Friday, June 12, 2009

WLS may increase bone fractures

A small study by the Mayo clinic as reported on Forbes.com showed that one in five people they reviewed after weight loss surgery suffered a bone fracture within 7 years, on average, after having the surgery. The group showed nearly double the fracture rate in post-WLS patients as in other patients.


"We knew there was a dramatic and extensive bone turnover and loss of bone density after bariatric surgery," study senior author Dr. Jackie Clowes, a Mayo rheumatologist, said in a Mayo news release. "But we didn't know what that meant in terms of fractures."

You mean they really didn't realize that an extensive loss of bone density would lead to more fractures? Isn't that, you know, why osteoperosis is a concern in the first place, because the loss of bone density leads to increased fractures? They didn't realize that by putting people through radical surgery that reduced their ability to get proper nutrition might, you know, also prevent them from getting proper nutrition? Like Calcium and vitamin D? That makes for the strong bones? really? Never occured to them?


"Additional study is needed to determine what causes the increased risk for fractures, the researchers said."

Really? That's very cautious and scientific of them, considering they already know that poor nutrition makes bones brittle. If only they could show the same caution in assuming the benefits of WLS in the first place, or weight loss in general. Or whether the supposed benefits of weight loss were really from the increased exercise, rather than the actual reduction in adipose tissue, since the benefits of moderate exercise have been shown to apply regardless of weight or whether they result in weight loss. But maybe that's too much to expect. Concepts that challenge the paradigm will always be received with more caution that those that support it. I suppose we should be happy that the article exists at all, or ecstatic that, aside from the link at the bottom, it's refreshingly free of the "ooga-booga FAT KILZ" moral panic mythology.

7 comments:

Heidi said...

A friend of mine who had WLS nine? years ago is going in for a bone density test in the next week or so. She says it's "probably" related to her WLS.

I keep asking myself...she had the WLS because her family has a history of diabetes. Is it better to have well-managed diabetes (if you were even to develop it, given healthy eating habits) or be at a serious risk of fractures and osteoporosis? I can't say as how I'd choose the latter, myself.

JoGeek said...

Not to mention that fact that they actually haven't proven that diabetes is caused by fat, or if weight is somehow a side effect of whatever also causes diabetes. So she has very early onset osteoperosis, but that doesn't mean she's reduced her risk for diabetes at all, especially if it's genetic. Unfortunately she may eventually have to deal with both diseases.

Alix said...

I am fifty and have not yet had my first bone density test. Am I not in the window?

Hey JoGeek... what do you know about weight loss and hair loss? Is there a connection?

Brooklyn Queen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JoGeek said...

Brooklyn Queen: I don't allow posts/links that encourage dangerous practices, including WLS. I'm not questioning your right to the decision to amputate a healthy organ, but I'm not going to encourage anyone to participate in a surgery with an incredibly high rate of death, malnutrition and complications intended only to solve a cosmetic problem.

JoGeek said...

Alix: Hair loss and bone density loss are all side effects of malnutrition, which is very common in dieters. Hair loss is also a symptom of hypothyroidism, if you haven't had that checked.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05256/570686.stm

This article mentions a link between dieting and hair loss, but also tries to double-talk itself into saying that while all diets can trigger hair loss, some diets might not (!?).

Alix said...

Thanks JoGeek. You are correct about significant hairloss as a symptom of Hypothyroidism! I found that out the hard way back in 2000 when I was diagnosed. I've been on Synthroid and Armor Thyroid medications, but my hair continues to fall out by the handsfull. It's getting scary, but I eat well and take a multivitamin/mineral supplement in the morning and at night. I hope it corrects itself, but I'm not holding my breath. Who knows, maybe I'll be an adorable bald middle aged woman... NOT!