Archive Monthly Archives: June 2018

Anti-Aging vs. Age Management

Age Management and how it is Clinically Superior to Anti-Aging Treatments

Anti-Aging Treatments

Age Management: A Better Approach

A Closer Look at Aging

Age Management – Based on Medical Science

Age Management – How Physicians Take a Superior Approach

Age Management – The Power of Prevention

Age Management Doctors – What do they do?

Age Management – The Far-Reaching Power

Next Steps

 

Age Management and how it is Clinically Superior to Anti-Aging Treatments


It seems that aging has had a negative connotation since the beginning of time. In fact, the first anti-aging treatments are believed to have originated as early as 69 BCE.[1]

It’s therefore no surprise that the “anti-aging” market has sustained such immense levels of success.

By definition, the term “anti-aging” describes a product or technique designed to prevent the appearance of growing older. Indeed, our fascination with preserving a youthful appearance spans far and wide and is documented through thousands of years’ worth of texts. While the proverbial “fountain of youth” may be something of lore, it is apparent by today’s abundance of age-fighting products and plethora of surgical procedures that the quest for youth has stood the test of time. Although there is no question that preserving a vibrant, youthful appearance is coveted as an ideal across virtually all societies, the question remains: Is aging really only skin deep? And, if not, is the anti-aging market missing the mark?

Anti-Aging Treatments


How do I look younger? Apparently, this is the $250 billion question. This figure represents the estimated worth of the Global Anti-Aging Market in 2016, which is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.8%, with a forecasted value of $331.41 billion by 2021.[2] The anti-aging market encompasses a broad range of products, treatments, services, and devices, with everything from liposuction services to remove belly fat to microdermabrasion devices for resurfacing skin. The many products and practices that fall under the umbrella of anti-aging, as well as the concerns they target, continue to remain at the forefront of middle-aged individuals’ minds.

Yet, we must ask ourselves this: If we’re spending $250 billion on anti-aging treatments worldwide, shouldn’t we be more satisfied with the results? Shouldn’t the way we look be a direct result of also feeling our best? Perhaps age management should not start on the outside, but rather, should be approached from the inside out.

Age Management: A Better Approach


First and foremost, it’s important to debunk the notion that any treatment, procedure, or product has “anti-aging” powers. Age is an inevitable fact of life; each person has been doing it since they reached maturity. In fact, in the Textbook of Age Management: Volume 1, authors Jeffrey P. Leake, MD and Todd D. Greenberg, MD confirm that aging actually begins by the age of 25. Thus, there is no such thing as anti-aging. This does not mean, however, that we must accept many of the factors that come with age: feeling always tired, struggling to maintain a healthy weight, lacking energy for exercise, fighting hormone imbalances, or living in persistent discomfort. This is precisely where age management – a more realistic and effective approach to overcoming the challenges of aging – comes in.

A Closer Look at Aging


Many of us have used a number of anti-aging treatments. At the very least, the majority of us are aware of their potential outcomes. Yet, how well do we understand what it is we’re really trying to fight? Aging is not just a single process, though it is often summed up as just “getting older.” There are far more intricacies than two words alone can capture. What actually occurs to our bodies as we age?

In 1991, aging was defined by the book Evolutionary Biology of Aging as a “persistent decline in the age-specific fitness components of an organism due to internal physiological deterioration.”[3] In the field of developmental biology, aging is suggested to be defined as the time-related deterioration of the physical functions necessary for survival. These characteristics of aging, along with diseases of aging (heart disease, metabolic disorders, etc.) affect all the individuals of a species.

Interestingly, of all the products, services, and devices mentioned in the Global Anti-Aging Market Research Report & Forecast, not one emphasizes improving cellular function and optimizing health to manage physiological deterioration. That’s because anti-aging services target only the visible effects of aging, without targeting their underlying causes – and therefore completely overlooking wellness as a whole.

Age Management – Based on Medical Science


Upon reaching physical maturity, the aging process begins in both men and women, but the process of aging typically goes on without notice throughout the twenties and thirties. More measurable changes are commonly observed by middle-age and later. For women, a significant process of aging – menopause – occurs relatively abruptly in comparison to a man’s transition from their ability to reproduce or not. In either case, by the time men and women are middle-aged, significant biomarkers of aging are commonly affected, ranging from hormone production to the ability to deliver oxygenated blood to muscle tissue. For those whose aim it is to manage these significant components of the aging process, the rewards extend far beyond the image of youthfulness alone.

