If you are seriously overweight, there is now a new way to tackle weight loss which in essence involves swallowing a small capsule into the stomach with a tube attached to the end of it.
The capsule is then inflated into a balloon and the tube is removed whereby the balloon is left for up to 3 months and restricts how much you can eat as it floats on top of the undigested food in the gut thus reducing the volume of the stomach.
Not yet approved by the FDA in the U.S but available in Europe, the procedure costs a few thousand dollars and if your weight is serious additional Obalon balloons can be added for the additional cost.
The Difference Between the Obalon Balloon and an Appetite Suppressant
The differences here are quite stark.
a) The Obalon balloon doesn’t make you feel full, it just restricts how much food you can put into the gut as opposed to appetite suppressants which are consumed 15 to 30 minutes before the meal and react when they come into contact with water to form a gel like substance as they contain Glucomannan.
Glucomannan is 100% safe and is used in foods as a thickener and it can also reduce LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and total blood cholesterol levels while also raising HDL cholesterol levels.
b) The cost. As opposed to less than $100 a month for an appetite suppressant supplement, each Obalon procedure costs a few thousand dollars.
How Effective is the Obalon Balloon?
Well trials concluded before it reached the European market that over a 12 week period it’s possible to lose up to 17 lbs so that’s roughly 6 lbs a month or 1.5 lbs a week.
It could be argued that if it forces you to eat less it can retrain your eating habits but some may argue that it forces you to still stick with to what your used to eating except those final few servings which will make you feel very full.
It obviously seems less risky than a gastric bypass and it may also help obese people lower the resistance they have built up to the hormone leptin, which is responsible for attenuating the signal for feeling hungry – so it may help on the physiological level.
There are concerns that it may make the stomach larger if kept in over time but there doesn’t appear any truth to this as is with the theory that the stomach will shrink after it or they are removed through an endoscopic procedure while sedated.
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