Skip to comments.Is Cutting The Vagus Nerve The Answer To Weight Loss?
Posted on 06/16/2009 8:17:46 PM PDT by wintertime
Last year, 200,000 Americans had weight loss surgery and while gastric bypass surgery can significantly reduce weight, the surgery comes with risks.
Now a procedure that was once commonly used to treat ulcers is being tested as a safe alternative to weight loss surgery.
Action News reporter Kimberly Tere has the details.
The vagus nerve controls your feeling of hunger.
Some even say every single thing the vagus nerve does is designed to make you gain weight.
That is why San Francisco Doctor Robert Lustig is testing laparoscopic vagotomy, a surgery in which the vagus nerve is cut.
Cutting the vagus nerve can reduce the amount of fat stored in the body and can increase energy levels.
"Every patient in the study said their hunger was gone, just gone. One comment I got from one patient was this is the first time in her life that she was not a prisoner to food," said Dr. Lustig.
when i was going through teaching school, i got a lesson plan that “guessimated” one’s digestive system length by using measurements of body parts.
really interesting when we hung up all the different yarn “lengths of intestines” all over the room.
If you’re putting together a ping list, please add me to it. Thanks.
Oatmeal keeps you feeling full for a really long time, that’s why.
You are correct, it is low. I have seen one study that said 2% but even that is low.
Not ME.....when I eat it for breakfast.....and go for my 4 mile power walk....I have to take nuts or something with me....I NEED PROTEIN!
People who are normally thin are not thinking about oatmeal, juice, soda, or exercise.
We knew that before ya got cut.......BTTT !
I was very overweight and went to a Weight Clinic in San Francisco. For about $100 a month, I worked with the doctor using a book that he and his partner developed. He also prescribed Phentermine for me and we have met once a month since New Year’s.
The result? It’s June 16th. I have lost 65lbs. down from 235lbs. to 169lbs. On a 5’5” frame, that has noticable impact. I went from a 46” waist to a 31” waist. I lift and swim several times a week...and I get a LOT of comments about the change. I can honestly say this is the only time in my life where I haven’t been a slave to Ben and Jerry. I agree with the commentor who said skinny people aren’t more disciplined. I would love to have that nerve cut as I am beginning the process of weaning myself off the prescription.
I tried everything from Xenadrine to Hydroxycut. None of it worked. If you want to change your physique you have to alter the brain signaling. That is the only thing that has ever worked on a sustained basis for me. If you are in the Bay Area and are interested in the clinic, hit me up with a personal post and I will give you the details. The decision to do this in an affordable program under a doctor’s care took me way too many years. The result has been very worthwhile.
Fat people are the victims of faulty wiring or brain chemistry or genetics or whatever but they are not inherently lazy or somehow less disciplined than thin people. I have lived 24/7 with thin people. They don’t do anything special to get that way but some of them sure would want you to believe they do or that you don’t. Don’t believe it.
Have you considered over-eaters anonymous?
No, it is not just for fat people.
Ten years ago I fell and hit my chest on a pointed rock. One doc said I damaged my vagus nerve. Won’t bore you with all the details but I still have a few problems from that fall.
I read up on the vagus nerve and found it affects many things in your body - Especially blood pressure according to one doc.
Be careful and read, read, read everything you can find on the subject - then make a decision with your doctor.
I don’t overeat.
I am normal weight. I manage through brute force of will. Every morning I mentally prepare for the “Battle Over Hunger”. Most days I win. That is why I continue to be normal weight.
I have lived 24/7 with thin people. They dont do anything special to get that way but some of them sure would want you to believe they do or that you dont. Dont believe it.
Not sure where you heard that, but the first two weeks of Atkins is extremely taxing on the kidneys. The problem comes in when you start adding more carbs - most people fall off the diet at that point, or stop losing. (From my personal experience and trying several times, I could lose exactly 7 pounds on Atkins. Then, no matter how long I stuck with the diet, I couldn't lose any more.) So the urge is to just do the strict meat only portion, and that's where you can really do damage. A friend of mine ended up in the hospital close to kidney failure after a year on strict Atkins. Her docs told her it was the diet. Personally, I don't know how she could stand it for that long.
