How NOT to Lose Weight – By Dr. Craig Chang

December 6, 2023

Dr. Chang is a straight shooter and wants anyone considering bariatric surgery to know the truth about the process. Having performed thousands of weight loss procedures, he has an outlook on losing weight that may be jarring for some and refreshingly honest for others. Let’s get right to it…how not to lose weight:

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Common Misunderstandings and Misconceptions Before Bariatric Surgery

November 22, 2023

woman sitting on floor behind floor scale and measuring tape on floor

The effects and results of bariatric surgery are a complex interplay of physical and psychological factors that help patients lose a significant amount of weight. But every patient is different, as are their motivations and abilities. As such, all patients are unique, and predicting results beyond the generalities is challenging, if not impossible. With that, many patients come into their consultation (sometimes even leaving it) with misconceptions and misunderstandings that should be fully understood before surgery. This article will discuss those and how we ensure patients understand the truth about their procedure.

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Losing Weight Too Fast After Bariatric Surgery

November 8, 2023

Woman measuring waist with measuring tape

We must manage expectations when discussing the weight loss process after bariatric surgery. For many, this includes discussing realistic goals for how much weight should be lost (and how quickly). We try to temper expectations. Sometimes, patients set unrealistic goals or those that would not be achieved for several years and this leads to frustration and a feeling of failure. However, patients often find, especially in the first few months after surgery, that they may be losing significantly more weight than they expect and more than we suggest in their postoperative packet. There are many possible reasons for this, and we delve into a few of them here.

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How Can Obesity Affect Sexual Function in Men, and What Can We Do?

October 25, 2023

Obese man flipping meat patty while cooking in kitchen

Obesity is an insidious disease affecting many parts of our bodies. It also has physical and psychological effects that can change someone’s life and lifestyle in a decidedly negative way. Unfortunately, with such a significant part of the population overweight and obese in the United States today, metabolic diseases and their consequences are becoming increasingly apparent. While the effects of obesity on many parts of the body and organs are discussed all over the internet, we are less apt to discuss sexual function, something that can be significantly impaired in individuals with obesity. For this article, we will be talking about male patients and the two most problematic consequences of obesity, as far as sexual function – low desire and erectile dysfunction…

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How Obesity Increases Blood Pressure

October 11, 2023

Obese woman having blood pressure taken by doctor

As you probably already know, obesity is a leading cause of hypertension or high blood pressure. Hypertension, along with several other weight-related concerns, make up metabolic syndrome, a significant risk factor for longer-term heart disease and congestive heart failure. While this is no secret, the medical community has not been all that great about educating patients on how obesity can cause high blood pressure. In this article, we will discuss just that.

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Should You Use a Continuous Glucose Monitor if You Don’t Have Diabetes?

August 23, 2023

woman with glucose monitor on arm checking her glucose levels on phone

We live in a world of self-diagnosis. Gluten sensitivity, allergies, ADHD, you name it – it’s all diagnosed and discussed online…seemingly everywhere. But monitoring your glucose isn’t something to mess around with. So, if you don’t have diabetes or have had bariatric surgery and your diabetes is now in remission, you may wonder if you need a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). It’s a common concern, and it’s okay not to have all the answers. That’s why you’re here. Check out the rest of the blog to see if a CGM makes sense.

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Could Supplementing Be the Answer to Excess Weight Problems?

August 9, 2023

Vitamins scattered on table and in bowls

If you’ve spent any time listening to podcasts or many YouTube influencers, you will most certainly come across stories and discussions about how nutritional deficiencies may be the root cause of obesity and, in a similar fashion, how supplementing with specific vitamins or minerals may be the answer to excess weight issues. In this article, we will discuss the most significant nutritional shortfalls in America and whether these deficiencies contribute to overall health and weight gain.

Before we start, it’s important to remember that there can be a significant difference between the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of a vitamin or nutrient and how much your body needs. For one, dietary allowances are based on somewhat older data that may or may not be compatible with what we know today. On the other hand, we don’t know the full breadth of interactions between supplements, nor do we understand exactly how an individual needs different levels based on their genetic predispositions and environmental circumstances. As such, before starting any supplementation regimen, it’s essential that you speak to your primary care physician and a weight loss specialist like Dr. Chang to understand how these supplements may work best for you.

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Wegovy / Ozempic and Mounjaro for Weight Loss…Facts and Fiction

July 7, 2023

What are Wegovy / Ozempic and Mounjaro?  How do they work?

Wegovy and Ozempic are the same medication, semaglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist.  Mounjaro (a generic name is “tirzepatide”) is a GLP-1 receptor agonist and a glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor agonist.  The GLP-1 and GIP receptors lead to increased insulin secretion by your pancreas and increased sensitivity to insulin. They also block your liver from producing sugar. This combined effect helps to reduce blood sugar levels.  GIP slows down the emptying of the stomach and lowers stomach acid. There are also GLP-1 receptors in the brain, and it’s thought these drugs work in the brain to suppress appetite. These drugs stimulate receptors throughout the body to suppress appetite, lower blood sugar, and ultimately, assist with weight loss. 

Wegovy and Ozempic are longer-acting versions of older GLP-1 medications such as Victoza, Saxenda, and Trulicity, which you may have previously heard of.

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What Happened to The Lap-Band?

May 24, 2023

ap band procedure demonstrated with model stomach

If you were considering bariatric surgery in the relatively recent past, you almost certainly came across the laparoscopic adjustable gastric band. This surgical system goes by the brand name Lap-Band. FYI, there was also a competing band known as the Realize Band, which is no longer on the market. Gastric banding was a revolutionary procedure when it was first devised. For one, it didn’t require any stomach stapling and was adjustable and reversible. Patients who were not losing enough weight could have saline (saltwater) inserted into the band and tightened, while those experiencing symptoms from a tight band could have it loosened with a simple procedure to remove some liquid. This was revolutionary compared to the permanence of most stapled bariatric procedures.

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How Wegovy and Ozempic Have Changed the Face of Weight Loss

May 10, 2023

Diabetes injections scattered on blue backdrop

Incredibly, less than 10% of obese patients who try to lose weight through traditional diet and exercise can maintain that weight loss over the long term. Despite the billions of dollars spent on diet and exercise programs, some of which may offer questionable value, we don’t seem to have made any progress toward solving the obesity epidemic in the United States. With 2/3 of adults in the US overweight and approaching 40% obese, it’s no wonder that “miracle” drugs (known as Semaglutide or GLP-1 receptor agonists) have become so popular to the point of nationwide and even worldwide shortages.

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