Welcome back! Last week, we talked about tips from mom and dad. If you missed that blog and would like to catch up, click HERE.
Many of us have struggled with weight issues our entire lives. Many have opted for a gastric bypass procedure to help us on our weight loss journey. While I’ve never personally experienced a bypass/band/sleeve, I know several people who have, and for most of them, it was life-saving and life-changing.
Today, we are going to talk about an alternative to a gastric sleeve/band, but first, let’s see what the requirements are for a gastric band.
Do I even qualify for surgery?
The Bariatric Surgery Source states that in order to get the surgery, one needs to meet the following requirements:
Patients who qualify for gastric sleeve surgery usually:
- Are at least 80 lbs (36 kg) overweight
- Are between 18 and 75 years old
- Have a history of failed weight loss attempts (example: failed diets)
- Thoroughly understand that the procedure is just a tool; your long-term success requires you to make significant diet and lifestyle changes
- Minimum body mass index (BMI) requirements to be confirmed by your physician:
- BMI over 40 –OR–
- BMI from 35 and 39.9 with one or more of the following:
- Clinically significant obstructive sleep apnea
- Coronary heart disease
- Medically refractory hypertension
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
- BMI from 30 to 34.9 – may be approved on a case-by-case basis
- Complete a medically supervised diet program (3 to 7 consecutive months, depending on the insurance company).
- Schedule a consultation with your bariatric surgeon (your surgeon can coordinate your medically supervised diet program as well).
- Schedule a consultation with your primary care physician to obtain a medical clearance letter.
- Schedule a psychiatric evaluation to obtain a mental health clearance letter.
- Schedule a nutritional evaluation from a Registered Dietitian.
- Send all of the above documentation to your insurance company along with a detailed history of your obesity-related health problems, difficulties, and treatment attempts. The review process typically happens in under one month.
- The insurance company sends an approval or denial letter:
- If approved, your surgeon’s bariatric coordinator will contact you for scheduling.
- If denied, you can choose to appeal the denial.
What got me to where I am now?
So that’s the drill for an actual surgery to reduce your stomach size. It doesn’t stop you from going back to your old eating habits. You have to be mentally prepared for the drastic change in lifestyle and be ready and willing to address all the reasons you weren’t eating healthy. The precursor to these surgeries usually involves the diagnosis of an eating disorder.
Will my mental health be supported after surgery?
Eating Disorder Hope says, “These types of surgeries are to be used in conjunction with psychological therapy, psychiatric medication monitoring, and nutritional therapy support over an extended period of time. Often post-surgery can include other issues such as mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, body image disturbances, and addictions.”
Are there other options instead of surgery?
Since one has to go through all of these steps, then it suddenly dawned on me to check and see if anyone has addressed this issue without having to get surgery to accomplish the same end result.
We all know and understand that this situation isn’t as easy as just eating differently. If folks had the ability to “just eat healthily” they would have, long ago. We’ve established that this is an eating disorder, which means mental health is actually the place to start, not a place to end.
Hypnotic Gastric Band
While we are all aware of counseling, trauma counseling, group therapy, and more, usually these models have been tried and didn’t help, for whatever reason. It just didn’t work. But there’s a new kid on the block and it’s called the Hypnotic Gastric Band.
Hypnosis for other addictions
Many, many, many people have used hypnosis for other issues, such as smoking cessation or drug addiction, with good success rates, so it makes sense that this model could also be used for the purposes of eating disorders.
Let’s listen to this four-minute video about the process.
I don’t have much money
This book and CD can be purchased online used, or even borrowed from the library, so you don’t have to sink a lot of money into it, as you would for any one of the weight loss plans that deliver food to your door.
I don’t want to leave my home
While it’s always ideal to check with your doctor before losing weight, it doesn’t require a visit to the doctor, so if your weight has kept you housebound, no worries. This will come to your mailbox and you can try it in the privacy of your own home.
Along these veins, if you want to experience trauma therapy, there are also therapists who will work with you via zoom, and you can turn off the camera feature so they cannot see you.
To wrap things up
Being overweight is never any fun, and I don’t know one person who strives to be unhealthy. There are always reasons for weight struggles, be they medical (such as Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), trauma-induced (staying heavy following a sexual assault so that nobody will want to hurt you again), or addiction (food addiction is real), and food deserts (food deserts are geographic areas where residents have few to no convenient options for securing affordable and healthy foods — especially fresh fruits and vegetables), you have many options out there to help you.
Search the blogs
I’ve addressed several different ways to eat a healthy diet in previous blogs, such as eating a plant-based diet, so if you are interested in reading those blogs, you can scroll through them and find the ones that speak to you.
I feel you
I AM you. I, too, struggle with weight issues and I understand the complexity of it all. I hope this blog gave you hope today. I see you. Never give up.
As always, this blog is not a replacement for sound medical advice. I am not a doctor. Please make an appointment to see your healthcare provider and put a good plan in place that works for you and the needs of your body.
That’s all I have for you this week, dear reader. I’ll see you back here next Wednesday to share another cup of coffee. Until then, be good to yourself and each other.
Mind, Body, Spirit…Osteopathic Doctors treat the whole person, not just the ailment. Is your PCP a DO? Would you like to learn more about Osteopathic Physicians? Click HERE!
Thank you, Dr. Ross!
I recommend that anyone considering a weight loss surgery first read the book Proteinaholic by a weight loss surgeon, Garth Davis MD. Then find a weight loss support group either online or in person to help you achieve your goal. A free support group can be found at http://www.livelifestylemedicine.com