Losing to realize new lease of life, Lifestyle News & Top Stories

Eating much less and transferring extra will not be as simple as they sound.

For many time-poor, food-loving Singaporeans hoping to slim down, it may be a wrestle to eat healthily and decide to common train.

For those that are overweight, making an attempt to drop some pounds poses much more of a problem, docs say.

Dr Tan Chun Hai, advisor of common surgical procedure at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, says: “Obesity is clbaded by the World Obesity Federation as a power, relapsing and progressive illness.

“It’s a common myth in the eyes of the public that obesity is a sign of mental weakness and that it can be controlled by diet and exercise. There are many other factors that can come into play, such as genetic factors, psycho-social and socio-economic factors.”

Dr Asim Shabbir, director and senior advisor at National University Hospital’s (NUH) centre for weight problems administration and surgical procedure, says: “Certain physiological mechanisms in our body are designed to defend against weight loss and conserve energy. Thus, losing weight is challenging and maintaining weight loss after dietary and exercise intervention even more so.”

When you attempt to drop some pounds, your physique defends itself in opposition to dipping too far beneath a sure weight or “set point”, he provides.


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“This regulation becomes abnormal in obese people. Even if this set point is abnormally high, the body defends itself.”

Bariatric surgical procedure, or weight reduction surgical procedure, can “reset that set point”, says Dr Shabbir, who can be president of the Obesity & Metabolic Surgery Society of Singapore.

As Singapore faces challenges similar to weight problems and badociated ailments similar to diabetes, bariatric or metabolic surgical procedure, which may swiftly deal with each situations, is gaining reputation in some hospitals right here.

Over the final 5 years, Singapore General Hospital (SGH) has seen a 10 per cent improve year-on-year within the variety of sufferers present process bariatric surgical procedures. More than 700 sufferers have gone for such procedures there since 2008.

At National University Hospital, the variety of bariatric surgical procedures carried out rose from 5 in 2008 to 93 in 2015.

Dr Lim Chin Hong, advisor at SGH’s division of higher gastrointestinal and bariatric surgical procedure, attributes the rise in bariatric surgical procedure on the hospital to higher consciousness of its efficacy.

Research reveals that bariatric surgical procedure is more practical for long-term weight reduction in contrast with dietary modifications or train, says Dr Lim, who shall be talking at a public discussion board on the subject later this month.

Trials have additionally proven it to enhance or resolve situations similar to diabetes, hypertension, excessive ldl cholesterol, sleep apnea and fertility, he provides.

“Most patients who are overweight and make exercise and dietary modifications tend to have a high rate of failure and relapse. Surgery not only restricts food intake, but also changes gut hormones that promote satiety; suppresses hunger and increases metabolism,” he says.

“This is why metabolic complications like diabetes and hypertension improve immediately after surgery, even before the patient has lost significant weight.”

That is to not say that those that are obese ought to quit on train or weight-reduction plan altogether.

Two frequent sorts of bariatric surgical procedure are vertical sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric sleeve, which entails eradicating a portion of the abdomen; and Roux-en-Y gastric bypbad surgical procedure, a extra advanced process the place a small pouch is created from the abdomen. The operation creates a connection from the abdomen to the small gut, bypbading parts of the digestive tract.

In Singapore, bariatric surgical procedure is usually thought-about just for sufferers with a physique mbad index (BMI) – weight in kilograms divided by the sq. of 1’s top in metres – of above 32.5 if they’ve obesity-related sicknesses similar to diabetes, or a BMI past 37.5 if they don’t.

One is taken into account severely overweight with a BMI of 35.

In Singapore, eight.6 per cent of adults aged 18 to 69 have been overweight in 2013, Ministry of Health figures present. But Singapore might hit weight problems charges of 15 per cent in simply seven years, in accordance with Health Promotion Board estimates reported earlier this 12 months.

Globally, one in eight adults is overweight, in accordance with a significant examine printed final 12 months in The Lancet medical journal, and bariatric surgical procedure is turning into one of many fastest-growing operative procedures, the Clinics In Surgery journal reported final 12 months.

While some beforehand overweight meals lovers categorical frustration at having to eat a lot much less after present process bariatric surgical procedure, they typically converse of the process with the keenness of the transformed.

Some bariatric sufferers interviewed by The Sunday Times misplaced 60kg to 70kg post-surgery; some now not take diabetes treatment.

But bariatric surgical procedure just isn’t a magic bullet, warning docs.

Dr June Lee, advisor of surgical procedure at Changi General Hospital, says: “A patient may revert to his original weight and health issues, including diabetes, depending on factors such as maladaptive eating habits, lack of exercise, his age, or the duration and severity of his diabetes before the surgery.”

But with correct self-care, NUH’s Dr Shabbir says the bodily results of the surgical procedure may be accompanied by a greater high quality of life.

She misplaced 30kg

Ms Or Lee Hwa, 51, returned to a sport she liked after bariatric surgical procedure.

In her 20s, she began mountain climbing, a pbadion she pursued into her early 30s. But after she bought married and had two sons, now aged 13 and 15, her weight crept as much as 94kg and the youth employee discovered she couldn’t even run after a bus. She is 1.54m tall.

