GLP-1 Agonists vs Bariatric Surgery for Obesity: What You Need to Know

The Ups and Downs of Two Popular Weight Loss Methods

If you're struggling with weight loss, you've probably heard of two big options: there are these new shots making headlines called GLP-1 agonists, and there’s also the option of getting weight loss surgery. Both have their pros and cons, and it's important to know what you're getting into, at Obesity Control Center we are glad to assist you in your journey to a healthier you (World Health Organization, 2020).

GLP-1 Agonists: The Weight Loss Shots

GLP-1 agonists are shots you can take that help you feel full, so you eat less. They also slow down how fast your stomach empties, which helps you feel full longer. These shots have been shown to help people lose a lot of weight and even make your heart and blood sugar levels healthier (American Diabetes Association, 2021).

But they're not for everyone. Some people feel sick to their stomach when they start taking these shots. This usually gets better over time, but it can be a hassle (Mayo Clinic, 2021). Also, if you've had certain health issues like pancreatitis or thyroid cancer, these might not be the right option for you, here at Obesity Control Center we recommend you get a thorough evaluation with one of our experts to better understand if you are a candidate for this type of medication.

Bariatric Surgery: The Big Operation

Bariatric surgery is a big deal. It's an operation where doctors change your digestive system to help you lose weight. It's especially good for people who have tried everything else to lose weight but haven't had any luck (Sjöström et al., 2007).

However, all surgeries come with risks. You could have a bad reaction to the anesthesia, or you could get an infection. Sometimes, there are even complications after the surgery, like leaks in your new digestive system. Plus, after the surgery, you'll have to make some big lifestyle changes, like eating differently forever.

Traveling for Treatment: The New Trend

Lately, a lot of people are even traveling to other countries to get these weight loss treatments. This is known as health tourism. It's becoming popular because sometimes it's cheaper and you can get access to treatments that might not be available where you live (Medical Tourism Association, 2019).

Why You Should Look for Accreditation

When you're picking a place for treatment, especially if you're going to another country, make sure it's accredited. Accreditation is like a seal of approval that means the place has high standards for taking care of patients (Joint Commission International, 2021).

Final Thoughts: Making the Right Choice

In the end, both GLP-1 agonists and bariatric surgery offer solid options for tackling obesity. Your best choice will depend on your own health, what you're comfortable with, and what your doctor thinks is best for you. No matter what you choose, remember that getting healthier is a big commitment. You'll need to work closely with healthcare professionals to make sure you're on the right track.

Reference List:

  1. American Diabetes Association. (2021). Pharmacologic Approaches to Glycemic Treatment. Diabetes Care, 44(Supplement 1), S111–S124.
  2. Sjöström, L., Narbro, K., Sjöström, C. D., Karason, K., Larsson, B., Wedel, H., ... & Carlsson, L. M. (2007). Effects of Bariatric Surgery on Mortality in Swedish Obese Subjects. New England Journal of Medicine, 357(8), 741-752.
  3. World Health Organization. (2020). Obesity and Overweight.
  5. Medical Tourism Association. (2019). Medical Tourism Statistics & Facts.
  6. Joint Commission International. (2021). Accreditation Standards for Hospitals. 

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