What are the Different Types of Obesity Treatment?

Felicia Dye

Obesity is a problem that involves a person being significantly overweight. There are numerous causes of this condition. There are also numerous obesity treatment options. Some non-surgical treatment options include low calorie diets, physical activity, and diet pills. Surgical options can include procedures such as gastric bypass and biliopancreatic diversion with a duodenal switch.

Bariatric surgery is a gastrointestinal procedure that alters a person's digestive system.
Bariatric surgery is a gastrointestinal procedure that alters a person's digestive system.

The first obesity treatment options that are generally recommended are those that involve lifestyle changes. When people who are obese seek to lose weight, they are usually encouraged to first change their eating habits. A change in eating habits generally involves reducing the number of calories consumed per day.

For many people this is not easy because their conditions may be the result of eating disorders which are beyond their control. Eating disorders and emotional or social damage caused by an obese state may require that a person seek psychiatric help as part of her weight loss plan. Without counseling, obesity treatment may not be successful for many people.

Exercise can also be an important part of the plan. Exercise helps people burn calories that could otherwise turn to fat. Obese people tend to have lifestyles that lack sufficient physical activity. It is likely that this will need to change if they are serious about losing weight.

Diet pills can be an obesity treatment option. These are drugs usually specially designed for obese people. Diet pills can work in several ways. Some manipulate a person’s appetite. This is done by causing a person to believe that she is not hungry or by causing a person to believe that a small amount of food has made her full. There are also diet pills, commonly referred to as fat blockers, which are supposed to prevent the absorption of a portion of the nutrients in food.

Bariatric surgery is an intrusive gastrointestinal procedure that alters a person’s digestive system. There is more than one type of bariatric procedure. One of these is the gastric bypass. Such a method involves decreasing the stomach’s capacity so the amount of food a person eats must be restricted. Additionally, an artificial pathway is created that allows food to bypass the small intestine so calories and nutrients are not absorbed.

Another type of gastrointestinal surgery used for obesity treatment is biliopancreatic diversion with a duodenal switch. This type of surgery involves altering the digestive system in three main ways. A large portion of the stomach is removed, reducing the amount that a person should eat. An artificial pathway is created to carry food to the bottom of the small intestine so only a limited amount of nutrients are absorbed. Digestive fluids are also artificially rerouted.

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