Not Easy.

On June 7, 2010, in Uncategorized, by Andrea

For years, many of my brothers and sisters in the weight loss surgical world have kept quiet about their surgeries because they get flak and criticism about WLS being the “easy way out.”

And let’s face it — there’s been a healthy dose of Dr. Oz, and Oprah, Dr. Phil and many, many other pundits that continue to drive home the need for “balanced portions” and how surgery is “risky” and at worst “deadly.”  Seeing posts such as this one from a Yahoo message board is just the an inkling:

User Post: Jealous of Gastric Bypass

by dino, on Fri May 21, 2010 11:50am PDT

Yes, you heard me!  I am jealous of my friend who had gastric bypass last Friday morning at 11 a.m., when I spoke to her on Tuesday night she was down 30lbs!  30lbs!!!!!!!! DID YOU HEAR ME?  That is more than half of what I want to lose!!

Ok, so let’s put this in perspective, I don’t want the surgery – nor do I think it should be an option for anyone EVER!  But people are doing it,  I know of two ladies who I had not seen in two or three years and had no clue who they were when they approached me after losing over 100lbs each.  Now I will watch my good friend waste away, literally starving herself to nothing!

She told me on the phone “you give up alot, they warned me, but I had no idea” and I understand, no food, barely able to drink anything her stomach is now so small.  More surgery later to deal with the inescapable sagging skin from the rapid weight loss – but to me it still just seems the easy way out.

I work so hard, watching my diet, getting up an hour earlier to exercise before my girls get up, walking the dogs an extra 30 minutes each night AARRRGGGGHHHHH!  As I set here typing my shoulders and back are sore from the plank and push ups – but it will be worth it in the end.  To accomplish something, maintain, be healthier, in better shape and feel good!  I can’t wait!

Oh and I do get to splurge when I want, she doesn’t………….hmmmmmmmmm maybe I’m not so jealous after all!  :)

What do you think of the weight loss surgeries?  Gastric Bypass?  Lap Band?  Do you feel the way I do, that they are the easy way out and that those who have them actually learn nothing?  Or do you feel they are a medicall necessity?

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Questionable Protein Drinks?

On May 30, 2010, in Protein, by Andrea

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Well.  This is a fun way to wake up.

Consumer Reports did a study on 15 protein drinks and found questionable “additives” in some of them.  Included is the full text of the article, along with a few bullet points.

I find this a bit curious because I DO drink 3-4 protein drinks a day.  While I don’t drink the ones that tested high, it does scare me a bit.  WHY do I drink so much?  Well, to put things in perspective, I still have problems with food somewhat and do better with liquid protein.  We went out yesterday and I ate food mostly.  And my pouch was all “stuck feeling” for most of the day.  So it clearly was not happy with food.  Go figure.

Keep in mind, though, that these additives are tested in extremely high doses in rats and even doses in humans may not matter.

So while it does make me curious?  I’m not about to go out and toss all of my protein, either.  I’ll wait.  It’s too soon, with too little research at this point.

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HFCS is eevviill.

On April 1, 2010, in General Nutrition, by Andrea

Okay, so I’ve seen this over and over and over again on Obesity Help.

Let’s put some stuff out there so people can really get some things straight, okay?

This paper that everyone is strange for a number of reasons.  And the conclusions drawn from the study itself seem a bit.. ludacris at best.  If you’ve not read the newest study that is now being referenced, then I suggest you do so.  It’s here, by the way, just in case you’re interested.

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Fake Doctor? OMG.

On March 29, 2010, in Uncategorized, by Andrea

Okay.  Now, this frightens me.

How many of us, when looking for surgery, actually, you know, check out our surgeons?  Our PCPs?  Our GIs?  I know *I* never have.  Perhaps I should.

A drum had been banged for some time about a doctor running an after-care clinic for WLS surgery in Mexico, who, was not, in fact an actual doctor.  There was some proof, but many discredited the proof for one reason or another.  This is NOT the surgeon – this is the “doctor” that is in charge of the care AFTER the surgery.  He was in charge of pain management, wound care, drains, giving injections, etc.

Last night, another person stepped forward with the same claim — with pictures of the Mexican medical license.  When you put the number in the Mexican Licensing Board — a different name pops up.

Oops.

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This is not a good thing, folks.  And it scares me because the things I need to keep my vision, my bones, my blood clotting may go away.