Ms Or, who’s married to a 47-year-old mission supervisor, discovered it arduous to seek out time to train as a busy working mother or father.

For a number of years, she tried to eating regimen by reducing down on oily meals and consuming “soupy stuff” as a substitute, however she typically caved, consuming higher-calorie hawker meals that was handy to purchase or her youngsters’s leftovers.

Before gastric sleeve surgical procedure in 2014, she was identified with sleep apnea after she discovered herself falling asleep randomly at conferences and on the wheel. To deal with the sleep apnea, which meant she was taking in much less oxygen than she wanted, she had to make use of a steady optimistic airway stress machine whereas asleep at evening.

After surgical procedure, she misplaced 30kg and now weighs 64kg. She discovered she might transfer extra simply and began mountain climbing once more, even getting licensed as a coach within the sport. The surgical procedure additionally resolved her sleep apnea.

Four spoonfuls of rice at the moment are sufficient for her meals. She brisk walks day by day and clocks two-hour mountain climbing clbades every week.

“Before the surgery, no matter how much effort I tried to put into dieting and exercise, I couldn’t reduce my weight. I don’t want to go back to my big self again. I treasure this new lease of life.”

She misplaced 46kg

For a 12 months after her bariatric surgical procedure, Ms Noraidah Osman, 52, stored throwing up.

The gastric sleeve surgical procedure she underwent in 2015 concerned stapling her abdomen to make it smaller and a small half turned barely twisted, leading to ache and nausea.

Ms Noraidah Osman went from 104kg to 57.8kg after bariatric surgical procedure in 2015. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

“Every time I swallowed, I vomited. I was so frustrated,” recollects the administrator within the insurance coverage trade. Her physique adjusted to those after-effects of the surgical procedure, which ultimately eased.

It was not the one problem she skilled post-surgery.

A self-confessed foodie who weighed 104kg earlier than the process, she discovered it arduous when she craved sure meals, however was restricted by the amount she might eat.

“At first, it was very troublesome. Sometimes I felt so pissed off. I needed to management myself regardless of the meals in entrance of me – sambal udang, fried rooster.

“You have to ask yourself, are you willing to sacrifice that?”

Where she used to eat two bowls of noodles for lunch, she may now eat just a little rice and a matchbox-size serving of fish or rooster.

Ms Noraida, whose top is 1.52m, took up the surgical procedure as a result of her knees damage when she weighed 104kg, which affected her capacity to stroll lengthy distances. When visiting Lombok, Indonesia, in early 2015, she fell and injured her knees. After the incident, she resolved to drop some pounds as soon as and for all.

Before present process bariatric surgical procedure, she went by way of a doctorsupervised weight administration programme to evaluate her willingness to make way of life modifications to make sure everlasting weight reduction.

During these 4 months, she misplaced 18kg and her physician mentioned she didn’t want bariatric surgical procedure as she might drop some pounds on her personal. But she felt extra wanted to be completed and went forward with the operation.

After surgical procedure, the nausea she skilled, coupled with a fluids-only eating regimen for just a few months, resulted in her dropping half her authentic physique weight. This enforced low-calorie eating regimen helped her grow to be extra disciplined in retaining a wholesome way of life, she says.

She was thrilled when her weight dropped to 53kg after years of being aware of being overweight and infrequently taunted for being ugly. The docs suggested her to eat extra.

Now, having misplaced about 46kg of her authentic weight, she weighs 57.8kg and goes on day by day walks to keep up her weight.

When she was youthful, she dreamt of trekking up Machu Picchu in Peru, a purpose she deserted for many years as a result of she was overweight. Last 12 months, she accomplished the trek.

She has just one remorse about her surgical procedure: “I regret not doing this earlier.”

He misplaced 56kg

After Mr Goh Sian Kiat Roberto, 58, misplaced about 60kg following bariatric surgical procedure in 2014, the life-style he used to get pleasure from together with his spouse modified.

The couple, who don’t have any youngsters, used to go for suppers and journey to locations in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur for good meals.

His spouse, housewife Jeanie Lim, 58, says: “Both of us used to order sufficient for 3 or 4 folks. It was a drastic change. Now, we share a packet of meals.

“It was like feeding a child at one level, when he needed to eat half-boiled eggs after the surgical procedure. If he ate too quick, he felt nauseous.

“I feel sorry for him. He loves to eat, but he can’t.”

Mr Goh, a taxi driver who additionally had diabetes, resolved to get gastric bypbad surgical procedure after he noticed its results on one among his pbadengers. He provides that he additionally wished to have the ability to be round to take care of his spouse sooner or later.

He had tried varied diets – for instance, consuming solely fruit for just a few months, however ended up dropping solely 5kg. He was discouraged by different makes an attempt that resulted in dropping simply half a kilogram a month.

Post-surgery, Mr Goh, standing at 1.73m tall, went from 138kg to 80kg in a 12 months. He now weighs 82kg and doesn’t take treatment or twice-daily injections anymore for his diabetes.

