While shedding even a substantial amount of weight is increasingly achievable through the use of fitness and nutrition tracking tech, those suffering from severe obesity often require a more drastic form of intervention. Staple weight-loss strategies like starting a new exercise regimen, or cutting calories aren’t always effective, or even physically feasible for morbidly obese individuals carrying over a hundred pounds of excess body weight.
Facing extreme threats to their well-being, over 200,000 Americans annually choose to undertake surgical intervention. Bariatric surgery involves altering the stomach so that appetite is reduced and fewer calories are consumed and absorbed. As an emergency tactic, bariatric surgery validates itself by virtue of its results: morbidly obese patients who undergo bariatric procedures often experience tangible weight loss, and can be up to 40% less likely to die prematurely.
Gastric bypass surgery is widely considered the “gold standard” of bariatric methods due
to its comparatively high success rate; the procedure involves realigning portions of the stomach and intestines to effectively “bypass” a large part of the digestive tract, thereby limiting absorption of calories and nutrients.
Not only does the surgery alter the physical makeup of the human gut, new research suggests it also rearranges patients’ microbial profile in a massive way; according to a recent study backed by the National Institute of Health and conducted by experts at Arizona State University, patients who receive gastric bypass surgery cultivate in their digestive tracts an entirely different (and permanent) microbiome, full of beneficial, weight-loss promoting bacteria.
The realignment of gastric bypass patients’ digestive system leaves…
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