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How to Choose the Right Weight-Loss Surgery

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Nov. 1, 2021 — Its normal to be conscious of how you look in the mirror. Losing weight isnt just healthy, but it can also boost confidence in powerful ways.

The CDC estimates that half of adults try to lose weight in any given year, with younger adults most likely to make the effort, followed by middle-aged adults, and older adults. Common ways of shedding extra pounds include healthy eating, exercising, and intermittent fasting.

But for some, there is another path that many may consider a last resort: weight loss surgery.

Spencer Kroll, MD, PhD, an internal medicine specialist in New Jersey, says, People typically opt for weight loss surgery after failing several diet programs and sometimes medication therapy.”

Jeannie Boyer, a licensed dietitian in Mount Pleasant, SC, says others chose surgery to help resolve or improve diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea.

Some of these conditions, like diabetes and insulin treatment, make losing weight through diet and exercise very difficult, which is why surgery might be ideal, she says.

When Should You Consider Surgery?

Kroll is a cholesterol and lipid disease expert who specializes in metabolic disease.

Even though it seems that people opt for surgeries out of frustration, he says, This should be considered only after exhausting other options, such as significant and sustainable dietary modification.

Also, he urges people to review various weight loss strategies with a nutritionist, change their lifestyle, and increase physical activity to increase their metabolism and encourage weight loss.

Types of Weight Loss Surgery

In a situation where you may have tried all other alternatives to losing weight, surgery might be your best bet. But which is it going to be?

A recent study conducted by the University of Michigan examines the two common types of weight loss surgery: sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass.

Sleeve gastrectomy is an easier surgery [because] only the stomach itself is reduced in size, Kroll says. Basically, a portion of the stomach is removed, making it smaller.

Gastric bypass, which [involves] several surgical techniques, involves bypassing the stomach so that the esophagus is connected to the small intestine directly,” Kroll says.

In other words, the stomach no longer has food entering it, but is separately attached to the intestine in order to provide digestive secretions.

Sleeve Gastrectomy vs. Gastric Bypass: Which Is Safer?

Before finding out which is safer, Ryan Howard, MD, author of the University of Michigan study, says, Its really important for patients to understand the risk of issues like death, complications, and hospitalization after these two procedures.

Howard, a general surgeon, tells patients that understanding what theyre in for helps inform the decision about which type of bariatric surgery to choose.

He considers the sleeve gastrectomy to be safer, though it doesnt confer as much weight loss.

However, just because it is safer doesnt mean you shouldnt consider other factors.

If a patient has a lot of comorbidities and a bypass is going to afford a better clinical benefit, maybe that risk is worth it, he says.

A recent study that followed bariatric surgery patients for 5 years discovered that sleeve gastrectomy has a lower long-term risk of mortality, complications, and reinterventions but a higher long-term rate of surgical revision.

Complications

Complications from bariatric surgery are usually rare. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery reports the risk of dying from weight loss surgery is less than that of gallbladder removal or hip replacement.

Kroll says the 30-day mortality rate for sleeve gastrectomy patients is 0.08% while that of gastric bypass patients is 0.14%.

Although these complications are rare, Kroll says there are risks of blockages due to scar tissue and of infection.

Outlook and Recovery

After having bariatric surgery, you have a new opportunity. As far as weight is concerned, you can reduce your body size, says Susan Zilberman, a mind body eating coach in New York City.

But thats not the end goal. If you fail to deal with what caused the excessive weight, then it will return in a matter of time.

Zilberman says the core emotional concerns that created the weight are still there. In order to keep the weight off, it’s crucial to come to a place of self-understanding surrounding your relationship with food.

Zilberman incorporates her coaching skills when working with bariatric surgeons, nurses, and dietitians.

She says that one way to heal is through mindful eating.

Mindful eating helps you disengage from habitual, unsatisfying behaviors. Instead of thinking about food and eating, you free up your energy and can focus on living your optimal life.

Healing from surgery is a process. For optimum healing, it is important to follow the guidelines of your bariatric team, to think about self-care and stress reduction, and to focus on self-acceptance in the present moment.

WebMD Health News

Sources

Ryan Howard, MD, general surgeon, University of Michigan.

