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Getting a handle on gastric bypass

Updated: January 13, 2013 6:07AM



Q. I’m 85 pounds overweight and have type 2 diabetes, so I thought bariatric surgery might be the answer. But I started doing research and got confused. Is lap-band surgery as effective against diabetes as gastric bypass, and what is gastric sleeve surgery?

A. There are three types of bariatric surgery: gastric bypass surgery, gastric sleeve surgery and gastric band (or lap band) surgery. The lap band procedure has fallen out of favor because the band can slip, causing complications. So we’ll only look at the first two types.

Gastric bypass surgery staples your stomach to make it smaller and bypasses part of the small intestine. After a year, 67 percent of people on insulin go med-free and 96 percent of those on oral meds stop taking them. Gastric sleeve surgery, or sleeve gastrectomy, removes about 85 percent of the stomach, so that it takes the shape of a tube or sleeve. There’s less data on this procedure, but it does take longer to lose weight with this than with gastric bypass.

However, gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery may lead to decreased bone density (although the National Institutes of Health doesn’t think there’s conclusive evidence). And these surgeries reduce the nutrients you take into your gut. It’s important to eat right; take multivitamins and vitamin B-12; drink lots of water; go easy on alcohol, caffeine, sodas and acidic foods, and get plenty of exercise.

Bariatric surgery is a major advance in treating type 2 diabetes, if you’re overweight and can’t control your blood sugar levels.

Q. I don’t want to yell at my 16-year-old son, but he won’t clean his room. My husband says to let it go, but I cannot!

A. There’s a good chance your son’s sloppiness is a normal teenage expression of independence (“I don’t have to live by your rules!”). That can be irritating, but it’s not really serious. Still, we don’t recommend that you do nothing, if that causes you stress.

Determine exactly why the situation bothers you. Is it a hygiene thing? Do you think it’s disrespectful? Then, think about what compromises you can make, and present a plan that’s open for discussion. For example, suggest a schedule for him to clean his room, and set out rules (no dirty dishes in his room overnight). Once you reach an agreement, let him know there are penalties (like missed activities) for not doing what he’s agreed to do.

If your son used to be a neat kid and suddenly he’s a slob, it could be a sign of distress. And if his grades are slipping, his eyes are red and he sleeps a lot, he may be depressed, have a substance-abuse problem, be getting bullied at school or have relationship woes. If these behaviors continue for more than two weeks, let him know you care, and get him help.

King Features



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