In the past, health was recognized by the absence of disease. Now, however, the World Health Organization encourages us to take our approach to health further than disease prevention alone, stating that it is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being.”[4] Yet, despite the evolution of this definition throughout the last century, the model of traditional medicine is still a reactive one. In other words, most of us do not seek medical expertise until an apparent health issue has manifested. Likewise, significant medical attention is not prioritized until individual biomarkers are out of clinical ranges, by which point intervention – either invasive or noninvasive – is introduced.

Age Management – How Physicians Take a Superior Approach


Age Management Medicine is a proactive – versus reactive – approach to optimizing health and quality of life. It is achieved by continuously measuring comprehensive biomarkers of aging.

Biomarkers of aging can measure everything from cognitive function to physical strength, as well a person’s genetic makeup. These factors provide physicians with the most comprehensive overview of an individual’s wellness as possible, thereby giving them predictive insights which can be used to develop a targeted age management plan. For instance, by collecting extensive diagnostic information and learning about a patient’s detailed lifestyle and medical history, age management physicians and clinical teams are able to develop customized nutrition, supplementation, exercise, and bioidentical hormone programs – taking a holistic approach for each individual patient.

Age Management – The Power of Prevention


Not only is the age management approach highly personalized according to the individual’s distinct needs, but it also surpasses traditional methods in the fact that it is preventive. The field of medicine has only just recently begun to unlock the power of preventive care. In 1995, for instance, medical experts speculated that “national attempts to change lifestyle and alter cardiovascular risk factors… will not achieve health gain.”[7]

Fast-forward 30 years: there are now countless initiatives in place supporting the exact opposite belief. Most notably, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion is nearly a decade into its Healthy People 2020 program, which was launched in 2010. With more than 1,200 objectives across 42 topic areas, one of its critical pillars is to “attain high-quality, longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death.”[8] With events like the Healthy Aging Summit and a specific objective of increasing the proportion of adults who are up-to-date on clinical preventive services,[9] it’s clear that this – and many other programs – are in steadfast support of taking a risk-based, preventive approach to age management, versus a reactive one.

Indeed, experts are waking up to the immense potential of proactive healthcare. In 2014, Forbes published an article titled “The Huge, Neglected Opportunity for Proactive Medicine.”[10] It draws attention to the fact that the U.S. healthcare system spends the majority of its resources – a whopping 80% – caring for the seriously ill. Proactive medicine, the author posits, is more challenging because it requires “really getting to know people and working with them over time to change their lives.”

Yet, focusing mainly on caring for diseases after they’ve been diagnosed versus preventing them proactively via preventive age management care only allows the vicious cycle to continue. Isn’t the preemptive quest for long-term health a better approach to take? That’s what age management doctors believe, which is why they help their patients improve across a broad range of wellness outcomes.

Age Management Doctors – What do they do?


Age management doctors don’t simply treat the signs of aging which have already manifested (although they are experts in that area as well). Beyond addressing issues like lack of energy, hormone imbalances, struggles with weight loss programs, aging clinics also help individuals improve future health outcomes. By understanding how bodily changes influence each patient’s health, age management clinical teams can provide better personalized care, focusing on the key factors that require the most attention first. This concentrated and continual effort brings significant value to a growing field of prevention-based medicine, as each individual’s risk factors are managed within optimal ranges over decades, thereby significantly lowering the risk of disease development.

Healthy Aging – A Step-by-Step Approach

First, age management physicians perform an all-encompassing individual assessment to form a detailed overview of current wellness levels and health history. Based on their findings, they generate a treatment plan encompassing to address the following five pillars of health.

Increased Energy Levels

Low energy levels are common in older adults. By the time people reach the age of 70, roughly 30% of the muscle mass they had at the age of 20 is gone.[11] This often results in decreased strength, increased fatigue, and overall lower energy levels.

Yet, some causes of decreased energy cannot be attributed to age alone. From anemia to chronic disorders, there could be an underlying cause for persistent tiredness. Oftentimes, however, because exhaustion is typically perceived to some degree as a normal part of aging, it is not enough in itself to prompt older adults to see their physician.