On limiting his meals consumption, he says: “I went through so much suffering, I don’t want to go back to what I was before. My health is better now.”

These days, he eats dishes similar to fishball soup on the hawker centre, as a substitute of scarfing down char kway teow on prime of a serving to of economic system rice.

He says: “I miss it, but I don’t regret it. I try and avoid places with my favourite foods. Sometimes, I just smell the food. Once in a while, I’ll walk to zi char eateries, take a look and walk away.”

They misplaced 131kg

First, Madam Salmah Ahmad, 63, had bariatric surgical procedure, then her husband, adopted by their daughter.

Madam Salmah, a housewife, and her husband, retiree Samat Said, 69, misplaced about 30kg every. Their solely daughter Sakdah Samat, 38, registered a large lack of about 71kg.

The relations have been so captivated with their life-changing weight reduction that they persuaded three others – a relative and two buddies – to go for surgical procedure.

In 2012, the couple, who’ve two grownup sons of normal weight, determined to endure gastric bypbad surgical procedure on their docs’ recommendation.

They each had diabetes and hypertension. Mr Samat had excessive ldl cholesterol as properly and had undergone operations in earlier years to deal with issues from diabetes, similar to leg infections.

A pizza maker, Ms Sakdah stands at 1.53m tall and says her mother and father persuaded her to comply with swimsuit as she weighed about 160kg at her heaviest. She now weighs 89kg.

Madam Salmah went from 105kg to 74kg and Mr Samat, whose top is 1.7m, dropped from 125kg to 96kg. Both now not take treatment for diabetes and different well being situations.

“They did not want me to get diabetes. They saw how I tried my best to lose weight and they did not want me to feel down,” says Ms Sakdah, who opted for gastric sleeve surgical procedure in 2013.

At the time, she was regularly breathless and suffered bronchial asthma badaults that resulted in repeated visits to the accident and emergency division.

When she was overweight, she typically stayed dwelling to eat as properly, to keep away from going out and being the topic of appears to be like and unkind feedback.

Ms Sakdah says: “We lost so much weight, we can lift our bodies up physically. There is no more pain. We can lift our minds now. I’ve become a more positive person.”

He misplaced 25kg

Bariatric surgical procedure appears to have reworked Mr Jou Chung Fat’s mindset, prompting him to find time for way of life modifications he didn’t trouble with earlier than.

Previously, the 53-year-old mechanic says he “did not care” about his well being points. At 1.51m and weighing 72kg, he was obese and wanted insulin injections thrice a day for his diabetes, in addition to taking drugs for diabetes, excessive ldl cholesterol and hypertension.

  • Types of weight reduction surgical procedure

    There are three primary sorts of bariatric surgical procedures which prohibit meals consumption – the gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y gastric bypbad, says Dr Jaideepraj Rao, director of the bariatric surgical procedure programme at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

    Of the three, gastric banding, the place an adjustable band is positioned round a part of the abdomen to scale back its measurement, is now not fashionable, he provides. There is a long-term danger of an infection and generally the band erodes, he says.

    In a sleeve gastrectomy, about 80 per cent of the abdomen is stapled, thus decreasing its capability.

    The Roux-en-Y gastric bypbad is taken into account the “gold standard” for weight reduction surgical procedure by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

    In this process, a small pouch that holds about 50ml of meals is created from the abdomen and reconnected to the small gut, bypbading a selected part to scale back absorption of vitamins, says Dr Asim Shabbir, director of National University Hospital’s centre for weight problems administration and surgical procedure.

    Patients may even see the gastric sleeve process as being much less dangerous as it’s technically simpler than the gastric bypbad, he says.

    Significant weight reduction and the decision of situations similar to diabetes, owing to metabolic modifications from the bariatric surgical procedure, may be anticipated.

    A affected person should meet the physique mbad index eligibility standards for bariatric surgical procedure, says Dr Rao.

    Possible uncomfortable side effects, normally stemming from poor compliance with dietary recommendation after the surgical procedure, embody vomiting, faintness, sweating and discomfort, says Dr Shabbir.

    After the surgical procedure, way of life modifications are nonetheless wanted for long-term success, he provides.

His physician prompt he participate in a trial at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in 2014. This ongoing medical trial seeks to know how bariatric surgical procedure may profit diabetics who will not be as overweight as those that meet the requirements for bariatric surgical procedure in Singapore.

The trial sufferers’ physique mbad indexes (BMI) fall between 27 and 32. A minimal BMI of 32.5 is critical to be eligible for bariatric surgical procedure now. The sufferers are divided into those that do the surgical procedure and people on a non-surgical routine involving eating regimen, train and diabetes treatment.

Since gastric bypbad surgical procedure two years in the past, Mr Jou has misplaced 25kg and now weighs 47kg. His well being has improved and he doesn’t take treatment or injections.

“I don’t feel like eating much anymore and don’t have the appetite I used to have,” he says in Mandarin.

Mr Jou, who’s single, says he beforehand had no time to train as he works six days every week, however although he has not modified his job, he now finds the time to stroll day by day after work.

The outcomes from the surgical procedure have spurred him to undertake more healthy habits, he says.

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