Sent in by Kimberlee, this was posted on BlissTree:

Last week, a young woman who underwent gastric bypass surgery came about as having now suffering from anorexia nervosa, and we now know she’s not the only one. Chevese Turner, a 43-year-old woman from Maryland, has also come forward with a post-op eating disorder, crediting her gastric bypass surgery for her bulimia. She says the surgery didn’t teach her proper eating habits, and she continued to gorge on food, but the small size of her stomach forced her to purge and vomit. This is getting serious, folks. There is too much hype surrounding the “no diet, no exercise” weight loss methods, and you don’t want to pay for you tiny waist with your life.

Just because the surgery is accessible to you, doesn’t mean you should do it. Dr. Lauren Grunebaum, a psychotherapist specialized in treating individuals and families with eating disorders, agrees. “The surgery merely put a band-aid on the problem,” she says.

“These women used unhealthy eating to deal with emotional problems prior to their surgery,” she explains. “Simply having the surgery to shrink their stomachs did nothing to help them find healthier coping mechanisms.”

Your health should be your number one concern when considering any form of weight loss. Yes, people are motivated to lose weight based on the way they look, that’s probably not going to change. But will you like the way you look when your hair falls out, your liver and kidneys go into failure, and you’re strapped to a hospital bed, being force-fed carrot mush through tubes shoved up your nostrils?

This is serious business, my friends. Women are dying every day from eating disorders, and now it seems the very surgery that is promoted to stop an unhealthy eating lifestyle is causing it instead. Surgery is dangerous and it’s not sustainable.

This is what Turner had to say to ABC News:

“I had always struggled with binge eating, and my relationships with food didn’t change just because of the lap band. Even though binging is really painful when your stomach is restricted like that, I would still binge knowing that I would throw it up. I felt like finally I could be bulimic, like this was what I wanted all along.”

This is scary, and no one should have to suffer through this, especially since this is preventable. If we were more willing to encourage the hard (but sustainable) practices of proper nutrition and exercise, as opposed to quick (but painful) fixes of surgery, maybe we could finally get the obesity epidemic, and the eating disorder epidemic, under control.

Dr. Grunebaum adds, “Unless an individual deals with the underlying issues that led to the unhealthy eating/starving, she will go right back to them in one form or another.”

I’m hoping more women out there will heed this call and seriously reflect on what kind of life they want to live. And paramount to that, how long they want to live that life. Because while nutrition and exercise will add years to your life, surgery could all-too easily take it away.

Now, I don’t particularly care for the preachy end of the post, but I do think it’s an interesting situation. Weight loss surgery resulting in the development of an eating disorder?


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