For people who are always tired, however, the fix could be as simple as adopting a new supplement regimen. This is one of the key areas in which age management doctors specialize: determining whether lifestyle changes alone are enough to address declining energy levels associated with aging, or whether a more aggressive approach is needed to target an underlying cause of the symptom.

Improved Sleep

Disordered sleep is certainly not exclusive to older adults. In fact, it is of chief importance throughout a person’s youth, because ample, quality rest supports healthy childhood and adolescent development. Yet, while sleep is also critical to wellness in older adults, its importance is often overlooked. In fact, the consequences of untreated sleep disorders can take a physical and mental toll on this age group, contributing to functional limitations and a higher risk of death from any cause.[12]

Inability to fall and stay asleep is fairly common: 38% of Americans report feeling poorly rested four or more days each week, and just over half (54%) are able to clock in the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep every night.[13] Yet, just because an issue is common does not mean it should be ignored. Sometimes, individuals fall under the false assumption that common is synonymous with normal, and therefore neglect to seek medical help.

Both lack of sleep and poor sleep quality put an individual at risk for a broad range of short- and long-term health issues. On a short-term basis, sleep is needed for immune system functionality, metabolic function, and safety while completing daily tasks. Over the long-term, untreated sleep disorders are associated with increased risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

Specifically, there is a proven interplay between sleep and inflammation – particularly in the cardiovascular system. The Textbook of Age Management Medicine: Volume 1, describes this relationship as follows: “Sleep duration is inversely associated with plaque formation and coronary artery calcification among middle-aged adults, and is inversely associated with carotid intima media thickness.” Indeed, several pro-inflammatory markers are inversely associated with sleep duration, which confirms the fact that sleep deprivation is linked to morbidity and mortality, as well as increased cardiovascular disease.

There are many barriers to a good night’s sleep, with sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) being a main cause in older adults. The Textbook of Age Management Medicine: Volume 1 explains that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in particular is an epidemic affecting up to 24% of the population, though the actual volume of cases could be even higher as many patients are undiagnosed. OSA is a condition that largely affects obese individuals, but it can also afflict others. It is characterized by insufficient airflow, for which both noninvasive treatments such as weight loss, as well as surgery, may be recommended.

No matter the speculated cause, a physician must assess each individual’s sleep-related issues to determine the best means of treatment. By addressing the sleep disorders themselves, instead of the byproducts they create, age management physicians can help patients improve both long- and short-term health.

Mental Acuity – Enhanced Cognitive Function

The mind is something that changes with age. Yet, neural and cognitive functions are complex, and age-related changes in brain structure and function are not uniform across the population. Promoting cognitive function in middle-aged and older individuals is therefore an endeavor that requires an individualistic approach.

In Brain Aging: Models, Methods, and Mechanisms, author Elizabeth L. Glisky writes that “the basic cognitive functions most affected by age are attention and memory.”[14] Yet, age alone is not the only factor which plays a role in the performance of these cognitive functions. As the Textbook of Age Management Medicine: Volume 1 explains, exercise, alcohol consumption, sleep, diet, and even caffeine intake can all contribute to brain health.

Determining the many ways in which these factors affect the mind as we age requires an extensive look into an individual’s current measures of health, medical history, and lifestyle. Through approaches such as nutraceuticals (natural compounds reported to enhance natural functions), and prescriptive lifestyle adjustments, physicians can advise a tailored preventive treatment plan to help patients minimize the impact of age-related cognitive decline.

Weight Loss – Effective Weight Management

There is a general perception that few individuals ever succeed with long-term weight loss. Because metabolic rate declines by 2% or more per decade after the age of 25,[15] it is also a widely held belief that weight loss becomes more challenging with age. Yet, factors like age, and even exercise, are less important than the volume and types of food we eat. In fact, the Textbook of Age Management Medicine: Volume 1 explains that the belief that obesity is caused by a contemporary sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise is a myth. Rather, obesity is a result of eating too much.

The text also reveals a silver lining: obesity is the most preventable disease in the U.S. The question remains, then: What is the best way to lose weight? If the volume and types of food being consumed are contributing to obesity, which is directly linked to morbidity in the form of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure,[16] why do so many people continue to struggle with an eating plan that supports weight management? The CDC confirms that more than a third of all U.S. adults are obese, with the highest concentration of obese individuals falling within the middle age range (40.2%).[17]

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine: Volume 1 sheds some light on this issue:

We tend to maintain the same weight over time. We do so by eating similar weight and/or volumes of food each week. However, because of processed foods, which are abnormally dense in energy, that similar weight and volume of food results in a constant insult to the body (inflammation and insulin surges).

