Obesity Surgery

It is an undeniable fact that obesity has become a global epidemic and is wreaking havoc on our society as mortality rates soar. Approximately 30% of the general population is considered obese, but it doesn’t stop there. An unprecedented 15% of young people are afflicted as well, leaving their budding lives scarred emotionally, physically, and psychologically. 
 
Contrary to the unbelievable number of claims for products that miraculously take off the pounds, there is no magic cure for obesity. However, there is an option. Obesity surgery is becoming increasingly popular despite the many side effects. 
 
Obesity surgery is only for those people who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more or are suffering from a disabling condition due to excess weight. Morbidly obese people who are unable to lose weight by any other method often turn to this major surgery as a last resort. However, the younger generation soon may not have this option. Physicians are becoming very reluctant to perform obesity surgery on patients younger than 18 because of the lack of knowledge about the long-term side effects. The serious short-term consequences are a deterrent as well. The absolute minimum age recommended is 13 in girls and 15 in boys. The youngest patient on record who underwent obesity surgery was a 12-year-old girl. 
 
The rate of obesity surgeries has multiplied unbelievably with over 170,000 done yearly. There are no reliable statistics on how many of these were performed on teenagers, but a definite increase was noted. Costs for the surgery range anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000 (depending on the type), with the average being $30,000. If complications develop, obesity surgery may cost $65,000 or more. The effects, however, may be priceless for some. Adult patients lose an average of 70% of their excess body weight, while teenagers show even more promise at 82%. For a few patients, the results are devastating and the little weight they lose is quickly regained. 
 
There are 2 main types of obesity surgery: those that reduce the size of the stomach and those that reduce absorption of calories in the small intestine. Gastric bypass is a combination of the two and is the most common type done. All require a lifelong commitment to making drastic changes in eating habits and lifestyle. Obesity surgery is beset with many risks and for young people, this may mean permanent stunting of growth. 2% of patients die from the surgery and 40% develop complications within six months. 
 
Complications range from infection, respiratory problems and bleeding, to vomiting, hernias and stomach obstruction. Many patients develop anemia or osteoporosis in the long term and have to constantly take supplements. Obesity-related illnesses, such as diabetes, are often resolved, though. Considering only the short-term effects, young people actually have fewer risk factors in developing complications from obesity surgery if they follow all the recommendations. 
 
Overall, obesity surgery remains highly controversial. Many argue that the psychological benefits of feeling human again far outweigh the disadvantages, especially for teenagers. There is always the possibility of regaining the weight lost or developing serious complications. Much of the success of obesity surgery depends on choosing an experienced physician and complying with orders. Obesity surgery has greatly improved over the years and for many, those unwanted pounds have become a thing of the past. 

Facts About Snoring

Snoring is a worldwide phenomenon with estimates of over one billion people who snore due to some sort of nasal or airway blockage. Conservative estimates indicate that the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom represent over 70 million snorers alone. 
 
Research into the problems of snoring has in recent years made important findings and yielded to the evidence of significant problems with snoring. Findings suggest that by their early thirties, twenty percent of men snore as compared to only five percent of women. Findings indicate a dramatic increase as men and women reach their sixties indicating that sixty percent of men and forty percent of women snore. 
 
There are obvious differences in the percentages of men and women that snore. The reason for the difference involves the size of a person’s neck, typically an effect of being overweight. Men tend to have larger necks than women do and having a neck of 17 inches or larger makes it likely a person will snore. Surveys indicate that 80 percent of men that snore do not consider themselves to have a problem and in fact consider their spouses to be light sleepers. 
 
Women that snore tend to be heavier and shorter than women that do not snore are. Women typically snore through their noses whereas men snore through their noses and mouths. Women are also more likely than men are to seek treatment for snoring. Women typically snore less than men due to smaller necks and larger air passages. Women also have a smaller uvula that makes them less likely to snore. 
 
