Sunday, July 31, 2011

Realize Band's Possible Contribution to the Type ll Diabetes Fight

Currently, many Americans are having to live with diabetes. And Type ll diabetes is on the incline among children. In some cases, bariatric surgery is considered a feasible Type ll diabetes treatment. Studies show that for many persons with Type ll diabetes, the disease is resolved or more easily regulated following bariatric surgery. And relatively new research concludes that bariatric surgery is a more cost effective approach to Type ll diabetes than customary diabetes care methods for individuals with a BMI equal to or greater than 35. One form of bariatric surgery suggested for the treatment of Type ll diabetes is the adjustable lap band, including the less popular form of the band, the Realize Band.

Indeed, the Realize Band is worth considering for those Type ll diabetes individuals with a BMI greater than 35. According to a press release, “some patients prefer the Realize Band over the Lap Band [because] ... the injection port beneath the skin is smaller and less visible from the outside. In addition, the Realize Band comes with a comprehensive online weight loss program, which includes a personal plan, a nutritional plan, a fitness plan and a progress tracker."

In the past, we have stated that some experts contend that bariatric surgery might be used to treat illnesses besides weight loss. In support of this view, a few years back the American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS) modified its name to include "metabolic." The modified name is the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) which recognizes non-weight-loss applications of gastric bypass surgery.

Employing bariatric surgery as a treatment option for diabetes, of course, will receive additional attention. And bariatric centers and other medical weight loss service providers should keep abreast of the advantages and disadvantages of bariatric surgery in the treatment of diabetes.

If the Realize Band is a good, cost effective treatment for diabetes, this surgical option will be an important service that bariatric surgical centers can offer. Offering the Realize Band, as well as other bariatric surgical options, as a treatment for Type ll diabetes could give a surgical center a competitive advantage while lowering the costs of Type ll diabetes. And because they might be part of the weight loss team, physicians specializing in medical weight loss can play an important role in informing the patient that the Realize Band, and other surgical options, might be a tool in Type ll diabetes treatment.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

In-Between Weight Loss Approaches

Bariatric surgery is often viewed as a more effective form of weight loss treatment than non-surgical methods. Non-surgical treatment methods include drugs and lifestyle modification. However, some researchers are working on treatment options that fit somewhere between bariatric surgery and other obesity treatments such as obesity drugs, diet, exercise and behavior modification.

One such device is the gastric balloon. This device is inserted into the stomach through the mouth, and then filled with a liquid or air. Once the gastric balloon is filled, an individual’s stomach feels full with less food. A more complex version of the gastric balloon is in research at ReShape Medical, Inc.

ReShape Medical is a medical device manufacturer headquartered in San Clemente, California. The company develops non-surgical weight loss devices. One of its devices is a dual gastric balloon apparatus. Since the device is inserted via the mouth, no surgery is required. Thus, dual-balloon implementation appeals to those patients who want to avoid bariatric surgery and the side effects sometimes experienced with the use of weight loss drugs.

Another non-surgical device for weight loss treatment is the Endobarrier. Created by Lexington, MA based GI Dynamics, the Endobarrier is a liner for part of the small intestine. Like the gastric balloon, the Endobarrier is inserted via the mouth into a portion of the small intestine. The device is designed to create a barrier between the food one eats and the intestinal walls. After insertion, food digestion is delayed in a fashion similar to gastric bypass surgery. According to GI Dynamics, the device provided “significant weight loss and diabetes improvement … when combined with certain diet and lifestyle modifications.”

Finally, Endosphere, based in Columbus, OH, has produced an endoscopically delivered weight loss device that is designed to slow the movement of food though one part of the small intestine. The company believes that slowing down the food will cause satiety signals to be sent out, thus reducing a person’s food intake.

If any one of these devices proves successful, the weight loss options for medical weight providers and their patients will be enhanced.

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