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Out-of-the-box Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery

  • Obesity experts from across the globe convened for the meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society (ICE/ENDO 2014) in Chicago to discuss new treatments for obesity as well as some outside-of-the-box benefits of weight loss and weight loss surgery.

    Here are some highlights:

  • Gastric Sleeve Surgery Improves Diabetes Management

    Adults with Type 2 diabetes who underwent gastric sleeve surgery achieved better blood sugar control two years after than those who received standard diabetes treatments without this weight loss surgery, a new study finds. Fully 76 percent of people who had gastric sleeve surgery reduced their use of diabetes medications, compared with only 26 percent in the nonsurgical group, the new research shows.

  • New Weight Loss Pill Shows Promise

    A new “smart pill” called Gelesis100 leads to greater weight loss in overweight and obese individuals compared to a dummy medication, according to the three-month results of the First Loss Of Weight (FLOW) study.

    Administered orally twice daily, Gelesis100 (formerly Attiva) works by making people feel fuller faster. Here’s how: Boston-headquartered manufacturer Gelesis explains that the new pill contains thousands of tiny hydrogel particles that expand in the stomach and mix with digested foods to increase the volume and elasticity of the stomach and small intestine contents, inducing satiety and reducing caloric intake.

    In FLOW, weight loss was most pronounced in those who had impaired levels of fasting blood glucose (sugar), also known as prediabetes. The most common side effects reported were bloating, gas, abdominal pain and diarrhea, which were less frequent and more tolerable with lower doses.

    The new drug is not yet approved by the FDA.

  • Weight Loss Improves Sleep, Mood

    Losing at least 5 percent of body weight may help obese people sleep better, new research shows. In addition, the study found that weight loss at six months improved mood, regardless of how the weight loss was achieved.

    Study authors evaluated changes in weight, sleep duration and quality, and mood after six and 24 months. Subjects who lost at least 5 percent of their weight at month six reported that they gained an average of 21.6 minutes of sleep a night, compared with only 1.2 minutes for those who lost less than 5 percent. What’s more, subjects who lost less weight reported greater improvements on measures of sleep quality and mood, compared with subjects who lost less than 5 percent of their body weight.

  • Obese People Prefer Surgery and Rx Meds to Diet, Exercise

    Weight loss surgery and prescription weight loss pills trump diet, exercise and other self-modification methods when it comes to satisfaction, an Internet survey finds.

    Researchers analyzed survey responses for 22,927 obese adults and 19,121 overweight or obese adults who had at least one weight-related health problem. Among obese people trying to lose weight, 2.3 percent reported that they underwent weight loss surgery or were taking prescription weight loss medication(s). Together, these people made up the “Surgery/Rx” group. The other 39.3 percent of obese respondents reported using diet, exercise, weight management programs, and over-the-counter weight loss drugs or supplements to lose weight.

    The percentage of obese respondents who reported being extremely or very satisfied with their weight loss method was 39.3 percent in the Surgery/Rx group versus only 20.2 percent in the group that used self-modification methods, the study showed.

    The researchers observed similar findings in the overweight respondents, with 44.4 percent of the Surgery/Rx group being extremely or very satisfied with their treatment compared with 19.7 percent of participants who used self-modification.

  • Risk of Bone Loss After WLS Continues For Two Years

    By Louis Philippe Lessard (X-Ray) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

    Bone loss continues for at least two years after gastric bypass surgery and may place people at higher risk for fracture, new research shows. Going forward, the researchers plan to investigate possible causes of the bone loss since it does not appear to be related to weight loss or blood levels of calcium and vitamin D.

  • Gastric Bypass Boosts Obesity-Related Quality of Life

    An intensive weight loss program involving lifestyle modifications improves obese diabetic patients’ physical and mental health as well as does gastric bypass surgery over two years, but the weight loss surgery leads to a greater reduction in adverse effects of obesity on quality of life.

    Gastric bypass also led to patients having a somewhat greater reduction in problems associated with managing their diabetes, the study showed.

  • Gastric Bypass Surgery Improves Heart Health in Some

    Gastric bypass surgery may slash heart disease risk among obese people with Type 2 diabetes who are deemed appropriate candidates for the weight loss surgery.

    Participants in the surgical group and a lifestyle changes group lost significant weight and kept it off for two years; but the surgical group lost more. The surgical group also showed greater improvements in blood sugar control, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, all of which helped them reduce their risk of developing heart disease, the study showed.

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