Snorers do not usually notice their own snoring and are unaware unless it is pointed out for them. Snorers also tend to be deep, comfortable sleepers. Tonsil and adenoid problems can be major contributors to the snoring of children, though studies indicate that as few as six percent of all children snore. 
 
There is concern that the medical community does not take the area of snoring serious enough. General practitioners typically do not ask patients about their sleep. Studies indicate that of the 70 percent of patients that mention sleep problems to their doctors, only about ten percent of them attempt to seek further help. Dentists who fit patients with snoring devices do not routinely ask patients about sleeping problems. 
 
The problem of snoring and related sleep disorders is not widely known to the medical community or the public. Both require education on the subject to orient them to this significant problem. Snoring is often considered the first sign of a sleep disorder. Sleep apnea is the most significant problem of those who snore. It is a potential danger for the person and those around them as sleep disorders represent a significant cause of vehicle accidents. Of those suffering from sleep apnea, 70 percent report having been in at least one car accident. Recent studies indicate that more vehicle accidents are caused by sleep disorders than by drunk driving. 

6 Helpful Ways to Deal with Stress

We’ve all been there. Sometimes things pile up, and there seems to be an endless list of things to do, and only so much time to do them. This can be especially true for women, because we often find ourselves taking care of others. Even when things get tough, it’s important to take care of yourself, as well as those around you. These stress relief techniques for women are perfect for the busy lady, and can take as little as two minutes.  

#1 Meditate  

Maybe meditation is your thing. If it isn’t, try not to write it off right away! There are lots of ways to meditate that you might not have ever imagined. Do you get lost in the task of washing the dishes or folding the laundry? Do you find it easy to draw or take a bath, and let the day fall away? Devote some time to those activities, and let your thoughts fade away as you do them. If you like that, you may also want to try the more traditional way to meditate. Set a timer and practice for just two minutes, breathing in and out deeply, and letting your thoughts pass you by. Increase the amount of time whenever you feel you need to take a break.  

#2 Sleep  

No one every said you’d have to pull all-nighters after college! Sometimes when you have a project for work or a paper for school, you’ll put off sleeping to squeeze in some extra time working. This may be OK every now and then, but not getting enough sleep can be super detrimental in the long run. It’s important to prioritize rest, and not to feel like you need to “earn” your rest by working extra hard. Sleeping better will help you feel better, and deal with stress. Ever heard of “sleeping on it”? Getting some sleep may help you work through a problem. Sleeping is never wasting time, and you might even wake up with more clarity! 

#3 Talk to a friend  

Our friends are our support system. If you want your friends to come to you in stressful times, you can bet they want you to come to them as well! Women are usually very social, and if we’re stressed out for something we can’t put a finger on, we might just be missing our friends! Schedule a lunch or a movie night with your friends and remember to engage with your community!  

#4 Call a loved one  

With such busy times, it’s hard to keep in touch with the people we love but don’t get to see as often. Is there someone in your life who you miss? Giving them a call is a great way to show your love and make everyone’s day a little brighter. Talking to loved ones about the stress in your life, or asking a person that you trust for their wisdom and advice can make all of the difference. Schedule a call in advance so you both have something to look forward to.  

#5 Keep a gratitude journal  

Studies show that writing down the things that make you happy or thankful means you carry it with you even longer. If someone does something nice for you, take a second to jot down what happened and how it made you feel. Seeing all of the events that made you happy or proud, or inspired gratitude in you will make you happier because you’re remembering all of the good things better than the things that might have gone wrong.  

#6 Plan ahead  

Does one part of your day set the tone for stress? If mornings get you down, put your nighttime routine to good use and get yourself ready for the day ahead. If you can lay out your clothes in advance, or pack your lunch the night before, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and hassle. You can be out the door with no worries, and have a better day because of it. What can you do to help yourself through stressful mornings?  

Keep in mind that managing stress, as with anything else, consistency is key. You might not feel like having a nap or letting a loved one in, but it’s important that we prioritize our health even when it’s hard. Did you find something you think you could give a try?