Being overweight or obese puts you at risk for a number of serious health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Losing weight can help reduce your risk for these and other conditions. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even a loss of 5-10% of the total body weight would significantly affect a person’s overall health.
But shedding even a modest amount of weight is not always easy to do. Technology and medicine have come a long way in recent years, though, and several options are now available to those who want to lose weight. Here are five medical advancements that can help you lose some pounds.
1. Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is a weight-loss surgery involving removing a large portion of the stomach. This helps to reduce the amount of food you can eat at one time and also leads to Grehlin hormone production (Grehlin is known to increase feelings of hunger).
Any surgery carries some risks, and this is no exception. Before undergoing surgery, you must ensure that you are in good health and have no other health conditions that could put you at risk. You will also need to ensure that you are fully informed about the surgery and what to expect post-surgery. You will likely need to lose a significant amount of weight before undergoing surgery, increasing your chances of success in the long term.
2. Endoscopic Intragastric Balloon
The endoscopic intragastric balloon is a device that is placed in the stomach through the mouth (endoscopically). Once in place, the balloon is filled with saline solution until it is about the size of a grapefruit. This helps to take up space in the stomach so that you feel fuller after eating smaller meals. The balloon stays in place for six months before it needs to be removed.
This is helpful for those who find it difficult to stick with a diet or exercise plan over a long period of time. For example, if you have a busy lifestyle or are dealing with other health issues, the balloon can help you lose weight in the short term so that you can focus on other things.
3. Fat Freeze Treatments
Fat freeze treatments, also known as cryolipolysis, involve freezing fat cells to death. The body then eliminates the dead fat cells through the lymphatic system. This treatment is typically done on areas of the body that are resistant to diet and exercise, such as the stomach, thighs, or arms. It is pretty effective, as individuals who underwent cryolipolysis treatments lost an average of 16% of the fat in the treated area.
They are typically more expensive than other weight-loss options and are not covered by insurance, but fat freeze treatments are non-invasive and have very few side effects. Fat freeze treatments may be a good option if you’re looking for a safer and more affordable alternative to surgery.
4. Gastric Stimulation Therapy
Gastric stimulation therapy involves implanting a small device that sends electrical signals to the stomach muscles. These signals help to control hunger by increasing feelings of fullness after eating small meals. In fact, a study from the journal Expert Review of Medical Devices found that gastric stimulation therapy can be a viable treatment for people suffering from obesity.
Gastric stimulation therapy is typically reserved for those without success with other weight-loss methods. It is a more invasive procedure than other options, so it is important to make sure that you are fully informed about the risks and benefits before undergoing surgery.
5. Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery is a type of weight-loss surgery that involves making changes to the stomach or intestines so that less food can be consumed and/or absorbed by the body. Bariatric surgery is an option for those who are severely obese (BMI ≥ 40) or have obesity-related health conditions such as sleep apnea, heart disease, or diabetes.
Bariatric surgery has been shown to be effective in helping patients lose weight and improve their overall health. For example, it has been associated with a significant reduction in mortality among obese individuals. It helps with long-term weight loss by changing how the body processes food and making it difficult to overeat.
Many options are available for those who want to lose weight, including laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, endoscopic intragastric balloon placement, gastric stimulation therapy, fat freeze treatments, and bariatric surgery. Talk to your healthcare provider about which treatment option may be right for you based on your individual needs and health goals.