Obesity causes serious health problems in today’s world, and you, dear reader, surely knows that, right? Adopting a healthier lifestyle and working to lower body weight can increase energy and overall well-being, as well as reduce the risk of developing diseases related to obesity such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, osteoarthritis, asthma, sleep apnea and many more conditions that affect life and health. This is now well supported by evidence.
However, in a high-paced and high-stress society, losing weight is not always easy. Many patients attempt and fail to lose weight on their own. In order to improve health and help patients address overweight or obesity issues, medically supervised weight loss programs may be useful for patients to create a potentially vital breakthrough in their health pursuits. Without addressing obesity, it is almost impossible to improve health. And it is extremely hard to work on one’s weight loss when one is already obese. Clearly, this is one space where prevention is far better and easier than cure!
Can you take medicines and shed off the flab?
It has been decades of effort to try and find a magic bullet for weight loss but, alas, we are still far away from it. There are many medicines that have been tried for appetite suppression, creating fat malabsorption and even hormonal manipulation. These interventions may have a partial weight loss of 5-10% of bodyweight, but they typically cannot be sustained beyond a few months. In addition, there are cost and health implications of all drug interventions.
What about endoscopic weight loss methods?
There are interventions like gastric balloon or ESG that are used in some select patients for weight loss. While they are attractive in concept (especially when counselled by those that do these procedures regularly), they have some inherent limitations:
1. They are not cheap, costing as much or sometimes even more than bariatric surgery.
2. Procedures need maintenance endoscopy at periodic intervals.
3. Nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramps, severe heartburn are some of the complaints patients complain of, and it is therefore important to select the right patients for these procedures and to set patient expectations accordingly.
4. Weight regain is very common after removal of the gastric balloon.
5. ESG does not yet have long enough data to be commented about definitely. The only thing one may reasonably say is that the laparoscopic gastric plication procedure (of which the ESG is an endoscopic replica) has failed for the most part as a weight loss procedure. Therefore it may be said with some degree of confidence that ESG is unlikely to cause long term weight loss and metabolic improvement.
6. Complications: of course endoscopic procedures may lead to unanticipated complications: but this is true for every human endeavour, not restricted to medical or surgical interventions alone!
Benefits of endoscopic bariatric procedures
1. Quick and effective short term weight loss intervention
2. Suitable for patients with mildly obesity
3. Patients unwilling for laparoscopic bariatric surgery may be offered endoscopic interventions
4. High risk patients
5. Post bariatric weight regain or reflux may be treated with advanced endoscopic interventions
Who is the right person to help you with medically supervised weight loss?
This is rightly a multiple person team job. Dr. Ramana works with a variety of professionals to help you:
* A nutritionist to help you with a sustainable an effective diet and eating pattern.
* A physical trainer to help you start with resistance training, mobility, cardio, etc.
* A psychologist to help identify personality disorders or mental stresses that are deep and detrimental to your health.
* A physician or endocrinologist to help manage your medical problems like diabetes, hypertension, etc.
* A physiotherapist to help you get over knee or back pain, improve your breathing capacity, among other things.
Having a team helps us handle all manner of patients seeking help with their weight loss and health goals. But it does not mean that you mandatorily need to go through a long list of consults with other people. Sometimes, all you need is just one thing. That may just be nutritional advice or a good trainer. And sometimes nothing will help better than bariatric surgery. It all depends.
An initial assessment at the clinic would help kickstart your journey to leanness and health. Call the office for help: +919830031663.