Spencer Kroll, MD, PhD, internal medicine specialist, New Jersey.

Jeannie Boyer, RD, LD, Mount Pleasant, SC.

Susan Zilberman, certified mind body eating coach, New York City.

JAMA Surgery: Comparative safety of sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass up to 5 years after surgery in patients with severe obesity.

CDC: Attempts to Lose Weight Among Adults in the United States, 20132016.


2021 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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New COVID Variant of Concern Drives U.S. Travel Bans

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Nov. 26, 2021 — The World Health Organization on Friday classified a new COVID-19 variant from South Africa as a variant of concern, which means it could be more contagious, cause more severe disease and reduce the efficacy of vaccines and treatments.

The WHO convened an independent group of experts on Friday to assess the new variant based on the rapid increase in COVID-19 infections in South Africa this week. Known scientifically as B.1.1.529, the variant was named Omicron.

Omicron has some concerning properties. This variant has a large number of mutations, and some of these mutations have some worrying characteristics, Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHOs technical lead on the coronavirus pandemic, said in a video statement.

Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other [variants of concern], the WHO said in a statement. The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa.

In response, the White House announced new travel restrictions against flights from South Africa,Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Foreign nationals from those countries will be prohibitedfrom entering the United States. .

These new restrictions will take effect on November 29, President Joe Biden said in a statement. As we move forward, we will continue to be guided by what the science and my medical team advises.

The U.S. hasnt detected any cases of the new variant yet, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN.

Right now, were getting the material together with our South African colleagues to get to a situation where you could actually directly test it, Fauci said. So, right now youre talking about a red flag that this might be an issue but we dont know.

Scientists in South Africa began tracking the variant this week after a jump in COVID-19 cases and reported the variant to the WHO on Wednesday. The first known confirmed infection was from a sample collected on Nov. 9, the WHO said.

Several labs have found that one widely used test could be a reliable way to detect the new variant. The WHOs virus evolution advisory group has started a number of studies to evaluate Omicron and will announce new findings as needed, Van Kerkhove said Friday.

Based on the evidence so far, the WHO advised countries to enhance their surveillance and genomic sequencing efforts to better understand the variant. The WHO also requested that countries submit genomic sequences to public databases, such as GISAID. On Friday, 66 sequences of the B.1.1.529 variant had been reported to GISAID, including 58 in South Africa, six in Botswana and two in Hong Kong.

The WHO also asked countries to conduct field investigations and lab analyses about the severity of the variant, as well as immune responses, antibody neutralization and effectiveness of public health and social measures.

Individuals are reminded to take measures to reduce their risk of COVID-19, including proven public health and social measures such as wearing well-fitting masks, hand hygiene, physical distancing, improving ventilation of indoor spaces, avoiding crowded spaces and getting vaccinated, the WHO said.

Biden called on other nations to increase vaccine donations to poorer nations.

The news about this new variant should make clearer than ever why this pandemic will not end until we have global vaccinations, Biden said. The United States has already donated more vaccines to other countries than every other country combined. It is time for other countries to match Americas speed and generosity.

Israel imposed a travel ban covering most of Africa after discovering its first case in someone who had recently traveled from Malawi. A growing list of countries halted or restricted flights, including Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malta, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Singapore, The New York Times reported.

We are currently at the threshold of an emergency situation, Naftali Bennett, the prime minister of Israel, said in a statement.

I ask everyone to be prepared and to fully join in the work around the clock, he said.

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Roundup: Irish medtech firm HealthBeacon to go public, AI startup Owkin scores $180m to advance oncology pipeline, and more

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Dublin-based medical adherence firm HealthBeacon to go public

Irish medtech firm HealthBeacon has announced plans to raise up to25 million with an initial public offering (IPO) on Euronext Dublins growth market.

The company, which offers adherence solutions for injectable medications, will have a market value of around 100 million at the time of its planned flotation next month.

It expects to increase the number of patients using its injection care management system tenfold from the end of 2021 to the end of 2023, with a near-term target of 100,000 units to be deployed by the end of 2023.

HealthBeacon CEO and cofounder, Jim Joyce, said: HealthBeacon is at a pivotal stage of its development and this IPO is the natural next step to accelerate the companys growth.