Add some protein powder to the oatmeal, along with some sliced almonds to the oatmeal.
Add some protein powder to the oatmeal, along with some sliced almonds to the oatmeal.
People who are normally thin are NOT worried about eating oatmeal or adding almonds to any magic food.
I already put nuts in the oatmeal, and berries or 1/2 banana.....most carbs make me hungry, although I’ll admit oatmeal lasts longer than shredded wheat....but, what REALLY lasts is a chicken sausage, egg, and piece of toast....I can make it till lunch on that. I’ll pass on the protein powder for now....thanks.
That is why food "just sat in her stomach." The gall bladder is extremely important. I would do everything in my power to keep it and not let some surgeon tell me there's "no real need" for the gall bladder. Gall released from the gall bladder is what digests the fat.
And..Remember. Normally thin people are not worried about protein or carb intact. It never crosses their thin minds.
God, no. Reducing the number of calories you consume each day, eating less sugar and fat, not eating before bed, getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day (even if just walking). Do all that (is it really so hard???) and you will lose weight. Heck even without the exercise you will lose 1-2 lbs per week.
Tracking nutritional intake by hand is a big drag. Get a great program to track your intake. I recommend CalorieKing.
My doctor told me to forget the fads, and cut calories. I did, and it works. I don't go hungry, but I eat different types of foods now.
on the flip side, my father n law had that done in his early years for an ulcer problem.
Now he cannot remember to eat.
There are over eaters and under eaters and everything in between in the group.
It will not help you with the hunger pangs but it may help with the dwelling on food.
Low-carb obsessions are crazy. It is normal for humans to consume 40-50% of their daily calories from carbs. Just avoid processed carbs and you'll be fine.
I do "fall off the wagon" on occasion (with some pizza or a sandwich) but I try not to let my daily intake of carbs go above 100 g/day. The ADA recommends over 300 grams/carb per day, which is insane but I'm sure many Americans eat even more carbs than that.
If you are getting most of your carbs from grains rather than fruits and veggies, you're getting way too much carbs.
IMO, the low fat diets are far more dangerous than the low carb diets.
This is how I lost the 80 lbs and keep it off.
It is the HUNGER that is maddening to deal with! It is a daily BRUTAL struggle. Somehow I do win most days which is why I have kept the weight off all these years.
Personally, I am EXHAUSTED by the struggle!
Dr. Gillian McKeith has a wonderful series on BBCAmerica: "You are what you eat". She has a cookbook extolling a healthier way of eating. As a general rule, on an 8 week diet of her foods, you will lose 28 pounds.
At one time, I was very fat.
Now I weigh 228 lbs, 15% bodyfat, 6 ft 2 inches. I deadlift 375 lbs and incline bench about 255. My waist is 35, and my chest is much, much more.
I get up at 4:30 am, and lift weights. Then I do 90 minutes of cardio interval training. I do that 6 times per week.
My main foods are oatmeal, nuts, chicken breast, protein powder, and a few other things.
I have not drunk juice or soda in....5 years. I also do not own a television.
Went on the Atkins diet for six weeks. Went to the cardiologist and blood pressure and blood sugar was normal. Bad cholesterol down, good cholesterol up. It took about a year to gain it back eating anything I wanted to ead. Now, four years or so later I’m 1 month away from celebrating my one year anniversary of my heart attack. May just give Atkins another try.
The truth about it is that most of these surgeries do not keep the weight off. There a many that suffer complications and some do die.
Actually, the above is NOT true.
There are a number of different operations that have been proposed for weight reduction. These include the jejunoileal bypass (now decidedly out of favor), vertically-banded gastroplasty, roux-en-y gastric bypass, and the more recent gastric banding procedure.
There is no cook-book one-size-fits-all procedure. As with any surgery, risks must be weighed against benefits.
