My heart goes out to Jesse Jackson Jr., and his family. This is very devastating and is terribly difficult to understand, if, like many gastric bypass patients, there is no history of any problems like this before surgery – as is very typical.
To try and look on the bright side, this is THE FIRST TIME (other than here) that I have seen any mention that these problems are directly attributed to the gastric bypass surgery and the resulting problems associated with nutrient deficiency are the cause. I have little doubt that during the next days, if not weeks, there will be hosts of psychologists on TV explaining that this is likely the result of a previous food addict no longer able to self-soothe with food (ie., that he was controlling his bi-polar by over eating).
I doubt many of them have read or will be familiar with the results of Dr. Wendy King’s study and Dr. Ostlund’s study that shows the risk of developing alcoholism, substance abuse, depression and suicide attempt are quadrupled when a patient has their intestines bypassed (ie., in the Roux-en-Y or Duodenal Switch). In comparison the restrictive procedures (ie., lap-band or sleeve gastrectomy) showed no increase as compared to the general population.
Another important finding of Dr. King is that she was able to show what many of us already know, and that is that these issues typically do not present until around the 2-yr mark. This is another indication that this is not addiction transfer. One would expect that if this is a response to no longer being able to soothe with food, the issues would show up sooner rather than later.
In addition, after surgeons started becoming aware of what a huge problem this was, they started implementing procedures such as the pre-surgical psychological screening, alcohol use questionnaires and certifications, and required post-surgical counselling. But since these issues are rarely present prior to surgery, the screening is of little value in prevention. It’s similar with the post-surgical counselling. Since the issues typically show up later, it is likely past any required counselling requirements. You can read my previous post on my thoughts on the ‘alcohol use questionnaire’.
The National Enquirer spoke to a Dr. Carson Liu who did admit that these problems can be caused by nutrient deficiency, which is a step in the right direction. He is one of the first doctors I’ve read that have come out to say this. One concern of mine is that in the very next sentence after attributing the cause to nutrient deficiency, he explains that he typically first uses lithium to treat. Well, if a problem is caused by nutrient deficiency, wouldn’t it make sense to treat it with nutrients? Perhaps the doctor meant that they stabilize the patient with lithium before they begin on nutrient therapy…I hope so. Unfortunately, unless you go to a holistic doctor it may be unlikely a doctor will look for or prescribe nutrients. Since lab results often don’t give a very indicative picture of your nutrient and so many doctors use the labs as a guidepost, it may not happen. You may need to talk to your doctor about the difference between serum blood test results and tissue results. Most lab results only tell you what is circulating in your blood.
For those interested in treatment, I list here the nutrient regime I take as well as an explanation on the Intravenous MicroNutrient Therapy I do a couple of times a month.
I wrote to”The Doctors” website to please do a story on this. Maybe they’ll listen. I’d love to hear what you all think about this, so please send me your comments.