While scientists are continuing to refine their understanding of how the human body interacts with our environment, we are still a long way from manufacturing the nutritional value of natural food. Thus, consuming whole foods (versus processed foods) is the best way to achieve sustainable weight loss. Yet, this is complicated by the fact that a calorie is not just a calorie. Following a well-rounded diet geared toward weight management requires a precise balance of macronutrient intake, including being mindful of carbohydrate and protein levels in foods consumed. We must eat what we need, not what we want, which requires commitment to an active process that is achieved most effectively when overseen by nutritional experts.

Weight Loss – Quick Solutions?

Weight loss is one area in which age management and age-fighting approaches may vary most drastically. The age-fighting industry tends to prioritize “quick fixes” and those which yield the most noticeable cosmetic results. Liposuction services, abdominoplasty, and anti-cellulite treatment devices are marketed as effective means of improving appearances for overweight individuals. Even bariatric surgery is sometimes positioned as a quick fix to obesity, allowing severely overweight individuals to shed pounds by surgically enforcing restrictive eating habits.

What’s important to remember is this: there is no way to achieve sustainable weight loss without maintaining a healthy diet. Even solutions which may reduce fat quickly will not have lasting results without long-term commitment to eat well on the patient’s part. More importantly, these quick fixes do not carry the same far-reaching health benefits of a nutritional eating plan to achieve an improved clinical state.

What About Exercise?

If nutrition is the single most important factor in maintaining a healthy weight, is it even worthwhile to pursue regular physical activity? The answer is a resounding yes. As the Textbook of Age Management Medicine: Volume 1 confirms, “Exercise is perhaps the least used but most effective and most thoroughly studied therapy we have against chronic disease and ailments of age.” It protects against decline in the physical, sexual, and emotional domains, and is especially powerful in reducing inflammation.

Yet, this still leaves many adults wondering: What types of exercise are best? How much exercise should I be getting each week? Or, for that matter, each day? Is high-intensity interval training (HIIT) more beneficial than moderate-intensity exercise? These answers will vary significantly based on each individual’s specific goals; strength, endurance, and flexibility levels; current health measures; and even their genetic markers. This is just yet another example of an instance in which a physician-led, comprehensive approach to age management is ideal.

Increase Libido

A declining libido isn’t something that occurs overnight. Loss of sexual desire is impacted by physical and mental health factors, along with age. While it is something that is seldom discussed openly, declining sex drive can take its toll on an individual’s overall wellbeing, as well as the quality of a relationship.

Research shows that loss of libido impacts women more than men, with 34% of females and 15% of males reporting a noticeable decline in their sex drive.[18] The challenge in addressing low sexual interest lies in the fact that the condition can stem from a host of contributing factors. Fatigue, poor mental health, and even relationship factors can affect sex drive for both men and women.

Additionally, the body experiences immense hormonal changes with age. The Textbook of Age Management Medicine: Volume 2 explains that in men, for instance, dwindling testosterone can have a negative impact on the physical, sexual, and emotional domains of wellness. Women, too, can face health risks when they become hormone deficient.

Like weight management, exercise, and sleep, addressing variances in sex drive necessitates a patient-centric approach. It requires physicians to perform a comprehensive analysis into overall physical and mental health to determine the best course of action.

Age Management – The Far-Reaching Power


By this point, it’s clear that the undeniable, far-reaching impact of age management clearly overpowers the isolated results anti-aging solutions aim to achieve. The anti-aging industry addresses common pain points shared among many middle-aged and older adults, offering services such as hair restoration, eyelid procedures, and weight loss surgeries, as well as anti-wrinkle products and laser devices. All of these costly treatment options only address issues that are skin-deep, and therefore fail to make any impact on the true underlying agents that actually contribute to these symptoms of aging.

Age management, on the other hand, takes a more powerful and all-encompassing approach to wellness and aging. By addressing all of the internal and external factors that can compromise wellness as we age, physicians specializing in age management effectively tackle health challenges from the inside out. Increased energy levels, weight management, better sleep, improved cognitive function, and stabilized libido are the end result, with a more vibrant, lean, and youthful appearance simply being an added benefit.