Appropriately performed procedures must also be part of a comprehensive multidisciplinary chronic regimen, including periodic nutritional assessment. Long-term followups have shown that indeed a significant amount of excess weight is lost and stays off. The complication rates are relatively low, but are not zero.
If you are considering this surgery, find a surgeon certified by the American Board of Surgery; a center that has been certified for bariatric surgery; and ask your surgeon and other physicians about the procedures and followup.
A few links:
People who are normally thin are not obsessing about “processed” carbs.
I have never met a normally thin person who even knows what an Aduki bean is. Somehow they stay thin without them.
If you are constantly struggling with feelings of hunger, you’re right, there may be something wrong. It’s not clear that the vagus nerve is the culprit, though. Since World War II, the vagus, which innervates a number of internal organs under automatic control, has been cut in an effort to control problems. Years ago, for instance, the vagus was surgically severed in the hope that this would relieve asthma. It’s been tried as the solution to irritable bowel syndrome and hypertension, too. These procedures have not been successful.
The urge to eat is not just mediated by the feelings of stomach distension. Parts of the brain monitor blood sugar, fat content, smells, hormone levels, sights, memories, associations, and other cues. It’s incredibly complex and there is an enormous literature of research about satiation. The bottom line is that a simple surgical procedure like severing the vagus is unlikely to relieve you of your hunger. The question of satiety is likely to be far more complex, I’m sorry to say.
I’m not going to make facile suggestions about what you should eat. That would be disrespectful of your efforts and your willpower, which I’m sure are admirable. But may I ask you to do the same? Those of us who are slender are often thought by the overweight to come by it naturally. “It’s easy for you,” they say. For many of us, it’s not easy. If we ate what we wanted and had a sedentary lifestyle, we too would be very heavy. Personally, I live on the South Beach Diet and have for years: mostly simple chicken, fish, and meat with vegetables. Nothing white. If I eat white stuff my blood sugar soars and I pack on weight.
I constantly encounter heavy people who say to me, “You’re just naturally skinny, you don’t know how hard it is.” When people say this to me, my answer usually is, “How far did you run this morning? How much are you going to lift tonight after work?” They almost never tell me that they got out and ran four miles, as I did, or that they are going to swim a mile after work, and then lift weights. They don’t tell me about their thirty-mile bike ride last weekend or the fast games of tennis they play several afternoons a week. They actually say that a fit body comes naturally, even while I’m standing before them in my riding boots and breeches, dragging myself back from the stable in obvious exhaustion.
I could never get weight off and keep it off by dieting alone. If you lost 80 pounds by dieting, my hat’s off to you. I once lost a lot of weight, but not just by dieting. If you want to suppress your appetite and raise your metabolic rate, you may have to exercise three times a day. Some intervention with drugs to change your brain biochemistry might be in order, too.
Best of luck to you. You’re a strong person and you should be proud of yourself.
I know. I used to be one of them. Until I was about 33, I never thought too much about what I was eating. If I binged on too much sugar or beer, I'd just work out an extra day. That all changed after an 8-year-long battle with insomnia. While I was working as a flight attendant, I couldn't sleep more than 3 hours at a time. About 5 years into that, I started packing on weight at an unbelievable rate. It's been a nightmare.
Good carbs are fruits and veggies, bad carbs are grains. Think about it. Cows get fatter quicker on grains than they do on grass. It’s the same with people.
I do not know even one normally thin person who is up at 4:30 in the morning lifting weights followed by another 90 minutes of cardio. That's at least 2 hours of your life **everyday** fighting fat. Huh?
Normally thin people are not doing that.
You seem do have an exquisitely developed grasp of the factors that do NOT contribute to a trim physique.
What are you ideas about those factors that DO..?
I feel your pain.
I was a registered nurse and work swing and night shifts in an ICU.
I should have said “worked”. I did that into my early thirties. I was normally thin until my mid thirties and gradually keeping off the weight became more and more of a problem.
By all means, then, why do ANYTHING to help yourself...?
The notion that there ARE ways of helping yourself but which you detachedly pass up terrifies you.
And it should.
But...if it’s all GENETICS, fine....! Suit yourself....
