Your Brain: Less Hungry After Some Procedures, Careful About Food Addiction
Reduced Hunger: Sleeve, DS, & vBloc Therapy
You may feel less hungry following the 2 procedures that completely remove a large portion of the stomach – gastric sleeve and duodenal switch.
When your stomach is empty, it secretes a hormone called ghrelin into your bloodstream which causes your brain to generate hunger impulses. After you eat, the amount of secreted ghrelin drops then slowly rises until your next meal. Since your stomach will be significantly smaller following these two procedures, the amount of ghrelin the stomach secretes – and your resulting feelings of hunger – may also go down.
vBloc Therapy is all about controlling hunger but goes about it differently. Instead of removing part of the stomach to control hormones, it uses an implanted device to block hunger signals altogether during certain parts of the day.
The other procedures leave the stomach in place and do not utilize a hunger-blocking device, so changes to hunger will remain largely unaffected.
Regardless of which procedure you have, food addiction could be a problem.
Our bodies secrete certain hormones, like ghrelin mentioned above, that tell us when we’re hungry and full, but hyperpalatable food (like junk food) may be overriding those hormone signals by overstimulating our reward centers, much like our bodies and brains react to an addictive drug.
You may have a bona fide food addiction if your desire for food takes priority over other parts of your life that you acknowledge to be more important, such as personal health, family, friends, work, your appearance, or avoiding obesity related health issues like hypertension, sleep apnea, or diabetes.
If left unchecked, food addiction can lead to obesity. For weight loss surgery patients, if not addressed prior to surgery, it can also lead to weight regain.
To find out if you may be suffering from food addiction, take our Food Addiction Quiz.
Relationships After Weight Loss
Significant weight loss after any type of bariatric surgery can lead to big changes with everyone around you.
While many of those changes are positive, some can also be extremely challenging and unexpected.
See our Relationships After Weight Loss Surgery page for important changes to prepare for.