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At Least 5 Deaths Blamed On Weight Loss Balloon Treatment

Surgery may seem like a straight-forward weight loss shortcut, but it frequently serves as a fast track to serious health problems. CNN reports that since 2016 five people using an intragasteric balloon for weight loss have died. The Reshape Integrated Dual Balloon system was responsible for one of the deaths and the other four have been attributed to the Orbera Intragastric Balloon System. There are at least two additional deaths also under investigation.

The balloon systems responsible for the five deaths were created in response to the traditional weight loss, or bariatric, surgeries and have been marketed as a less intrusive solution. They incorporate a balloon that is placed in the stomach and filled with a saline solution. 

The diet balloon system is a flawed concept. The premise is simple enough. The space taken up by the balloon is supposed to help with satiety but there are potential complications. The FDA warned health care providers to monitor patients for pancreatic and spontaneous over inflation. These systems also have the potential to rupture, obstruct the digestive tract, lead to internal bleeding and even vomiting to death. They may also damage your stomach lining. 

There are dietary solutions to the obesity epidemic, but this information is largely ignored by far too many. Worse still, bariatric surgeries are being pushed as a safe weight loss solution. In 2016, 45 international organizations representing diabetes specialists called for gastric surgery to become a standard treatment for obese diabetics. 

Weight loss surgery may seem like a quick fix to shed pounds and reduce your chances of associated health risks, especially in extreme cases such as morbid obesity. However, bariatric surgery is major surgery, and with it comes hefty risks. This is true for both types of bariatric surgery; gastric banding and the more invasive gastric bypass.

Gastric banding consists of surgically inserting a band around the top section of your stomach, and cinching it into a small pouch. While gastric banding is at least reversible, the complications are often so debilitating that patients opt to have the bands removed completely. In gastric bypass, a section of your small intestine is typically removed and your stomach is reconnected further down your intestine, bypassing the duodenum, hence the name "gastric bypass."

I believe there are three primary dietary recommendations that could lead to a swift reversal in obesity and associated health problems. The first is severely restricting your net carb intake. Avoid all processed foods and consume only nourishing whole foods. Refined carbohydrates like breakfast cereals, bagels, waffles, pretzels and most other processed foods quickly break down to sugar and promote insulin resistance, which is the No. 1 underlying factor of nearly every chronic disease and condition known to man, including weight gain.

The second step is to increase your consumption of healthy fat. Healthy fats are a great source of long-lasting energy, and many would benefit getting 75 to 85 percent of their daily calories from healthy fats like olives, olive oil, coconuts, coconut oil, MCT oil, raw, pastured organic butter, raw nuts like macadamias, organic-pastured egg yolks, avocados, cacao butter, and pastured meat fats like tallow and lard.

A final important step is to moderate your protein intake. One of the primary problems with excess protein is that it stimulates mTOR, which stimulates growth rather than regeneration and can trigger or contribute to cancer growth (fat calories do not stimulate mTOR, leptin or insulin). Most Americans consume three to five times more protein than they need, along with excessive starchy carbs and not enough healthy fats. My nutrition plan provides additional information that can help you take control of your health.
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