Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Weight Loss Surgery, Part II

I wrote about my apprehension with weight loss surgery before. I mostly talked about it being surgery and therefore risky and how it's not a perfect solution because it doesn't deal with the causes of weight gain. I mentioned vitamin deficiency, but didn't go into the specifics. The part of the small intestine that is bypassed is the part responsible for Calcium absorption.

The surgery also limits fat intake which hurts absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin D. I've written about the importance of Vitamin D before. Vitamins A, E and K are also fat-soluble. Vitamin A helps with vision. Vitamin E has many bodily effects, none of which are as easy to understand as vision. Vitamin K helps with blood coagulation and bone health.

That's a look at the standard, long-term effects of the surgery. Because they're known and understood, doctors are able to deal with them and can help patients take measures to avoid having deficiencies in these vitamins. There is a new long-term side-effect that is just beginning to surface. It's not understood, so prevention and treatment is difficult, if not impossible. People who are susceptible to rare wasting disease are triggering the disease with surgery.

Yes, it's rare, but it's something else to consider before embarking on a path to weight-loss that is surgical and not behavioral in nature. Even the chart below, which is from a surgery center lists many other negative side effects. I think those get downplayed and people focus on the happy, perfect, thin life they'll achieve.


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  2. I have been reading several of your articles and I thought I will leave a Short Reply: Thanks =)