Age management solutions are not exactly simple, however. Because each individual has a complex set of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors to consider, the approach must be tailored precisely to a person’s unique needs. From exercise recommendations to nutrition plans, hormone replacement therapy to a regimen of nutraceuticals, there are many ways age management physicians can derive tailored treatment plans targeting specific wellness outcomes. While pinpointing a person’s exact needs and establishing an individualized age management plan may require a small investment of time up front, the lasting benefits are well worth the effort.

The growing field of age management differs from anti-aging in many ways, but the most obvious is in the name. The aging process cannot be stopped, but one can effectively manage the progression of age-related decline. Through tactics such as frequent blood analysis, food and nutrient testing, exercise analysis, body composition assessments, and other types of biometric data collection, age management physicians can not only track how food, exercise, and sleep influence a patient’s health, but also how properly managing hormone levels can reduce risk factors associated with serious conditions like heart disease and metabolic syndrome.

Ultimately, the consumers of anti-aging solutions want to live vibrant, healthy lives until their final day, but are most attracted to the perception of health. The outcome of age management and anti-aging solutions may not seem very different but, for the latter, the course of action is almost always short-sighted. As the field of age management continues to develop, a growing number of consumers are beginning to educate themselves and are subsequently taking the more effective and comprehensive approach to address aging. Now, you can consider yourself among the well-informed individuals who know that wellness and youthful energy lies far deeper than the skin’s surface, and that the biomarkers of aging hold the true power to measuring and promoting long-term wellness.

Key Resources


This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources:

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

 

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Education Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

 

Next Steps


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We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Additional Information


What is Age Management Medicine?

What is Cenegenics?

Cenegenics vs. Bariatric Surgery

Sources


[1] Morrill, Hannah. “Charting: A Brief History of Anti-Aging.” Harper’s BAZAAR. 2016.

[2] Global Anti-Aging Market Research Report and Forecast to 2017-2022; OrbisResearch.com.

[3] Rose, Michael R. Evolutionary Biology of Aging. Oxford University Press, 1994.

[4] World Health Organization, 2018. Retrieved from URL: http://www.who.int/suggestions/faq/en/

[5] American Federation for Aging Research, 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://www.afar.org/infoaging/biology-of-aging/biomarkers-of-aging/

[6] Biomarkers of Aging. American Federation for Aging Research, 2016.

[7] Gillies et al. “Balancing proactive and reactive care.” Occasional paper series, Royal College of General Practitioners, 1995.

[8] “Healthy People 2020.” National Centers for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015. Retrieved from URL: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/healthy_people/hp2020.htm

[9] “Older Adults.” Healthy People 2020. Retrieved from URL: https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/older-adults/objectives

[10] Hixon, Todd. “The Huge, Neglected Opportunity for Proactive Medicine.” Forbes. 19 Aug. 2014.

[11] Dennis, Helen. “Successful Aging: Causes of energy loss in older adults.” Los Angeles Daily News. 29 June 2015.

[12] Paudel et al. “Rest/Activity Rhythms and Mortality Rates in Older Men: MrOS Sleep Study.” Chronobiology International. 06 Apr. 2010.

[13] Sleep and tiredness survey. YouGov. 02 June 2015. https://today.yougov.com/topics/lifestyle/articles-reports/2015/06/02/sleep-and-dreams

[14] Glisky, Elizabeth L. Brain Aging: Models, Methods, and Mechanisms. CRC Press. 2007.

[15] Boston, Gabriella. “Basal metabolic rate changes as you age.” Washington Post. 05 March 2013.

[16] Stanford Health Care. Retrieved from URL: https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/healthy-living/obesity.html

[17] “Adult Obesity Facts.” CDC. 29 Aug. 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

[18] Graham et al. “What factors are associated with reporting lacking interest in sex and how do these vary by gender?” BMJ Open. 2017.

Bariatric Surgery Alternative

Bariatric Surgery Alternative


 

bariatric surgery

Obesity affects more than one-third of U.S. adults and 17% of the nation’s youth.[1] Complications associated with the condition, which is marked by a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, span far and wide. Increased risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes are just a few of the serious health issues linked to obesity. To combat these risks, many individuals begin to explore their weight loss surgery options.

What Is Weight Loss Surgery?


