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Avoiding Opioid Addiction During Weight Loss

Obesity damages our bodies in a wide variety of ways, affecting everything that keeps us functioning, active and able. The extra weight impacts our bones and joints, causing wear and pain. It constricts our lungs, puts pressure on our hearts and compresses our veins and arteries. Extra weight wreaks havoc on our kidneys, our liver and our digestive system.

 Even when we’ve finally made a positive decision to turn away from chronic obesity and get our health back, we may feel unable to manage it alone, with just diet restrictions and activity changes. For many who have been fighting weight loss and maintenance for decades, it’s time to look to medical interventions.

 Traditional bariatric surgeries, such as stomach stapling, gastric sleeves, gastric bypass or gastric banding, come with their own set of health risks. Beyond the risks of infection, patients can find themselves dealing with chronic diarrhea, gallstones, ulcers, bowel obstructions and other complications. While many of these symptoms may resolve over time, studies are now showing that one particular side effect may just get worse - and it’s part of one of the largest problems in America right now.

 Nearly one in four bariatric surgery patients are still taking opioids one year after surgery to relieve ongoing pain. Even more troubling, one in twelve bariatric surgery patients that become dependent upon opioids are new users, never having taken these powerful medications before this surgery. That new user figure is especially concerning, because it’s about 45% higher than patients experiencing any other type of general surgery.

 The longer a patient needs opioids to relieve pain, the more likely the body will become dependent. Intervention and treatment will be needed to break the addiction, if it is identified before a fatal dose is administered.

 To achieve significant and lasting weight loss without further compromising your health with a potential opioid addiction, there are several non-surgical options to consider.

 With the Orbera Balloon system, Dr. Gaston will endoscopically place a balloon into your stomach, then fill it with a sterile saline solution. If needed, you may take a mild liquid pain reliever for a day or two after the procedure. The balloon will occupy space in your stomach, helping your body feel satisfied with smaller food portions. For six months, you’ll keep the balloon in place while your body and mind learns what appropriately-sized portions are.

 You may also consider Obalon balloon system, with require no sedation for placement. You’ll swallow a capsule attached to a catheter. When the capsule hits your stomach, Dr. Gaston will inflate the balloon inside. Over the next three weeks, you’ll swallow up to two more balloon capsules. The balloons will help your body feel full as you eat correctly-sized portions for weight loss and maintenance over the next six months.

 Orbera and Obalon are both non-surgical. They require no incisions, no stitches, no prescription pain relievers for placement or removal. When you have a BMI of 30 to 40, have not tried weight loss surgery before, and are over 18 years of age, these procedures could be exactly the weight loss and maintenance tools you’ve been looking for. Special financing for these procedures is also available.

 Win the obesity fight and avoid the opioid trap when you need to lose weight. Make an appointment for a free consultation with Dr. Gaston today. Call 773-238-1126 now.

Metro Gastroenterology Consultants

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