Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Myself as a source

I'm not including this in my list of sources, but leaving it as a sort of comment I guess. I used my own personal knowledge and passion on this topic for my paper. Having experienced first hand the journey that having gastric bypass surgery is, it makes me a very impassioned person about it. I can't imagine my life as it was any more. I do know that I was always tired and really just not a happy person at all. I was very good at putting on a brave face and making it look like I was fine, but really, I wasn't. Since having surgery I have literally lost a whole person. Not just in weight, but I lost the depressed "fat mommy" that I was. Before my surgery I would not have been in this class. I had always wanted to go back to school to get my degrees, but deep down inside I could never have accomplished that because I was so ashamed of who and what I was. I could not fit in an airline seat and had to ask, as discreetly as possible, for an extender. Now, I am able to easily fit into a seat AND put the tray table down completely.

I love my life now. I am thrilled to be an active mom who can keep up with her kids. I love going out with them and experiencing life with them rather then just kind of watching from the side. I had this surgery for a bunch of different reasons, but regaining my life and getting to really live are some of the biggest ones. I look so forward to the rest of my life. The life that I will definitely get to live and see because of this wonderful surgery that I was able to have.

Understanding coronary artery disease

This website was helpful in explaining the actual process behind what happens to the heart as a person's arteries begin to clog with plaque. It has a wide range of information on exactly what coronary artery disease is and what the effects are on the heart and therefore on the body. It has a wide range of information including what the risk factors are and how to find a surgeon if you are in need of one to help you fight this disease.

The link for this site can be located here

Yale University Heart Book

This book had a ton of information in it about heart disease. I specifically used it for it's information about obesity and the effects that it has on the heart. Obesity makes everything harder. This includes how the heart works. Any excess weight will make the heart work harder, but being obese just makes the heart work even harder. The excess weight that an obese person carries makes the heart pump harder to move blood through the extremities and to get oxygen to the rest of the body. Add into that raised cholesterol from being obese and you have a recipe for disaster. You are basically a heart attack waiting to happen unless you are able to lose weight and change your lifestyle, which is something that you HAVE to do if you are having any kind of bariatric surgery.

Economic costs of obesity and inactivity.

This is a very interesting study. It took into account what the medical costs of America's inactivity, and invariably obesity, are. It used data from 1995 in order to come up with it's numbers, but the findings are just amazing. The study figures that the final costs of America's inactivity and obesity are 70 billion dollars. I honestly can't even comprehend that much money. That is taking into account a laundry list of illnesses, or comorbidities, of obesity and what it costs to treat these problems. That is a huge amount of money spent to treat everything from sleep apnea and depression to arthritis and heart disease. Pretty much all of these problems can be treated if not cured with weight loss surgery.

This study can be found here

"60 Minutes" does bariatric surgery

In April of 2008 "60 Minutes" did a piece on bariatric surgery, specifically gastric bypass. Part of the segment was spent talking with Dr. Francesco Rubino who was so fascinated with the results of his insulin dependent type 2 diabetic patients going into complete remission before even leaving the hospital that he has since started to test the removal of the equivalent amount of small intestine and reattaching it to a non altered stomach in laboratory animals with type 2 diabetes with the same amazing results as his gastric bypass patients. By preforming the "duodenal switch" part of the gastric bypass without altering the stomach in any way the lab animals are also showing signs of diabetes remission.

This is an amazing finding. If this promising procedure can continue to have the same results without the weight loss component of gastric bypass surgery it could become a way to force type 2 diabetes into remission for the millions of Americans who have this disease but are not candidates for gastric bypass because they do not meet the weight requirements.

The segment also spoke to several post surgery patients. Each and every patient said that they would have the surgery again tomorrow and had no regrets about their surgery. Almost all of them had been on insulin for their diabetes and most either left the hospital without medication or were soon able to stop taking their medications and are now considered in complete remission for type 2 diabetes.

An article about the segment as well as a video of the segment are available here

Wikipedia on Bariatric Surgery

While Wikipedia is not always the best place to find information because of the nature of the site, where people can add or change information, it can be an ok place to find basic and general information. I basically used Wikipedia as a way to find the actual definition of bariatric surgery. While I have a lot of information on bariatric surgery I was unsure of the exact definition which is "Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, refers to the various surgical procedures performed to treat obesity by modification of the gastrointestinal tract to reduce nutrient intake and/or absorption. The term does not include procedures for surgical removal of body fat such as liposuction or abdominoplasty." This definition will help the reader understand exactly what the surgeries that I'm talking about are.

The exact Wikipedia link is here

Sunday, December 7, 2008

What does diabetes cost?

In this study, the authors do very extensive research as to the actual costs involved with treating type 2 diabetes. They take into account all of the costs including extended medications, medical and hospital stays, and resulting complications from type 2 diabetes. The study finds that the cost of treating this disease as a nation, are in the billions. It does not speak specifically about treatment of the disease. It focuses mainly on what the costs are and, based on models of other illnesses what the expected future costs will be.

For more information about this study you can check it out here.