Weight loss surgery, or “bariatric surgery,” is a collective medical term that encompasses different forms of surgical procedures intended to reduce an individual’s caloric intake. The most common types include gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and adjustable gastric band. Oftentimes, these procedures are sought after at the recommendation of a physician, after unsuccessful attempts to lose weight through diet and exercise, or both.

By committing to surgical weight loss procedures, the individual undergoes significant physical changes to their digestive system to restrict the volume of food their stomach is able to hold. The process may also result in the restriction of nutrient absorption in efforts to cause weight loss.

Although risk factors presented during the actual bariatric surgery procedure itself are low, long-term complications often present themselves later and are commonly observed during patient follow-ups. Some weight loss surgery side effects are more serious than others, and while risk factors vary from one individual to the next, many are significant enough to give patients pause.

In an effort to help you reach an informed decision about your weight loss options, this guide will cover critical information about bariatric surgery, its types, and its related risks.

Types of Bariatric Surgery


To ensure patients who opt for bariatric procedures are ready to undergo an invasive weight loss surgery, they should first develop a thorough understanding of each type and the processes it entails.

Gastric Bypass


The most commonly performed bariatric surgery worldwide is gastric bypass surgery. It is also the most complex weight loss procedure and requires the division of the stomach into two smaller sections. After the stomach is divided into a smaller upper portion and a lower larger section, the small intestine is divided and rerouted. As a result, the new, smaller stomach section can only accommodate smaller meals. Subsequently, less digestion takes place, which also results in a change in hormones and a decrease in the amount of nutrients absorbed. Following the procedure, patients are required to maintain a lifelong vitamin regimen.

Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve/Bariatric Sleeve)


Often referred to simply as “the sleeve,” sleeve gastrectomy is an irreversible procedure which entails the removal of the stomach. Roughly 80% of the stomach is removed, leaving what is known as a “bariatric sleeve” or “gastric sleeve,” behind. Although it does not require food stream re-routing and typically requires a hospital stay of just two days, the sleeve procedure is known for its high rate of early complications, including sleeve leakage and wound infections.

Adjustable Gastric Band (“Lap Band”)


The adjustable gastric band, or lap band, is the second most frequently performed weight loss surgery. It gets its name from the adjustable inflatable band which is inserted into the body laparoscopically and placed around the stomach’s uppermost region. While it is minimally invasive, it still poses risks of complications due to the fact that a foreign device remains in the body. Additionally, mechanical issues and slippage of the band can occur. Of all available bariatric surgery options, gastric band has the highest rate of re-operation.

Weight Loss Surgery Risks


The risk-to-benefit ratio is a key factor that can be used to drive decision making for patients seeking the best way to lose weight. While bariatric surgeries are FDA-approved and are generally considered to be safe, they still present a number of post-operation risks and side effects. The specific types of risks an individual may face will depend on the type of surgery being performed and any preexisting health conditions, among other factors bariatric surgeons can assess prior to the operation.

Below is a brief list of long- and short-term bariatric surgery risks. Keep in mind that in addition to the specific risks posed by each individual type of surgery, there are also general risks associated with most types of surgical procedures, including blood clots, infections, excessive bleeding, and adverse reactions to anesthesia.

 

Short-Term Weight Loss Surgery Risks


Some of the side effects posed by the bariatric sleeve, lap band, and gastric bypass are experienced shortly after the procedure and can be resolved rather quickly. Nonetheless, these complications could impede an individual’s ability to heal as efficiently as they may have hoped. Short-term risks include:

  • Acid reflux: Roughly 18-20% of patients experience new onset acid reflux as a side effect of bariatric surgery. It takes 12 to 24 months to clear up for the majority of patients.[2]
  • Chronic nausea and vomiting: One of the most common side effects following gastric bypass surgery is nausea/vomiting, which could result from ulcers, irritation of the gastrointestinal tract, or another reason – all of which should be investigated by medical professionals to determine if further intervention is needed.
  • Dilation of esophagus: Typically linked to the lap band surgery, this side effect can produce discomfort while swallowing, weak esophageal motility, and acid reflux. Medical intervention may be needed to restore the esophageal diameter.
  • Inability to eat certain foods: Because bariatric surgery of any kind alters the structure of the stomach, the body will be unable to process certain foods. Patients must therefore maintain a liquid diet for weeks before transitioning to soft foods like mashed potatoes and tuna.
  • Weight gain or failure to lose weight: Ability to lose weight varies from one procedure to the next, with the lap band procedure having the highest failure rate out of the three most common procedures.

