk of these complications it is important to keep moving following surgery, but avoid exercise directly involving the abdomen until the incision is completely healed following surgery.
It is also possible to gain the weight back that is lost following surgery. The only way to keep the weight off is to eat a healthy diet incorporating many fruits and vegetables, and a moderate amount of lean protein. It may help to consult with a nutritionist who may recommend a reasonable diet and exercise program tailored to your needs and body type.
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies. This is common in patients that have parts of their intestine removed because they are not absorbing all of the nutrients from their food. This can lead to complications and health problems including anemia and osteoporosis.
- Infections. Surgery can result in infections, particularly along the suture line.
- Buildup of Gallstones. Many patients develop gallstones which are the result of a buildup of cholesterol that collects in the gallbladder. A physician may recommend supplements to help prevent the development of gallstones for several months following surgery.
- Throbbing Headaches. Many people experience headaches when consuming too few calories to maintain their present body weight.
- Electrolyte Troubles. Electrolyte imbalances may form in patients who consume too few calories. This can cause heart irregularities, which may be life-threatening. If you experience tachycardia or other heart rhythm abnormalities when on a weight loss program contact your healthcare provider immediately.
- Fatigue and dizziness. Fewer calories can stress the body causing fatigue, listlessness and dizziness. Get up slowly from a sitting position to avoid dizziness.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. Can being excessively overweight lead to problems with my health?
A. Being overweight can lead to serious health problems. These may include heart disease, diabetes, stroke, gallbladder problems, osteoarthritis, gout, and a number of other health conditions. If not treated and addressed, serious overweight problems that lead to obesity may shorten your lifespan. Some people develop breathing problems, leading to a condition known as sleep apnea. This causes a person to stop breathing for short periods of time during the night. This can disrupt sleep leading to stress and trouble focusing during the day. All of these are serious health issues that need to be addressed because they decrease the quality of one’s life.
Q. What is the best way to lose weight?
A. There are many ways to lose weight. Rapid weight loss can often be achieved through methods including bariatric or gastric surgery. There are many complications and risks however, that should be considered before someone elects surgery. Not everyone is a good candidate for surgery. There are also many natural ways to lose weight including making the decision to diet and exercise over time. With the help of a physician and nutritionist, you may develop a long-term structured program that includes a healthy eating and exercise program that can help you lose weight over several months, and a lifetime.
Q. How often should I exercise?
A. Exercise is nothing more than structured physical activity. There are ways to exercise every day of your life. For some people, even engaging in daily household chores may be considered a form of exercise. Most people do not think of exercise in terms of household chores, but exercise is everything you engage in that gets your heart pumping, and you should try to do a little every day. Include activities like gardening and housework along with structured exercises like cycling, playing sports, or going for a swim. Stretching and yoga or other activities are also good exercise and help your body relax, providing clarity to your goals and ideals regarding weight loss