Sourced from: Infinite Health Blog, by Dr. Davis,
originally posted on the Wheat Belly Blog: 2012-09-01
Whistleblower: Fake Nails and Lap-Band
This is priceless: A doctor involved in
the bariatric surgery process who speaks out against it. He/she
recognizes the pointlessness of advising people to cut their fat
and eat more “healthy whole grains,” then blame them
for their obesity . . . then come to the rescue with
flawed and revenue-generating hospital procedures.
Read this enlightening view from within the system:
I am a physician in the Western US.
I have read your book and am in awe: you have really opened
up a can of worms here—and I couldn’t be happier!
Among my duties as a doctor is to
perform pre-operative assessments on overweight patients who want
to undergo bariatric surgery, a.k.a. gastric bypass, gastric sleeve,
laparoscopic band procedure, etc. All of these procedures involve
surgery to promote weight loss and avoid/prevent/avert the complications
of obesity, such as diabetes and heart disease, although, for many
people, it is vanity-based: They can buy fake nails and color their
hair and wear fancy jewelry, but they can’t hide their weight.
As the volume of patients and the volume of the patients (i.e. waist
circumference) being evaluated for these procedures continues to rise
in our community, I find myself in an ethical dilemma: How can I, in
good conscience, help these patients undergo an invasive procedure
to lose weight when the same and even better outcome could
be achieved by eliminating wheat?
Let me give you more details.
First there is the cost. Each patient who
wants to undergo a weight-loss surgery must first have an ultrasound
evaluation, a chest x-ray and an upper-GI barium examination in the
radiology department. Each of these exams costs money and must be
performed BEFORE a patient undergoes the procedure for preoperative
planning. After the procedure, each patient undergoes another
radiographic evaluation swallowing a water-soluble contrast medium
to assess the surgical connections for the “normal”
post-operative appearance of the anatomy and to make sure there is
no gap or leakage of material out of the intestine and into the
abdomen. As the word continues to spread about the “health
benefits of bariatric surgery,” the number of patients lining
up for these procedures has dramatically risen. The radiology
department makes money by performing the imaging assessments.
The anesthesia department gets paid for these elective procedures.
And the bariatric surgeon? Well, let’s just say the surgeon
can have his/her pick of expensive convertible vehicle off the lot!
FACT: One of the only areas making money
in US medicine is weight-reduction surgery.
Whose fault is it? I used to think the
patients themselves were to blame for their obesity: They ate too
much, had no self-control or will-power; they ate for emotional
reasons or self-destructive purposes. But, after really talking to
these people, most of them have no idea why they can’t lose
weight. They have “tried every kind of diet under the sun and
have not been able to lose weight.” While many of the patients
being evaluated are truly obese, many are just “overweight”
but have been encouraged by their doctors to have surgery to help
them avoid the health complications of their weight. These people
see surgery as the easy and only way out of their weight-induced problems.
Weight-reduction surgery is not a
“free lunch.” Many have complications with leaks that
result in abscesses in the abdomen, prolonged hospitalizations, and
costly medical bills. Many who have gastric banding come back for
evaluation because they feel that food is getting stuck in their
esophagus. No surprise here! It’s likely related to the rubber
inner-tube they have wrapped around the bottom of their esophagus
making them feel full!
And here’s another thing: The people
who undergo these procedures do lose weight—but they do not become
healthy or “thin.” They become less fat, but not a healthy
weight. Their stomachs are smaller, but they are still putting
unhealthy food into their tiny little stomachs and they can’t
get rid of the extra pounds.
After really talking to these people, I
realize that they are not solely to blame for their weight-problem.
They are misinformed about what they should be eating and they are
putting food into their bodies because they have been sold the
premise that it is good for them.
If I were to pull these patients aside
and say, “Don’t do it! Don’t spend the money and
risk complications (in some cases, life-threatening) of having your
stomach bypassed! Just cut wheat out of your diet!”,
I would be fired.
Aside from bariatric surgery evaluations,
the majority of people who undergo physician assessments for abdominal
pain, joint pain, and back pain are considerably overweight.
I know it because the visceral and abdominal fat can actually
been SEEN on imaging studies that look inside the body!
The health problems related to obesity
are so great that I almost find myself tempted to tell people they
would be better off smoking than eating wheat.
Actually, I really believe that if I
were to individually counsel the majority of patients that come to
our facility about the health benefits of eliminating wheat from
their diet, and they followed my instructions, the number of patients
evaluated and the number of those suffering from obscure medical
problems would be cut in half, at the very least.
Like you, Dr. Davis, I have seen the
dramatic results in people’s weight-loss and health-related
benefits that you have, from my own personal experience, as well
as colleagues and friends who have followed the Wheat Belly
recommendations. I want to scream it from the rooftops!
How can I spread this information
without jeopardizing my job?
Wheatless in Wyoming
Wow. Tell the population that they should
cut their fat, cut their cholesterol, and eat more ‘healthy
whole grains” . . . then sit back and watch them
explode in weight. Come to the rescue with high-cost, imperfect
medical procedures to help them shed at least a few of those
pounds, make oodles of money for the system. Sound familiar?
How about the billions of dollars spent for
diabetes drugs? The billions of dollars for “high
cholesterol”? The billions of dollars on drugs for acid
reflux, arthritis and joint pain, depression, ADHD, diuretics for
leg swelling, and blood pressure drugs?
The entire system is corrupt. Health and
healthy weight CANNOT come from a procedure to reduce stomach
size. Gastric bypass, lap-band, and related procedure are the
procedural perversions of the “calories in, calories
out” nonsense, accentuating the notion that our gluttony
and sloth got us here in the first place.
After all, if all we did was return to the
foods and habits of 1960, women would weigh 116 pounds, men
150 pounds–no surgery required.
Wheatless in Wyoming is clearly a smart
person–and one with a conscience, an inner beacon telling
him/her when a basic wrong is being committed. The answer: Get
OUT of the system. Someone else will take your place, to be sure,
but at least you can tell you children and friends that what you
do is the right thing . . . NOT something that exploits
the latest blunder in nutritional advice.