Ghrelin - New Mystery Hormone Discovered?
Bariatric surgery is a drastic measure for drastic measurements, but it really has turned out to offer the best long-term results for treating obesity. But the conventional wisdom about WHY it works may be challenged by some new research.
There are several kinds of bariatric surgery, and they work either by reducing the stomach's capacity to hold food, or limiting its ability to digest it.
But recent research shows that the long-term effectiveness of gastric surgery may come from reducing production of a hormone that actually causes hunger.
The hormone, called Ghrelin, is found at high levels in overweight people, but even HIGHER levels in people who have recently lost weight through non-surgical means.
Ghrelin is also found in LOW levels in lean people, but it is found in even LOWER levels in people who've had gastric surgeries.
Ghrelin is normally produced in the stomach, which leads to the conclusion that less stomach+less Ghrelin=less hunger? As of right now, this is what researchers seem to be concluding, but these conclusions will be worth watching as medical science makes new discovries.
Differences Between Men and Women in Bariatric Surgery
In the past, weight-loss surgery was considered to be a very extreme treatment, reserved only for the most extreme weight problems. In recent years, people are turning to weight loss surgery sooner than ever before, but it's still mostly women who go under the knife first.
Looking at ten years of data from North Carolina, researchers found that the number of clinically obese men and women doubled between 1990 and 2001, and gastric bypass and stomach stapling procedures increased dramatically for both men and women.
For men, the percentage of them undergoing weight loss surgery increased 14-fold, but for women, their percentage increased by 20-fold. More than 80 percent of bariatric surgery patients are still women, and they seek the surgical solution much earlier in their weight struggle, than most men.
Research consistently shows that the emotional and social problems of obesity are more pronounced for women, so the disparity stands with this reasoning, according to researchers.
It's that extra burden--the non-physical pain--that provides the gateway for women to take a more radical step toward addressing their weight loss problems.
Weight Loss Surgeries
With most of us normally so reluctant to go under the knife, why are so many people turning to weight-loss surgery?
With the majority of Americans overweight today, more people are learning that weight-loss surgeries can be a good investment in their health.
Long-term statistics show major improvements in cardiovascular health, joint conditions, and body weight.
According to the, Journal of the American Medical Association, these procedures can "offer the best treatment to produce sustained weight loss in patients who are seriously obese."
Weight loss surgery may be appropriate for some, but it doesn't mean these procedures are suitable for everyone. The most appropriate candidates for weight loss surgery are those who are considered to be seriously obese--being 100 percent above their ideal body weight. In most of cases like this, the patient is in danger of greater health risks if they gain more weight, rather than undergoing weight loss surgery. For some, this is a life-saving procedure.
While the incidence of complications is relatively low, weight loss surgeries are still complex and demanding procedures, for both the doctor and the patient, and they should be treated as a last result to weight loss.