Bariatric surgery….cure or curse?

Today my mother sits in a locked dementia ward. She can’t go anywhere with my express permission, as I’m now her legal guardian. She has vascular dementia that rapidly progressed after a fall where she broke multiple ribs. Because she also had osteoporosis that markedly increased after bariatric surgery 8 years ago.

Now I know my mother is 70. But vascular dementia is caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain and one thing that can cause it is chronic malnourishment, making the heart smaller and weaker and unable to pump blood as efficiently. Muscle wastage and osteoporosis were two other conditions that accelerated after the bariatric surgery. The surgery didn’t solve her diabetes.

someone always has to have a hospital visit…” by voodooangel is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

I know multiple other people who have had this, in my opinion, dangerous and unnecessary procedure. One almost died in hospital after a serious infection. multiple others have gained the weight back, but have difficulty obtaining adequate nutrition now – which both leads to constant hunger AND health consequences.

organic fruit and vegetables” by val’sphotos is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

I cry sometimes wondering why they couldn’t just see consistent exercise and a healthy diet as the solution. And it’s not just anecdotal that this surgery is associated with multiple adverse health outcomes – it’s documented scientific fact! And who wants osteoporosis in their 30’s or 40’s?!

La Osteoporosis afecta a hombres y mujeres” by German Tenorio is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

In 2016, when I had my daughter, I was obese. I swapped to a plant based diet and started exercising consistently. It’s 6 years later, I’m still living out those same healthy lifestyle habits I developed and there are just so many health benefits. Although 1 year after surgery, patients who had bariatric surgery lost more weight, years on, people who used lifestyle interventions had similar weight loss, without all the negative side effects.

Obesity runs rampant in Indiana.” by kennethkonica is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Not one person who has had that surgery that I know of, is healthier 6 years down the track. Its a farce. It was only intended as an option for people facing imminent death from morbid obesity, but then the industry saw how much money it could make selling the surgery to people only 40, 50, 60kg overweight. Those patients are the ones who pay. And those patients are the ones who then suffer. You will need monitoring by a multidisciplinary team of medical professionals for life to ensure you avoid all the negative side effects, and that’s often simply not possible.

Bariatric surgery in NAFLD” by Thiruthonti is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

I write this blog today because I have seen with my own eyes, the multiple health complications multiple people have suffered after unnecessary bariatric surgery. There is a documented increase in alcohol and drug use in patients post-surgery, as it doesn’t teach coping skills. There is scientific evidence of multiple consequences. It even has negative impacts on mental health as it alters the microbiome.

Alcohol!” by Lynda Giddens is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

If you’re considering this surgery, I beg you to consider solving the real issues underscoring the emotional overeating, rather than opting for unnatural changes to your digestive system. Your body is not what’s broken. Every time I visit my mother, it makes me hate that surgery. It solved nothing that simple exercise and dietary changes couldn’t have solved, and did so much damage.

People in very public gym” by Mike_fleming is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Published by Alexis Howell

I'm an MBA graduate and longtime small business owner who is transitioning into blogging and podcasting. Pray for me yeah? I'm based in Sydney, Australia. I'm into writing, boxing, plant based food, songwriting, talking, meditation and reviewing online purchases.

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