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Low BMI Weight Loss Surgery with Dr. Davis

Atypical Weight Loss Surgery at Memorial Hermann:

Lapband surgery is not new but the procedure that took place in operating room 9 at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center Friday is not typical.

"This is our first patient to do this," Dr. Robert Davis of the Davis Clinic said.

The patient on the operating table is a 21-year-old college student. Obesity runs in her family and with a Body Mass Index of 32, she now qualifies for this weight reduction surgery under new FDA guidelines that went into effect this past February.

The higher the BMI, the bigger a patient.

In the past, patients had to have a BMI of at least 35. Now, a patient with a BMI of 30 qualifies.

During the procedure, Davis places an adjustable band around the top part of the patient's stomach. As he inflates it, the stomach outlet will shrink and reduce the patient's desire to eat.

"People with a BMI between 30 and 35, a vast majority of them are going to go on to develop a co-morbid (condition)," Davis said. "That's (medical issues like) diabetes, hypertension, heart failure as they go on. We're very, very interested in preventing the co-morbid (conditions). You know, it's nice to look a little bit skinnier, and it's nice to lose 20 or 30 pounds. I like to do that myself, but it's a whole lot better if you get rid of Type 2 diabetes, or at least you push it away so it doesn't come."

While this is Davis' first surgical patient with a BMI lower than 35, it's not his first time performing the procedure.

Belinda Garcia walked into the Davis Clinic 3 years ago weighing 205 pounds. Garcia isn't even 5 feet tall. Her BMI was 42.

"I was at the doctor all the time," she said. "From anxiety, heart palpitations, knee problems, heel problems. You name it. It was every other week."

Now down to 130 pounds, post-surgery Garcia doesn't take any prescription medicines and teaches dance classes 12 times a week.

Still, her BMI was a lot higher than Davis's current patient. Even so Garcia doesn't think a person with a BMI of 30 is too thin to undergo weight loss surgery.

The people running insurance companies don't seem to agree. While Garcia's insurance covered her surgery, newly-qualified patients with the lower BMIs are not covered.

The surgery costs between $13,000 - $15,000.

For more information, including how you can calculate your BMI, follow the link below:

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Study: Can gastric bypass surgery help treat diabetes?

Can gastric bypass surgery help treat diabetes?  As many patients that have already had this type of surgery know - the short answer is - usually.   But what hasn't been very clear is WHY it helps.  As researchers study this, perhaps it will lead to new paths of treating diabetes.

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FDA panel approves Lap-Band for the not-so-fat.

The FDA panel has approved the use of gastric banding on lower BMI individuals with one co-morbidity of their obesity.  This is HUGE, no pun intended, 'cause the patients aren't really that big.   (A little bigger than your friendly bypassed blogger here.)

I know I am overweight at 165 pounds, however, this still blows my mind a bit. 

It blows my mind that I (just as an example) could potentially qualify for weight loss surgery so very easily. 

I was at a qualifying weight last winter!  I am sure we'd find a co-morbid too! 

We found one the first time around.  I didn't have any known co-morbidities when I had my roux en y gastric bypass surgery in 2004. 

I am torn.  Is this a blessing or a curse?


Graphic from Florida Bariatric Center

OC Register - FDA panel approves Lap-Band for the less fat

The Lap-Band, made by Irvine-based Allergan Inc., is only FDA-approved for people with a body-mass index of 40 or higher, or 35 if they have associated problems like high blood pressure or diabetes. The panel granted Allergan's request for permission to market the device to people with a BMI of 35, or 30 with related problems.

Here it comes a huge Corn Syrup PR campaign - Corn Sugar!


Because, of course, we cannot possibly understand  "high fructose corn syrup" and realize that it is a form of SUGAR.  Syrup?  Hello? 
High fructose corn syrup, or the newly coined "corn sugar," is a liquid sweetener alternative to sugar.  Its introduction into the food supply was intended to overcome periodic shortages in sugar availability.

This will be QUITE the campaign.   O-O

Picture 1

Press Release -

Washington, DC – In an effort to help clarify the labeling of food products for consumers, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) today petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow manufacturers the option of using ‘corn sugar’ as an alternative name for high fructose corn syrup.