In developing the worlds first FDA cleared smart sharps bin, which significantly enhances medical adherence for patients who need to self-inject medications, the IPO will facilitate a step change in building the companys presence in its core markets across US and Europe, as well as helping to accelerate the deployment of HealthBeacon devices in these markets.

AI startup Owkin scores $180Mto advance oncology pipeline

French artificial intelligence (AI) and precision medicine startup Owkin startup has achieved unicorn status, after scoring a $180 million (135M) investment from pharma firm Sanofi.

The two companies will also collaborate on discovery and development programmes for breast cancer, lung cancer, mesothelioma and multiple myeloma, with a total payment of $90 million (79.7M) for three years plus additional research milestone-based payments.

Arnaud Robert, executive vice president and chief digital officer at Sanofi, said: Owkins unique methodology, which applies AI on patient data from partnerships with multiple academic medical centres, supports our ambition to leverage data in innovative ways in R&D.

NHS launches platform to address mental health crisis in young people

A new website has been launched by three London NHS trusts as part of an initiative to help young people requiring urgent mental health care.

The Best For You platform combines specialist medical and mental health care with community services and digital tools for young people and their families looking for mental health support.

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (FT), Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS FT and West London NHS Trust, collaborated with charity CW+ and other partners to create the project.

The programmes effectiveness is being measured by Imperial College and North West London NIHR Applied Research (NIHR) Collaboration with a view to being able to share the new model across the NHS.

Healthtech startup Infermedica partners with German insurance giant

AI-driven health tech platform Infermedica has joined forces with Germany insurance firm Gothaer to provide customers with healthcare advice.

Infermedicas AI symptom checker will be integrated into the Gothaer health app, providing users with preliminary health guidance and streamlining the journey to additional health services. Gothaer serves more than 667,000 health insurance customers, who have access to the health app.

Natascha Jahn, health manager at Gothaer, said: The sheer quantity of information available on the internet can be overwhelming, so weve implemented Infermedicas symptom checker to provide preliminary guidance.

Zanzibar healthtech programme improves access to maternity care

A digital health initiative in Zanzibar is providing the community with life-saving maternal and child health services and increased access to healthcare.

The scheme was launched by the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar with support from global digital health organisation D-tree International.

Under the Jamii ni Afya programme, launched by the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar with support from global digital health organisation D-tree International, health workers are provided with mobile phones and an app that provides step-by-step guidance for health visits.

Jamii ni Afya also provides the government with real-time data that can be used to make informed decisions on strengthening its health system.

D-tree International CEO, Erica Layer, said: Now, thanks to the leadership of the Zanzibar government, Jamii ni Afya is bringing healthcare to peoples doorsteps and leveraging technology to radically change how care is delivered, so that every person in Zanzibar can live a healthier life.

Finnish startups bone cutting tech gets first surgical use

Finnish startup Surgify has announced the first use cases on patients of its bone surgery technology.

The successful surgeries were performed at Helsinki University Hospital (HUS) last month.

Risk of soft tissue damage during surgery can be up to 30%, but Surgify says its technology, can help prevent such injuries and avoid bleeding, infections and nerve injuries.

Head of HUS neurosurgery, Professor Mika Niemel. said: Surgifys device appears to push the soft tissue out of the way. This is a major advantage, as a typical surgical drill that spins tens of thousands of times in a minute can be very dangerous if it touches soft tissue.

AI medical platform helps to create the medicine of the future in Moscow

A unified digital medical platform for doctors and patients has been implemented in Moscow.

Metropolitan adult polyclinics in the city have been equipped with an AI system, which has helped generate more than 400,000 referrals for tests and provide more than two million preliminary diagnoses.

Moscows deputy mayor of social development, Anastasia Rakova, said:Personalisation and predication are impossible without the patient’s clinical context. This is a very painstaking work, which involves developing a model for each person based on well-structured data, which reflects the state of their body, physiological and biological processes occurring in it.

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Vaccine Victims Share Adverse Reactions, Loss of Loved Ones

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I want to share a very personal story and confession with you. When I was in medical school in the late ‘70s, I was on the front cover for the national medical student handbook. I’m sharing this photo with you that shows me administering a vaccine. At that time and for the next 15 years, I rigidly followed all vaccine guidelines.

