Get it? Take two, as in this is the second time we've blogged about weight loss pills or as in "take two pills" ... oh all right. Just checking.
We've already mentioned the possibility of an all-natural, working-with-the-body magical weight loss pill. It's not something that you can buy over the counter yet, but should be available soon.
But scientists have developed another weight loss pill that could be commercially available within a decade. Unlike the pill that works with your body's intestinal flora, this one is essentially a form of gastric bypass surgery without the knives. It shrinks your stomach chemically.
Normally, your stomach expands when you eat, to the point where you feel "full." Gastric bypass surgery involves physically restricting the amount that your stomach can expand. Gastric bypass surgery has had dramatically successful results with many patients. To quote the authors of a study on gastric bypass surgery, "...nonsurgical methods are notoriously ineffective at achieving major, long-term weight reduction."
But gastric bypass surgery is not without some nasty potential side-effects. Hell, Dr. J. would tell you that any surgery has some risks. (Bear in mind that I'm biased on this topic: my favorite uncle passed away due to a nosocomial infection.) So any method that would have the success rate of gastric bypass without the side effects would have me cheering.
All the same, I'm still resistant to the idea of any weight loss approach that works on the body rather than working with the body's own already established systems. One of the effects of stomach stapling is that "high fiber foods and foods with a more dense, natural consistency can become very difficult to eat relative to highly refined foods." I tend to distrust any man-made "solution" that goes against what has been working for the human body for countless generations.
We've all been raised on the notion that if you have a passing ailment, take a pill and it will go away. I am afraid that putting the gastric bypass solution into pill form will somehow put it on the same level as some passing problem. This is serious stuff and could have seriously long-term issues with it. It's a solution, but please, please, consider the more boring long-term solutions first.
Should I change my name to Crabby? Am I being too suspicious/old-fashioned/stuck-in-a-rut? I grant you, gastric bypass might be the way to go -- it's certainly worked for a lot of people that I've known. But shouldn't it be a last resort?