I believe in telling the truth about vertical sleeve gastrectomy, which is why we’ve dedicated plenty of space to addressing the very real mental and emotional adjustments some people face after VSG. But we haven’t talked nearly as much about the fact that, for a lot of overweight and obese people, mental health takes a dramatic upturn after they receive their tool. Why? Here are just a few of the reasons.
Reason #1: A new self-image
Some people feel confident no matter how much they weigh. For most, however, self-esteem takes a huge hit when the scale is far above where we want it to be, and depression can follow. So when the scale starts moving down, that sense of self returns and depression can lighten significantly. Brynn, who already lost 72 pounds at the three-month mark, says, “I was battling situational depression because of obesity. I decided to have VGS with Dr. A and change my situation and regain the person I once knew. It’s been the best decision of my life.” Alex knows how she feels. “I am a new woman, inside and out…my confidence and self-esteem, my strength and adventure for life,” she says. “I lived so many years in a dark depression, much of which was from my weight. And now it’s the life I always imagined.”
Reasons #2: Ability to exercise
When you’re severely overweight or obese, your exercise options are limited. Even walking can be challenging with so much weight pressing down on your joints and sapping your energy. Losing weight allows you to pursue the kind of fitness that not only makes a dramatic difference in how your body looks, but how you feel. Multiple studies have proven that exercise is as good as medication for mild to moderate depression, and even 15 minutes of running a day can ward off major depression by more than 25 percent. The reason behind this mental magic resides in the brain. When your body is active, your brain is releasing feel-good endorphins, reducing inflammation, and delivering a dose of serenity.
Reason #3: Resolution of ongoing health problems
Battling issues like Type II diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea can make anyone feel down. Obesity-related medical problems suck up your time and money, while compromising your quality of life. After gastric sleeve in Mexico, our patients routinely reduce or resolve their diabetes, get off high blood pressure meds, and ditch CPAP machines. There are few things as exciting as ridding your body of potentially life-shortening diseases, and it can happen in a relatively short period of time. Just six weeks after VSG, Susie reports, “No more high blood pressure, diabetes or sleep apnea.” Wow!
Reason #4: Hormone changes
We don’t typically think of hormone changes as a good thing, but sometimes those changes can be a very good thing. VSG involves removing part of the stomach, and I’ve talked a lot about its impact on reducing ghrelin, the “hunger hormone.” But there are other hormones involved in this type of bariatric surgery. Scientists don’t fully understand the reasons behind some of the ways hormones are affected, but patients can attest to the very real results. “Hormone issues caused major depression. I was in a very dark place for years. No one could help,” recalls Lisa. “While researching weight loss surgery, I read that this surgery had the potential to balance out hormones. That’s what ultimately made my mind up about having it. It worked. It’s amazing the difference I feel. People that know me and my struggle are amazed at the person I was a year ago and who I am now. The difference is night and day, and I’m honestly now living my BEST life!”
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“Changing lives…one sleeve at a time”.