Long-Term Weight Loss Surgery Risks


There are also many potential long-term side effects of bariatric surgery, including:

  • Dumping syndrome: This condition refers to a group of symptoms, including abdominal discomfort, weakness, and abnormally rapid bowel evacuation. Research shows it affects at least 3 out of 20 people who have any part of the stomach removed.[3]
  • Low blood sugar: Also called hypoglycemia, low blood sugar is a serious weight loss surgery risk which may not develop until two to three years after a procedure has been performed. Patients with this condition may require lifelong treatment and find its complex symptoms challenging to control.
  • Malnutrition/Vitamin deficiency: Because the intended effect of bariatric surgery is to reduce nutrient absorption, patients who undergo these procedures may experience long-term deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients critical to essential bodily functions. The gastric sleeve presents the highest risk of long-term deficiencies. Patients may become deficient in calcium, zinc, iron, and fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin D.
  • Vomiting: In addition to being a major short-term risk, vomiting and nausea may also occur for an extended period after surgery takes place.
  • Ulcers: Bariatric surgery produces ulcers in up to half (52%)[4] of all of patients. While some ulcers respond positively to medical treatment, others require surgical intervention.
  • Bowel obstruction: Scar tissue may form at any time following a bariatric procedure and can form an obstruction. The obstruction could cut off blood supply to the intestinal tract, which could be fatal if not addressed promptly.
  • Hernias: Gastric bypass surgery causes hernias in about 20% of patients, which are caused by a defect in the membrane that holds the intestine to the abdominal wall.[5]

Bariatric Surgery Cost


Individuals seeking weight loss solutions must also consider costs of procedures. Costs can vary based on location, insurance coverage, and the particular procedure being performed. Moreover, the amount of money spent on procedures is only one figure to bear in mind; costs from treating complications (if they arise) and income lost from time taken off work may also be incurred.

The average price of gastric bypass surgery is $23,000 (at the higher end, figures climb to $35,000), while lap band and sleeve gastrectomy cost roughly $15,000.

In certain conditions, health insurance providers may offer coverage to assist with some bariatric surgery costs. Most providers require the individual to have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or more with dangerous weight-related health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or severe sleep apnea. In many cases, a history of failed weight loss efforts most also be demonstrated.

Waiting for Insurance Approval for Weight Loss Surgery

For many individuals living without severe comorbidities, a BMI of 40 is commonly required. Many people are therefore faced with continuing to live in poor health until reaching their insurance provider’s threshold. Not only does this delay the individual from living the full, rewarding life they hope for, but it also accelerates risks associated obesity, including poor cardiovascular health.

 

Non-Surgical Medical Weight Loss Alternative: Cenegenics


Instead of gaining additional weight and further jeopardizing one’s health, proactive individuals are encouraged to rid themselves of the physical and emotional burden of obesity for good with the expert guidance and advanced clinical care provided by Cenegenics’ weight loss solutions.

By completing an Elite Health Evaluation and engaging in comprehensive care provided by Cenegenics physicians and clinical staff, average patients commonly observe a 30% reduction in body fat within the first year. Candidates for bariatric surgery with a BMI 35 or higher would likely see a reduction in body in excess of the 30% experienced by average Cenegenics patients. Additionally, comorbidities such as elevated blood pressure, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, chronic inflammation, and other conditions are significantly reduced and managed with Cenegenics treatment.

A Medically Superior Bariatric Surgery Alternative


After assessing the risks associated with invasive weight loss surgeries, many individuals find themselves asking: Is there a better alternative? What is the best way to lose weight? And, how can I reduce my body fat safely?

Cenegenics’ team of physicians provides comprehensive services to address these issues. Their medical experts take an all-encompassing approach to wellness to understand the precise factors that contribute to obesity in each individual. From there, tailored treatment programs are developed to spur results in a way that works best according to the body’s unique metabolic factors.

What Is Cenegenics?


Cenegenics is a U.S.-based healthcare company focused on delivering 100% personalized, physician-developed age management solutions in the areas of improved sleep and cognition, enhanced energy levels, and weight loss.

At Cenegenics, individuals undergo a comprehensive, full-day evaluation to assess and collect data, which represents extensive information regarding the person’s cardiometabolic and obesity-related risk factors.

