What if swallowing a pill was an easy weight loss option? New research suggest that taking a pill packed with a gastric balloon inside may help you lose weight by suppressing your appetite. With diet and exercise combined, this could be an effective weight loss tool in my opinion.
When the pill is taken it dissolves in the stomach where the balloon is pumped with distilled water through a small catheter. The catheter is then removed through the mouth. This seems like a simple and harmless procedure that any adult can handle compared to other high risk procedures.
If the procedure goes well, the 19 ounce ball of water fills the stomach and greatly reduces the amount of food a person can eat before feeling full. The balloon is automatically deflated after approximately four months and the small shell is naturally expelled.
This Allurion device, known as Elipse, has not been tested in America for U.S. Drug and Food Administration approval and may not be available for another few years, researchers say. On the other hand, research including 34 people in Greece and Czech Republic suggests that this minor procedure seems effective and safe.
Researchers reported that patients lost an average of 22 pounds within four months. However, experts noted that this device is not a cure for weight loss but rather an aid. I believe letting your doctor help you find a diet plan that fits your lifestyle along with this gastric balloon is very effective for weight loss. You will be able to control your portions and eat less because your appetite will be suppressed.
“Because patients get used to feeling full so much quicker with the device, they learn portion and get used to eating less,” said study author Dr. Ram Chuttani, director of interventional gastroenterology and endoscopy at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “We anticipate that the improved eating habits patients develop will mean that a significant amount of the weight will stay off, even when the balloon is no longer in place.” I like that fact that the weight loss benefits still continue even after the balloon is gone.
Previous tracking of traditional gastric balloon patients suggests there are long-term benefits. For instance, Chuttani said that after twelve months patients usually keep off about half the weight lost while the balloon was implanted. That number drops to nearly 30 percent five years after the procedure, he said.
Side effects among Elipse patients include nausea and vomiting just as with traditional gastric balloons.
To say the least, this gastric balloon pill can be effective and safe for overweight individuals with a BMI of at least 27, who is struggling to lose weight. BMI is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight. Although this is a small study that has not yet been FDA approved, I still think it is a promising weight loss tool to help fight obesity.
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Source: Ram Chuttani, M.D., director, endoscopy, and chief, interventional gastroenterology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston; John Morton, M.D., president, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and chief, bariatric and minimally invasive surgery, Stanford University; Nov. 5, 2015, presentation, Obesity Week, Los Angeles