Even when I started seeing patients at my own clinic, I never once questioned the safety of any vaccine and I rejected information from people voicing their concerns. In the late ‘80s, one particularly kind patient of mine, a mother, patiently shared a personal testimony about her vaccine-injured son, Jack.

She opened my eyes to a reality that I was previously unaware of and did not want to accept. She confronted me with clinical data that I could no longer ignore. In the years that followed, I saw more and more parents who had serious fears about certain vaccines; I slowly came to the realization that informed consent was practically nonexistent and there were serious medical risks being covered up by pharmaceutical companies and the federal government.

We are now in the midst of vaccine mandates that have affected nearly every person on the planet. If you don’t know someone personally who has suffered a reaction to these vaccines, you are likely in the minority.

Victims of Adverse Vaccine Reactions Need To Be Heard

Sheryl Ruettgers, who is the wife of former Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Ken Ruettgers, is among those who have suffered severe adverse effects from a COVID-19 injection.

Four days after receiving the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 shot in January 2021, Sheryl experienced a severe neurological reaction. She is still experiencing muscle pain, numbness, weakness and paresthesia that inhibit her daily activities.1 When she connected on social media with others who had been injured by the injections, the private pages were shut down.

After connecting with doctors, nurses and other individuals who had experienced firsthand accounts of adverse reactions, the group wrote a letter to Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It stated:2

“We deserve and strongly request transparency and acknowledgment of these vaccine reactions so that there can be a beginning to the discoveries and developments in the care that we desperately need. Until acknowledgement of these adverse reactions exists, it will be impossible for people to receive care.

We are pleading that you make the medical community aware of these reactions so we can get the medical care that we need and hopefully recover and return to our previously healthy lives.”

The group received no response from federal officials, which led Ken to start the website C19 Vax Reactions,3 for people to share their stories. There you can read over 500 real testimonies of adverse reactions to the shots and view dozens of videos detailing individuals’ reactions.

In one example, 17-year-old Everest Romney received his first dose of the Pfizer shot, and experienced extreme swelling in his arm and neck that night.4 Two days later, the previously healthy athlete was unable to lift his head due to the pain and swelling. A pediatrician dismissed the concerns, blaming them on a sports injury.

His mother insisted on a CT scan, which revealed a blood clot inside his jugular vein on the same side he got the shot. Rare blood clots in his brain were also later revealed. He ended up in the ICU, where doctors still refused to acknowledge that the clots could be linked to the shot.

Adverse Reactions Are Being Ignored

Medical observations from doctors, nurses, first responders, general practitioners and other medical professionals regarding negative vaccine reactions are also included at C19 Vax Reactions. For example, Karen W. stated:5

“I work in andrology in a fertility clinic. The rumors about the increase in miscarriages is not a rumor. It’s real. We are seeing it, and it started when the shots rolled out to the general public, in March/April.”

Another medical professional, Dr. Katherine R., said:6

“I have seen pulmonary emboli, DVTs, psoriasis exacerbations/ diffuse rashes, peripheral neuropathy, and CVAs from the shots. I purposefully look to see when the patient has received their shots. None of my colleagues care to look or ask. It is a nonissue for them. A potential reaction after vaccine is likely to be a coincidence, I’m told.”

Y.D., another doctor, similarly stated:7

“I’ve seen 2 instances of previously localized cancers turn metastatic within a month of the second dose. I’ve seen 1 instance of polyarticular arthritis in an otherwise healthy mid 30’s male. 1 instance of disseminated mucosal vasculitis in a 20 something female. 1 death from a rhinovirus infection after vaccination.”

This is the type of data that need to be collected, analyzed and studied in the midst of this unprecedented injection campaign, but instead those who speak out are silenced or discredited. Kyle Warner, a 29-year-old professional mountain bike racer, developed pericarditis, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and reactive arthritis following his second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot.8

An ER doctor refused to believe it was an adverse reaction to the jab and instead blamed it on a “psychotic episode.” At the Real, Not Rare rally held in Washington, D.C., Warner spoke before politicians to make a difference in the support level for vaccine-injured people — which is nonexistent in the U.S. — and voice opposition to vaccine mandates.

