HEALTH bosses have made it easier for people to undergo weight-loss surgery as part of new plans.
Until now, overweight Britons who wanted gastric bypass surgery had to try to lose weight themselves before being offered the procedure.
But now people could be referred to weight loss services by their GP without having to try to shed any pounds at home or at the gym.
Patients with a BMI over 40 and a weight-related condition such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure could be quickly referred to NHS weight-loss services.
Professor Alex Miras, an endocrinologist at the University of Ulster, told GP magazine pulsethe change could result in patients being operated on “much faster.”
The new draft guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) follow plans for the distribution of weight-loss vaccines in general practitioner offices.
Currently, the drug known as Wegovy is only available through weight loss services in hospitals.
According to the latest government figures, over a third (37%) of UK adults are currently overweight and a quarter are obese (25%).
According to the NHS, a BMI between 25 and 30 is considered “overweight” and over 30 is “obese”.
People who are obese have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke.
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Being overweight can also affect your quality of life and lead to mental health issues such as depression and also affect self-esteem, according to the NHS.
How to lose weight without surgery
There are several other ways to lose weight without going under the knife.
According to the NHS, there are seven steps you should follow to get the best possible start to your weight loss plan.
- Be active 150 minutes a week – you can break this up into shorter sessions
- Aim to eat 5 per day – 80g of fresh, canned or frozen fruit or veg counts as 1 serving
- Aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds or 0.5 to 1 kg per week
- Read food labels – products with more green color coding than amber and red are often a healthier option
- Swap sugary drinks for water — if you don’t like the taste, add slices of lemon or lime for flavor
- Cut down on foods high in sugar and fat – start replacing sugary grains with whole grain alternatives
- Share your weight loss plan with someone you trust – they can help motivate you when you’re having a bad day
What is gastric bypass surgery and how does it work?
Gastric bypass surgery is one of the most common weight loss procedures worldwide.
It is often done in people who have not benefited from other forms of weight loss, such as diet and exercise.
It is available from the NHS for people with a BMI over 40, or for people with a BMI over 35 who also have a serious weight-related health condition.
During the procedure, staples are used to create a small pouch at the top of the stomach.
The pouch is then connected to your small intestine, leaving out (bypassing) the rest of the stomach.
That means you need less food to feel full and you get fewer calories from the food you eat.
After surgery, patients must follow a strict diet and exercise regimen.
Many people find that after losing weight they are left with loose skin folds that may require further surgery to correct.
According to the NHS, gastric bypass surgery also carries many potentially fatal risks, including internal bleeding and blood clots.
One in 500 patients having gastric bypass surgery dies shortly after surgery.
Up to 7,000 Brits undergo bariatric surgery – the collective term for gastric banding and other weight loss surgeries – every year.