Don't cut your gut to beat disease
Stomach-shrinking surgeries don't teach people to eat right. They just teach people to eat less -- and most patients who go under the knife learn pretty fast, too.
You'd learn fast yourself if one too many bites of a Big Mac caused you to puke your guts up.
But that's exactly the problem with bariatric surgeries: Eating less of your Big Mac might make you thinner… but it certainly won't make you healthier.
That's why these procedures should be the last resort for weight loss. But right now, they're getting a big push from researchers who claim surgery can prevent diabetes.
I admit the numbers from the latest study look pretty good: An 80 percent reduction in the risk of diabetes among obese people over 15 years, and a 90 percent reduction in risk among those with prediabetes.
But this is one case where the numbers just don't tell the full story.
These procedures come with more risks than most surgeons ever let on. There are the minor ones, like the vomiting afterwards, and bigger ones -- including surgical complications that could even result in death.
Once you get over the trauma of surgery, you might end up thin and you might even avoid diabetes -- but if you keep eating lousy food, you could still put the weight back on.
And if you keep the weight off, you're still not out of the woods -- especially if all you've learned to do is eat less of the same bad foods you ate before the surgery.
After all, thin doesn't automatically mean healthy. And if you're thin but eating unhealthy foods, trust me -- you're not healthy. You might avoid diabetes, but you could still face everything from heart disease to dementia as a result of your diet.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking: So why not have the surgery and then learn to eat right. You'll lose weight, avoid diabetes, and then you won't face any of those other risks, either.
If you're going to learn to eat right, then you don't need the surgery in the first place. The pounds will come off -- and they'll stay off -- and you won't get diabetes, either.
It sounds simple, and it is. It sounds easy, and it's not -- but it's certainly a much better choice than surgery.
If you've packed on too many pounds over the years, I can help. Make an appointment to see me at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine for a highly effective weight-loss schedule customized to fit your needs by calling 760-274-2377.