Basically, this act will allow the FDA to pull all nutritional supplements.  And while the Centrums and NatureMades will be fine, what I worry about will be the 50,000 IU water-miscible D3′s that I take, or the 100mg K1′s, or any of the “dangerous” level meds.. or even the heme iron that I’ve FINALLY found that works for me.

So while I’ve always been political, have voted in every election that I have been able to vote in, have called my elected representatives for certain things — I have yet to write a single letter to any politicians.  The time has ended.

Senator John McCain
United States Senate
241 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C.  20510

Senator McCain:

I am not a constituent of yours.  Nor do I plan to be one in the future.  In fact, I live almost as far away from your Arizona as possible without actually living on a different continent.

However, the Dietary Supplement Safety Act that you are proposing could impact my life in ways you cannot possibly imagine.

Sir, I had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery in 2004.  Like thousands of others who have battled morbid obesity, I have had a surgery that has altered my intestines in a way that severely limits my ability to absorb nutrition from food.  It is because of this fact that I survive daily from nutritional supplements — nutritional supplements that you are attempting to regulate.

I understand the need for regulation against unsafe chemicals that are being marketed and sold to our youth.  As a mother of young children, I can appreciate the desire to protect our children.  However, I see this Act as a way to limit my ability to maintain my health with these absolutely vital supplements.

I know that there are some supplements that are available in prescription form.  Unfortunately, not all of these are acceptable for patients such as myself and only over-the-counter supplementation will maintain my health.  For example, a common prescription to rectify a clinical deficiency of vitamin D is a 50,000 IU dose of vitamin D2 in an oil-suspension.  D2 has been found to be one-tenth the strength of D3 (which is available over-the-counter at your local pharmacy), and with my reconfigured intestinal design, I do not absorb the oil that the D2 is immersed in.  Therefore, what little of the vitamin I might absorb, much of it is lost in the body’s conversion to D3.  In many cases, a 50,000 IU dose of D2 would be equivalent to what I could pick up at CVS as a D3 supplement for anyone — and even worse for me with the fat malabsorption my surgery gave me.  Instead, I can take a 50,000 IU dose of D3 — something your Act would surely take away, relegating me to months of painful recovery as I suffer from osteomalacia or even osteoporosis at the tender age of 31.

While this is certainly an extreme case, it is something that thousands of us face daily.  Vitamin D is not the only vitamin I worry about with this act — high dose vitamin A allows me to keep my vision, vitamin K allows my blood to clot, B12 allows me to have neurological function, and high-dose iron allows my blood to move oxygen through my cells properly.  All of these are in higher-than-normal doses to counteract the surgical implications of my gastric bypass surgery — and it is something I will live with for the rest of my life.

I implore you to examine this issue very carefully as things are not exactly black and white.  I believe safety is needed in the supplement industry — especially as I take so many of them.  However, such strict regulation could seriously impact my ability to live a functional life versus a life of skinny sickness.

I had this surgery to be a healthier individual — this bit of regulation could seriously impair that goal.

Sincerely,
Andrea S. Ullberg
Wilson, NC  27896
andrea@ullberg.us

http://wlsvitagarten.com

Senator Kay Hagan
United States Senate
521 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C.  20510

Senator Hagan:

I am one of your constituents — one that is proud to say that voted for you.  I thank you for the hard work you’ve put forth in representing the people of North Carolina thus far.

I write to you today, however, to express grave concern about Senator McCain’s Dietary Supplement Safety Act.  This Act, if passed, could cause me and thousands more like me, great personal harm and impact my health and well-being in a way he has not considered.  Please take a moment to understand why.

I had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery in 2004.  Like thousands of others who have battled morbid obesity, I have had a surgery that has altered my intestines in a way that severely limits my ability to absorb nutrition from food.  It is because of this fact that I survive daily from nutritional supplements — nutritional supplements that he is attempting to regulate.

I understand the need for regulation against unsafe chemicals that are being marketed and sold to our youth.  As a mother of young children, I can appreciate the desire to protect them.  However, I see this Act as a way to limit my ability to maintain my health.  If I cannot maintain my health, I will not be able to protect or care for my children myself — which defeats the purpose of the bill.

