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Looking to lose weight & keep it off … consider bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgery is an option if you have severe obesity and have not been able to lose enough weight to improve your health using other methods/AFP

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 21, – Let us not take comfort in the many reasons that society is coming up with for obesity; faulty glands, a weird metabolism or ‘fatorexia’ – put simply, ‘fatorexia’ is the opposite of anorexia, an erroneous perception of fat people that they are not overweight.

The bottom line is this – most of us have settled into sedentary lifestyles and have trouble resisting the temptations of the culinary delights that our modern culture is serving up.

Let’s consider the weight loss journeys for 3 women; we can call them Clarissa, Njoki and Armeen. The three went to high school together but their lives took different paths thereafter and they lost touch only to meet at an alumni reunion 20 years later.

They picked up the friendship just where they’d left it fuelled in part by each of the women’s struggle to lose weight which was triggered by Armeen’s transformation.

“I was chubby as a child and quite plump throughout my teens and youth,” narrated Armeen “I consulted dietitians and it was very frustrating to go through the process of dieting, exercising, losing weight, and putting it back on again.”

After two children, Armeen says she weighed 89 kilos. “I started experiencing low energy, constant fatigue, low motivation to exercise or diet and irregular periods. I stopped looking at myself in the mirror … with my short stature and obesity … it was the lowest moment of my life.”

In 2014, on a visit to India, Armeen says her cousin introduced her to a specialist in Bariatric surgery. “His team explained each and every step of the surgery, answering and clearing all doubts and questions with utmost patience,”  said Armeen. She underwent Sleeve Gastrectomy later that year.

“Today, I weigh 57kgs. I lost 32 Kgs. It takes a long-term commitment to make the results last and keep the pounds off. So you must make lifestyle changes you can live with forever. You’ll need to eat many small meals throughout the day, and make good nutrition and exercise your daily habits.”

This second chance at a healthy lifestyle has brought back my old positive and confident self. It is now my responsibility to be regular with follow-ups, staying high on self-esteem and maintaining a healthy mind, body and soul.

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Armeen’s experience really inspired her former school-mates. “After listening to Armeen’s story, I purposed to get some form of bariatric surgery … I just needed to find out what would work for me,” said an excited Clarissa.

Clarissa had never thought about her weight until she hit 40. “Who said life begins at forty,” she quipped. “My weight issues started at 40; by the time I was 45, I was pre-obese with a BMI of 28. This coupled with really low levels of energy; I was a serial dieter and just and just miserable …”

Knowing your BMI can help you stay within a healthy weight range – COURTESY

Bariatric Obesity Surgery changes the gut hormones reducing hunger, promoting fullness, and reversing one of the main causes of Type 2 Diabetes in obese patients. It is for this reason, that current research qualifies the gastric bypass as the best treatment for Type 2 Diabetes in obese patients.

On average, you can lose 70-80% of your excess body weight within the first year! All you need to do is pay The Nairobi Hospital a visit to find out which weight loss procedure work’s for you.

Obesity surgery is a highly effective treatment and it has become increasingly popular during this era of minimally invasive surgery where surgeons do the procedures laparoscopically, which involves only making very small incisions.

According to doctors at The Nairobi Hospital, the medical case for bariatric surgery has grown much stronger in recent years. High-quality studies on the long-term health outcomes of people with obesity who undergo the surgery show, on average, that they’re able to lose dramatic amounts of weight, and even reverse or prevent obesity-related health conditions, like diabetes and high cholesterol.

Unlike Armeen who had to travel to India to get her weight loss surgery, Clarissa had her procedure done right here, at the Nairobi Hospital.  “I opted for a type of bariatric surgery known as the gastric sleeve; it entails the shrinking of the stomach, so you can’t eat as much as you used to. The surgeon also re-routes, or bypasses, part of your digestive system so you don’t absorb as much food.”

“I used to have an appetite … like that of an elephant,” said Clarissa. “The craving for certain foods was so acute, I felt like I was going out of my mind!” However, that is all in the past and Clarissa is well on road to achieving her ideal weight.

Njoki, on the other hand, gained weight after having twins. “I have three children; the first one I had when I was in my twenties … the twins came 10 years later. I put on a lot of weight during that pregnancy and was never able to shed it; in fact, I just continued to piled it on.”

“I’m now all set to begin my weight loss journey! We’re in the final stages of preparing for my surgery and just can’t wait to get started,” she enthused.

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On average, one can lose 70-80% of excess body weight within the first year! All you need to do is pay The Nairobi hospital a visit to find out which weight loss procedure work’s for you.

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