Their mission is to gain acknowledgement from elected officials and federal health agencies of vaccine adverse reactions and raise awareness within the medical community about these reactions. The Real, Not Rare website has also collected dozens of stories from people who have been injured by COVID-19 shots.9 They also want to stop the denial of certain vaccine exemptions and stop vaccine mandates:10

“Real lives are being affected by ‘not so rare’ consequences. Many vaccine injured individuals are seeking acknowledgment by the media and government so they can receive better healthcare and treatment. Vaccine injured individuals did their part by getting this vaccine, and now they need your help.”

Without Acknowledgment, ‘We Don’t Exist’

In a second letter to the CDC and FDA, dated September 4, 2021, the “ever-growing group of Americans who have suffered severe and ongoing neurological adverse reactions” to the COVID-19 shots, asked for acknowledgement that these reactions exist. “Until you acknowledge us, we simply do not exist,” they wrote, adding:11

“Doctors tell us repeatedly that if neurological reactions were occurring, the medical community would be promptly notified by the CDC and FDA … The experts at the NIH have stated that they believe these reactions are treatable and that early intervention is key to reducing the severity and duration of these disabling reactions.

Given that these adverse reactions are being denied recognition, it is impossible for those who are injured to receive any early intervention and, therefore people remain hopelessly injured.”

Four Categories of Adverse Events Described

While health officials remain silent about COVID-19 injection reactions, the growing number of reports cannot be silenced forever. Board-certified internist and cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough12 detailed the nonfatal syndromes that are occurring after COVID-19 shots, which cause symptoms similar to that of long COVID in many cases. The shot-induced syndromes fall into four areas, the first being cardiac.

In addition to myocarditis, a recognized adverse reaction to the shots, atrial fibrillation in young people and pericarditis can also occur post-COVID-19 shot. The second category of shot-induced syndromes is neurologic, which causes neurological symptoms similar to those among COVID-19 long haulers, as well as additional, more serious, effects. This includes Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can be fatal, bell’s palsy, seizures, persistent headaches and blood clots in the brain.

The third category is immunologic, which includes suppression of lymphocyte count and reactivation of other viral syndromes, including Epstein-Barr virus and shingles. The fourth category — hematologic — occurs about two weeks after the shot and describes vaccine-induced thrombocytopenic purpura.

Signs include bruising all over the body, bleeding from the gums and nose and dark urine. If you notice these signs in the weeks after receiving a COVID-19 injection, get to a hospital immediately.

For those suffering from these shot-induced syndromes, the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Working Group’s I-RECOVER13 protocol for long-haul COVID syndrome has been used to treat shot-induced symptoms with similar success. The protocol can be downloaded in full,14 giving you step-by-step instructions on how to treat reactions from COVID-19 injections.

Let Your Voice Be Heard

I am dedicated now more than ever to individuals and families who have been injured by these vaccines. They were not informed of the risks. They believed what they were told — that the vaccines were safe and effective. These people’s lives have been changed forever. They have been isolated, unsupported and shamed; wading through grief in the wake of vaccine mandates established “for the greater good.”

The more devoted I became in supporting the ethical principal of informed consent to medical risk taking — which includes the legal right to make voluntary decisions about getting an experimental injection — the more the attacks from the media, the government and pharmaceutical companies were compounded.

People recognize truth when they see and hear it. We are united in our philosophical opposition to government health officials intimidating, threatening and coercing citizens to violate their conscientiously-held beliefs. Censorship is pervasive; big tech has colluded with dictators and pharmaceutical companies to bury the harms occurring through these experimental vaccines, including death.

If you want your voice to be heard, I will help you share your testimony. Vaccine mandates have led to injuries, devastation and deaths — while the brainwashing “get your vaccine now” campaign is being used to divide and conquer.

One parent’s personal grief shared with me nearly 30 years ago changed my life and opened my eyes. One spark is all that is required to start a fire. There is a revolution building — a revolution for freedom to live your life without medical mandates or dictators calling the shots.

Please share your story with us, and encourage others you know who have a story to share theirs. It’s never been more important than now, for you and your family, to take control of your health.

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