“Consumers need to know what is in their foods and where their foods come from and we want to be clear with them,” said CRA president Audrae Erickson. “The term ‘corn sugar’ succinctly and accurately describes what this natural ingredient is and where it comes from – corn.”

Contrary to widespread consumer belief, high fructose corn syrup – a safe and affordable natural sweetener found in many popular products on grocery shelves – is not high in fructose when compared with other commonly used nutritive sweeteners, including table sugar, honey and fruit juice concentrates. Like table sugar, it is roughly half glucose and half fructose and is metabolized by the body in the same way as regular table sugar. In fact, the high fructose corn syrup that is used in many foods, such as baked goods, is lower in fructose than table sugar.

But independent research demonstrates that the current labeling is confusing to American consumers.

For example, independent research indicated that despite the fact that high fructose corn syrup and table sugar contain approximately the same amount of fructose, nearly 58 percent of respondents believed high fructose corn syrup has more fructose than other table sugar.

Corn sugar – or high fructose corn syrup – has been used for more than 40 years to enhance flavors in foods and beverages and maintain freshness.

A continuing series of inexact scientific reports and inaccurate media accounts about high fructose corn syrup and matters of health and nutrition have also increased consumer uncertainty.

Yet, the facts are straightforward. For example, in a December 2008 report, the American Dietetic Association confirmed that high fructose corn syrup is “nutritionally equivalent to sucrose (table sugar)” and that the sweeteners contain the same number of calories per gram. The ADA found that “once absorbed into the bloodstream, the two sweeteners are indistinguishable.”

As Americans grapple with an “obesity epidemic,” well-renowned nutritionists question whether sweetener confusion could lead consumers to make misinformed decisions about sugars in their diets.

“The last thing we want is for Americans to think that avoiding high fructose corn syrup is the answer,” said Registered Dietitian Carolyn O’Neil. “All added sugars should be consumed in moderation – corn sugar, table sugar, honey and fruit juice concentrates. These sugars contain an equal number of calories that must be burned off– or the body will convert them to fat.”


Coffee Reduces Risk of Diabetes


Drinking coffee may reduce your risk of diabetes?  GREAT, another reason not to quit.  I never had diabetes, even at my highest weight or while pregnant, and now I have very low blood sugars

Maybe the coffee helped?  *sarcasm*

PS.  Totally aware that caffeine increases risk of hypoglycemia, and also helps me feel it coming*. 

*Thus we conclude that in modest doses, caffeine may be a useful adjuvant therapy for patients with hypoglycemia unawareness. For once here is a therapy which is inexpensive, safe, and remarkably popular with its consumers. 

But, to help stave off the 'betes?

Reuters -

A 2005 research review concluded that people who drank the most coffee were one-third less likely to develop diabetes than those who drank the least, Dr. Rachel Huxley of The University of Sydney, Australia, and colleagues note. In the years since then, they add, the amount of research on coffee and diabetes risk "has more than doubled," while other studies have suggested that tea and decaf coffee may also be preventive. To update the evidence, Huxley and her team analyzed 18 studies on coffee, decaf, and tea and the risk of type 2 diabetes published between 1966 and 2009, including just shy of 458,000 people in all. Type 2 diabetes, which is often tied to obesity, affects about 8 percent of the U.S. population, according to the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. 

For every additional cup of coffee a person consumed each day, the study's authors found, a person's risk of diabetes was reduced by 7 percent. In the six studies that looked at decaf coffee, the researchers found, people who consumed more than three or four cups a day were at 36 percent lower risk of diabetes.

And in seven studies that examined tea drinking and diabetes risk, people who drank more than three or four cups daily were at 18 percent lower diabetes risk.

Diabetes Ups Alzheimer’s Risk

(I am not diabetic, never have been.  But, with my blood sugar problems as they have been, I pay attention to news like this.  I have very rapid blood sugar fluctuations.  I go from high-normal to super low in minutes.  I have always wondered about possible damage.  Now that I have obvious neurological issues, I really, really wonder.)

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