Well, I am 49, 6’0”, and weigh 255. For the last couple of years I have been exercising daily. I eat a balanced diet with little refined sugar. I feel fairly fit, but definitely have a lot of weight around the middle.
I have been like this ever since I was a little kid. I never have succeeded in losing any serious amount of weight for any sustained period of time. For about six months two years ago, I was going for 2hr+ bike rides every single day (something I cannot do all time because of work/family commitments), and did manage to lose about 20 pounds, but promptly gained it all back when the weather turned cold and rainy and I couldn’t ride every day anymore.
I feel like I am at my “natural” size, and that there is no way I will lose the 80-100 pounds I need to lose to get to optimally healthy weight without doing something to fundamentally change the way my body deals with food. I have been seriously thinking about lap band, as a relatively non-invasive and reversible (if necessary) weight loss procedure.
I would be interested in hearing anyone’s experience with this procedure.
I DO know that the normally thin people who populate my life do NOT exercise 2 hours everyday. Most do nothing more than take a casual walk a couple times a week.
None of them are worried about oatmeal, protein power, soda, or sliced almonds.
You drank them after you caught them?
It's a really long story, but I ended up in much, much worse shape after 4 months of training. Since my hormones were already so screwed up from not sleeping, working out twice a day 6 days a week was definitely NOT what I should have done. I pushed myself until eventually I crashed (it happens to a lot of triathletes, I found out later). I was in the pool one day and suddenly felt like I was swimming in mud. My body just completely shut down. It was awful. I had fried my adrenal glands and my thyroid - Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I'm still dealing with it 3 years later.
Ok...This is what I do.
During the winter I ski double black diamonds for 5 to 6 hours 5 days a week.
In the summer, I go to the gym lift weights, and bike uphill for 5 miles every day, and windsurf in the afternoon.
I eat 1200 calories a day and not a crumb more. Natural peanut butter on whole wheat seems to hold off the hunger better than anything, I've tried. Everything I eat is **measured** carefully.
I am STARVING!..but I am normal weight and have been for quite a few years now.
The normally thin people in my life are doing NONE of this.
A couple of thing that make me think on your post...
While I didn’t really “Crave” carbs at all when I finally went off - I fell off that wagon because of events in my life that made it VERY difficult to stay on it (my first daughter born 2 months early). The daily hospital trips, plus my insane work schedule at the time added up to make it unbelievably difficult to stay on. I tried very hard - but eventually - enough carbs crept in that I was fighting a losing battle.
Since that time, I have packed on to a record weight for me. I am quite disgusted. But getting motivated to do SOMETHING has been harder this time around. I can’t help but wonder if it was from my time doing the low-carb thing.
But I really WANT to do something - while medical staff still get a surprised look on my face when they check my BP, especially if they check my weight first, I want to be around to see my daughters grow up. One is 5, the other 3. I have a lot of years to stick around if I am going to see them grow up and start their own families. I will be 40 this year - so dieting (as you know) just gets harder. I have considered trying to do the low-carb thing. But again - with two children in the house, and a spouse who is a minimalist when it comes to meat... Not the most conducive environment for that path.
And your statement about the leg cramps - I too don’t recall every really having any issues with leg cramps before I did the low-carb thing. But after - I too sometimes get odd leg cramps - very painful, and often after having a carb-bump. Doesn’t happen every time, but it does happen. Hmmmm...
And yes - people who have never battled obesity don’t understand. My Father-In-law is about my height, but less than 1/2 my weight. He is a skinny as a bean pole! He can out eat most everyone (including me) most of the time... yet he rarely gains much of any weight. Yes, he has a physical job, but even in his off time - his eating never slows down, and he never puts on any weight. Further - he isn’t afraid of sugar or fat...
Frustrating. About the only thing I have ever found that in any way helps with feeling hungry - if I keep a bottle or cup of water around all the time and drink it all the time. If I stay full on water, I tend to not feel much hunger pangs. But that has the obvious side-effect that you can hardly get any work done as I am always in the bathroom.
No they all look better at closing time. Did try to chew my arm off once.