Sunday, July 10, 2016

More on Bariatric Embolization

Ghrelin is sometimes known as the hunger hormone. Researchers believe that ghrelin tells our brain that we are hungry. Methods that reduce the ghrelin in our bodies may decrease our urge to eat, thus causing weight loss. In fact, sleeve gastrectomy, considered to be an effective weight loss surgery, achieves a large part of its success by removing about 85% or the stomach, where much of the ghrelin in our body is found. Other methods that may eliminate or reduce ghrelin include diet and a bariatric procedure called bariatric embolization.

Investigators have found that following a diet containing healthy carbohydrates such as whole grains, and getting enough sleep, might decrease the ghrelin in our body. And a minimally invasive method that can reduce the effects of ghrelin is embolization--specifically bariatric embolization.

In bariatric embolization, certain blood vessels to the stomach are blocked to decrease the ghrelin flow to the brain. In the procedure, a small catheter is inserted in the left gastric artery via the wrist or the groin. This artery supplies the upper part of the stomach. Tiny particles are then injected into the artery to impede the flow of blood and decrease the amount of ghrelin singling the brain.

In one study consisting of 20 participants with a BMI of 40 to 5, "Preliminary results show a decrease in appetite corresponding to lower levels of circulating blood levels of the hunger hormone. Patients have shown promising weight loss in the first month after the procedure and an average excess weight loss of roughly 10 percent at 3 months."

Weight loss practitioners should monitor this research so they can be prepared to take advantage of the weight loss tool if and when it materializes. As one researcher indicated, "embolization could potentially serve as an intermediate step between lifestyle changes and weight-loss drugs -- which have limited effects for severe obesity -- and gastric surgery."


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