 

Cenegenics Weight Loss: A Different Approach


Oftentimes, nutrition and exercise are perceived as simple, straightforward concepts. They are not. Nutrition, for one, is a complex system which encompasses an interplay of hormones, macronutrients, genomics, and other contributing factors. Understanding the ways in which these factors are linked, as well as the role they play in weight management, requires in-depth medical assessments for each individual. Similarly, exercise should not be approached in a “one-size-fits-all” fashion, as unique types of bodies respond differently to certain forms of exercising. To compound these complex factors, the body undergoes significant changes as it ages. Thus, the way a person responds to certain eating habits and fitness routines can change with age.

For this reason, Cenegenics takes a comprehensive yet individualized approach to provide realistic weight loss programs that incorporate scientific, evidence-based tactics. As a result, patients are able reach their weight loss goals and keep weight off for the long term.

Cutting-Edge Medical Assessments at Cenegenics:


Cenegenics implements innovative diagnostic technology to identify the best solution to obesity and long-term weight loss for each individual by assessing the following key criteria:

  • Carbohydrate Metabolism & Insulin Sensitivity
  • Lipid Metabolism & Cardiovascular Inflammation
  • Kidney & Liver Function
  • Micronutrient & Food Sensitivity Profile
  • Hormone Production
  • Bone Mineral Density & Body Composition
  • Vascular Inflammation & Intima-Medial Thickness
  • Oxygen Consumption & Dynamic Cardiac Output
  • Neurocognitive Analysis

Following the series of tests, the individual meets with a Cenegenics physician and their clinical team, who will develop a personalized plan of action and share a trajectory of milestones to strengthen the focus and intention of the individual’s program.

Understanding the need for ongoing support, the Cenegenics physician and clinical team continue to follow-up, thereby ensuring that each milestone is accomplished and progress is being made. Throughout the process, the Cenegenics team educates each individual on how different foods, beverages, and lifestyle choices affect their obesity-related biomarkers to provide a more thorough understanding of their efforts.

While each individual experiences a varying speed of progress due to unique starting points and challenges, all Cenegenics patients are continuously challenged to reach their next milestone.

Weight Loss Surgery vs. Cenegenics: Which Option is Better for You?


 

From the cost of Cenegenics to its significantly low risk factors, many individuals seeking effective weight loss programs find Cenegenics to be an attractive alternative to weight loss surgery. The Cenegenics Elite Health Evaluation carries a very limited amount of risk due to the comprehensive structure of the program. The program is also fit specifically to participants’ unique composition to further mitigate risks and enhance odds of success. While meeting with a Cenegenics physician, individuals will review their unique blood values to learn about individual risk factors associated with cardiometabolic and neurocognitive diseases.

These in-depth laboratory results are observed along the Elite Health Evaluation’s findings of bone mineral density, body composition, vascular inflammation and intima-medial thickness, oxygen consumption and cardiac output, and neurocognitive analysis to determine and develop a total plan of action, detailed to the patient.

Individualized bioidentical hormone therapy, customized nutraceuticals (healthy weight loss supplements), and exercise prescriptions are provided alongside a unique, personal nutrition plan to follow, all under the guidance and directive care of Cenegenics physicians and staff.

As the weeks and months pass, the Cenegenics team continuously engages with the patient to ensure the successful transition into a new, optimized lifestyle. An individual’s motivation levels may waver, as is commonly observed with weight loss efforts, but the Cenegenics physicians and team understand that the path to long-term success is different for everyone. Because of this, each patient’s plan of action is catered to their own unique priorities while promoting the loss of excess weight. Each patient is fully supported by a staff of professionals and can therefore feel confident in their ability to take the next step, conquer the next obstacle, and overcome the next hurdle to build healthy, sustainable relationships with food, exercise, and themselves.

 

 

Beginning the Weight Loss Journey: Next Steps 


We hope the information above has assisted you in your research process. Below are some additional links which you might find helpful.

What is Age Management Medicine? – Click Here

What is Cenegenics?Click Here

Defying Your Age with CenegenicsClick Here

 

 

We offer a free consultation that can help to answer any additional questions you may have. Please click here to register.

 

 

[1] National Conference of State Legislatures, 2018

[2] Canadian Journal of Surgery, 2014

[3] University of Rochester Medical Center, 2018.

[4] Bariatric Times, 2010.

[5] The American Journal of Surgery, 1996.

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