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Obesity

Obesity is a serious disease with symptoms that build slowly over time

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) define Morbid Obesity as:

  • Being 100 pounds or more above your ideal body weight
  • Or having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40
  • or greater Or having a BMI of 35 or greater
  • And one or more co-morbid conditions such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia or osteoarthritis.

The disease of morbid obesity interferes with basic physical functions such as breathing or walking.

Long-term implications of the disease include shorter life expectancy, serious health consequences in the form of weight related conditions such as

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Lower quality of life with fewer economic and social opportunities.

Childhood obesity is also a serious disease. The causes of childhood obesity are generally caused by a lack of physical activity. One cause is children are now spending an excess amount of time with electronics such as computers, video games, and cell phones. Another cause of childhood obesity is unhealthy eating patterns such as processed foods and fast food. Genetics and social factors also play a role in childhood obesity.

Overweight children are more likely to develop health problems such as:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol

Not only are there major physical health issues, but mental health issues also can occur in overweight children. Social discrimination and low-self-esteem are common issues among children that are overweight.

Diet and exercise are essential components for weight loss. To lose weight, your body must body must burn more calories than you eat and/or drink. A diet plan should be based on your health and lifestyle needs, and would include reducing the number of calories you take in. This can be challenging especially when applied to children and nutritional and medical supervision and support are needed so as not to lose important nutritional requirements for growth and wellness. Frequent and regular physical activity is beneficial to everyone. Generally, an exercise program includes cardiovascular exercise such as walking, swimming, or cycling, strength training using resistance bands, weights, or machines, and stretching is recommended. Yoga can be very beneficial as well.

Bariatric Surgery is an option for people who are Obese. There are several different bariatric surgery procedures, but the two general ways in which they work are restriction and malabsorption; restriction limits the amount of food you can eat. Whether it is a gastric banding device around the stomach or a surgically-created, smaller stomach pouch, restriction ensures that the patient feels satisfied with less food. Malabsorption limits the number of calories and nutrients your body can absorb. During malabsorptive procedures, the surgeon reroutes the small intestine so that fewer calories and nutrients are absorbed.

Commonly performed Bariatric procedures include:

  • Gastric bypass
  • Gastric banding
  • Sleeve gastrectomy

The Gastric bypass surgery makes the stomach smaller and allows food to bypass part of the small intestine. You will feel full more quickly than when your stomach was its original size, which reduces the amount of food, you eat and thus the calories consumed. Bypassing part of the intestine also results in fewer calories being absorbed. This leads to weight loss. In the gastric bypass, the stomach is made smaller by creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach using surgical staples or a plastic band. The smaller stomach is connected directly to the middle portion of the small intestine (jejunum), bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine (duodenum). This procedure is done by making small incisions and using small instruments and a camera to guide the surgery (laparoscopic technique).

Gastric Banding is a simple yet advanced system that helps you gradually lose and control your weight by reducing the amount of food that your stomach can hold at one time. The adjustable band is placed using a minimally invasive surgical technique. The silicone gastric band is placed around the top of the upper part of your stomach. The gastric band works by helping you control your food intake and supporting long term and sustainable weight loss.

Sleeve Gastrectomy is a procedure that works by restricting food intake without any bypass of the intestines or malabsorption. The stomach is restricted by dividing it vertically, creating a small vertical stomach pouch shaped like a banana. The new stomach pouch measures 2-5 ounces. The remaining part of the stomach is removed. The portion of the stomach that is removed is thought to be responsible for the hormone that is responsible for appetite and hunger. By removing this portion of the stomach, the appetite hormone is reduced to almost nothing, usually causing a loss of appetite. The new stomach pouch holds only small amounts of food, causing the patient to feel full.

Dr. Kahlil Shillingford is a Florida Bariatric Surgeon who is board certified and specializes in weight loss surgery including the procedures of Lap Band, Gastric Sleeve and Gastric Bypass. You can contact Dr. Shillingford at www.drshillingford.com

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