Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The symptom is not the cause!

See attached article (link at the end) from yesterday's TOI on the US FDA okaying a device to fight obesity. It is an implant to treat obesity that curbs appetite by electrically stimulating stomach nerves... that targets the nerve pathway between the brain and the stomach that controls feelings of hunger and fullness. The article  mentions that one-third of all US adults are now obese.

This is utter stupidity. The entire medical system is moving more and more away from promoting health to managing illness; illnesses that are a result of wrong advice from the doctors in the first place. And the FDA leads them in their stupidity.

The human body does everything that it does for a reason. All reactions of the body are designed to correct something that is missing, or required to keep the body functioning. Hunger pangs, in spite of eating a lot, means that the body is missing out on nutrition, and is asking to be fed. 

The Standard American Diet (appropriately SAD), is one where essential nutrients have been systematically culled out of the food. This is due to a variety of reasons, starting with growing the food itself, to transportation, to processing of the food, and addition of chemicals and preservatives. It is also due to excess of sugar which is deadly, lots of salt which happens to be the wrong kind of salt (processed, i.e. just pure NaCl), and the wrong kinds of fat; or even worse than that, chemical substitutes for what are considered to be unhealthy in the previous list of chemicals! 

Due to the above diet, the body does not get nutrition, and cries out in hunger. And our response? Invent devices that tinker with the body's signalling systems rather than attack the root cause. 

Why the root cause is not being attacked has a lot to do with the lobbies already established in the system which obviously do whatever is necessary to ensure their own survival. This includes the growers of food, the retailers, the food industry in general, the companies peddling medical devices, and the doctors themselves. It also has to do with the whole premise of medicine as it exists today, i.e. treat the symptoms rather than the causes. 

The so-called doctors and nutritionists are increasingly clueless about what real health means. They are only trained to chase diseases.

It is not as if we in India are immune to this. We are going more and more the US way. The percentage of processed food in our diet is increasing; the salt that we consume is processed salt (with 'added iodine' as if that helps), we are consuming increasing amounts of sugar both directly and indirectly, and we are relying on allopathic 'science' to guide us on how to stay healthy! 

One-third of India will soon be obese; and so will 95 percent of the US population (the 5% who are not obese will be the rich and the sensible; the first lot will pay for good food and good advice, the second lot will provide it).

Time to wake up? The solutions for good health are not hidden or difficult to find. What is needed is the commitment to block out all the noise, and to start looking for answers in the right places.


US okays world's 1st device to fight obesity

PTI | Jan 19, 2015, 01.55AM IST

WASHINGTON: A first-of-its-kind implant to treat obesity that curbs appetite by electrically stimulating stomach ne8rves has been approved in the US. 

The Maestro Rechargeable System is approved to treat patients aged 18 and above who have not been able to lose weight with a weight loss programme, and who have a body mass index of 35 to 45 with at least one other obesity-linked condition, like type-2 diabetes. 

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the implant for certain obese adults, the first weight loss treatment device that targets the nerve pathway between the brain and the stomach that controls feelings of hunger and fullness. BMI, which measures body fat based on an individual's weight and height, is used to define obesity categories. 

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of all US adults are obese, and people with obesity are at increased risk of heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes and certain kinds of cancer. 

"Medical devices can help physicians and patients develop comprehensive obesity treatment plans," said William Maisel, deputy director for science and chief scientist at FDA's Centre for Devices and Radiological Health. The system consists of a rechargeable electrical pulse generator, wire leads and electrodes implanted surgically into the abdomen. 

It works by sending intermittent electrical pulses to the trunks in the abdominal va8gus nerve, which is involved in regulating stomach emptying and signalling to the brain that the stomach feels empty or full. Although it is known that the electric stimulation blocks nerve activity between the brain and the stomach, the specific mechanisms for we8ight loss due to use of the %device are unknown. 

External controllers allow the patient to charge the device and allow health care professionals to adjust its settings to provide optimal therapy with minimal side effects. 

The safety and effectiveness of the system were evaluated in a clinical trial that included 233 patients with a BMI of 35 or greater. The weight loss and adverse events of 157 patients who received the active Maestro device (the experimental group) were compared to 76 patients in the control group who received a Maestro electrical pulse generator that was not activated. 

The study found that after 12 months, the experimental group lost 8.5% more of its excess weight than another group which did not receive the active Maestro device, FDA said. About half (52.5 per cent) of the patients in the experimental group lost at least 20 per cent of their excess weight, and 38.3 per cent of patients in the experimental group lost at least 25 per cent of their excess weight.

    1 comment:

    yuvraj said...

    Its really cool information you shared here and I love this info very much.