I know that there are some supplements that are available in prescription form.  Unfortunately, not all of these are acceptable for patients such as myself and only over-the-counter supplementation will maintain my health.  For example, a common prescription to rectify a clinical deficiency of vitamin D is a 50,000 IU dose of vitamin D2 in an oil-suspension.  D2 has been found to be one-tenth the strength of D3 (which is available over-the-counter at your local pharmacy), and with my reconfigured intestinal design, I do not absorb the oil that the D2 is immersed in.  Therefore, what little of the vitamin I might absorb, much of it is lost in the body’s conversion to D3.  In many cases, a 50,000 IU dose of D2 would be equivalent to what I could pick up at CVS as a D3 supplement for anyone — and even worse for me with the fat malabsorption my surgery gave me.  Instead, I can take a 50,000 IU dose of D3 — something your Act would surely take away, relegating me to months of painful recovery as I suffer from osteomalacia or even osteoporosis at the tender age of 31.

While this is certainly an extreme case, it is something that thousands of us face daily.  Vitamin D is not the only vitamin I worry about with this act — high dose vitamin A allows me to keep my vision, vitamin K allows my blood to clot, B12 allows me to have neurological function, and high-dose iron allows my blood to move oxygen through my cells properly.  All of these are in higher-than-normal doses to counteract the surgical implications of my gastric bypass surgery — and it is something I will live with for the rest of my life.

I implore you to examine this issue very carefully as things are not exactly black and white.  I believe safety is needed in the supplement industry — especially as I take so many of them.  However, such strict regulation could seriously impact my ability to live a functional life versus a life of skinny sickness.

Please take the time to examine this issue very carefully.  Many of us depend on these supplements — not for simple well-being but for our actual lives.

Sincerely,

Andrea S. Ullberg
Wilson, NC  27896
andrea@ullberg.us

http://wlsvitagarten.com

Senator Richard Burr
United States Senate
217 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C.  20510

Senator Burr:

I thank you for the hard work you’ve put forth in representing the people of North Carolina.

I write to you today to express grave concern about Senator McCain’s Dietary Supplement Safety Act.  This Act, if passed, could cause me and thousands more like me, great personal harm and impact my health and well-being in a way he has not considered.  Please take a moment to understand why.

I had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery in 2004.  Like thousands of others who have battled morbid obesity, I have had a surgery that has altered my intestines in a way that severely limits my ability to absorb nutrition from food.  It is because of this fact that I survive daily from nutritional supplements — nutritional supplements that he is attempting to regulate.

I understand the need for regulation against unsafe chemicals that are being marketed and sold to our youth.  As a mother of young children, I can appreciate the desire to protect them.  However, I see this Act as a way to limit my ability to maintain my health.  If I cannot maintain my health, I will not be able to protect or care for my children myself — which defeats the purpose of the bill.

I know that there are some supplements that are available in prescription form.  Unfortunately, not all of these are acceptable for patients such as myself and only over-the-counter supplementation will maintain my health.  For example, a common prescription to rectify a clinical deficiency of vitamin D is a 50,000 IU dose of vitamin D2 in an oil-suspension.  D2 has been found to be one-tenth the strength of D3 (which is available over-the-counter at your local pharmacy), and with my reconfigured intestinal design, I do not absorb the oil that the D2 is immersed in.  Therefore, what little of the vitamin I might absorb, much of it is lost in the body’s conversion to D3.  In many cases, a 50,000 IU dose of D2 would be equivalent to what I could pick up at CVS as a D3 supplement for anyone — and even worse for me with the fat malabsorption my surgery gave me.  Instead, I can take a 50,000 IU dose of D3 — something the Act would surely take away, relegating me to months of painful recovery as I suffer from osteomalacia or even osteoporosis at the tender age of 31.

While this is certainly an extreme case, it is something that thousands of us face daily.  Vitamin D is not the only vitamin I worry about with this act — high dose vitamin A allows me to keep my vision, vitamin K allows my blood to clot, B12 allows me to have neurological function, and high-dose iron allows my blood to move oxygen through my cells properly.  All of these are in higher-than-normal doses to counteract the surgical implications of my gastric bypass surgery — and it is something I will live with for the rest of my life.

I implore you to examine this issue very carefully as things are not exactly black and white.  I believe safety is needed in the supplement industry — especially as I take so many of them.  However, such strict regulation could seriously impact my ability to live a functional life versus a life of skinny sickness.

Please take the time to examine this issue very carefully.  Many of us depend on these supplements — not for simple well-being but for our actual lives.

Sincerely,

Andrea S. Ullberg
Wilson, NC  27896
andrea@ullberg.us

http://wlsvitagarten.com

Please.  Read more about this and do your part to protect yourselves.  This is important.  I’ve rarely taken action such as this and I think this is worth fighting for.

We NEED these supplements.  Don’t let them take them away from us.

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