This is a tale of two losses – one good and one bad. Orest and Ken are good people. Good men with families, jobs, and hobbies. Both with similar health issues and both significantly overweight. These men did not know each other. They happened to see the same doctor in the same week more than a year ago for weight loss. Both were morbidly obese, weighing over 300 pounds and reluctant to go to see a doctor. They went as a last resort, pushed by their concerned families. Their multiple attempts at weight loss over the years had failed miserably. They enjoyed and took comfort in eating. Both had busy lives that allowed fast food and poor eating choices to contribute to significant weight gain and poor metabolism. Both had tried multiple diets and both were considering weight loss bariatric surgery. In fact, they had already had surgical consultations.
The doctor did his assessments and made initial recommendations. He found similar metabolic issues with both and began treatment of those issues. Their thyroid functions were normal, but both had Vitamin D deficiencies. Ken had issues from diabetes, and Orest was pre-diabetic. Concerned for their health, their doctor recommended an aggressive approach to their weight loss utilizing Dr. Simeons hCG Protocol, in addition to treatments for their respective metabolic issues that included Vitamin D replacement. Both began the protocol reluctantly and with significant doubts. Their doctor encouraged them, as he does with all his patients, and kept close watch over their health and wellness.
Ken was not strict with the protocol and, though he did lose 10 pounds, he did not follow it carefully. Along with his diabetes, his health issues included high cholesterol and elevated blood pressure. He stopped a few weeks into the protocol.
Orest was strict. He stuck with the protocol and lost 30 pounds in 39 days. About a month later, after multiple attempts to contact Ken for follow-up, he finally returned his doctor’s call. These were his words: “Doc, I felt pretty good on the protocol, but I just can’t stop eating and frankly, I am too lazy to follow it. I am going to have the gastric bypass.” Ken then proceeded to tell his doctor that the procedure would help him not eat as much and how his surgeon said it would also cure his diabetes. Orest, on the other hand, said he too felt good about the protocol and completed it, setting himself up to begin a second round of the protocol a month later.
Ken had his gastric bypass right before Christmas and died on the operating table. His wife called his doctor the day after Ken’s surgery to tell him what had happened. She thanked me for trying, and that was the last I heard from her.
Orest continues his quest for better health to this day. A year later, he lost a total of 100 pounds. He makes minor, but consistent, adjustments in his food choices, and continues to lose weight on his own. His lower leg skin issues and swelling have completely resolved, his pre-diabetes has completely disappeared, he no longer requires blood pressure medication and his cholesterol has normalized without medication.
Choices were made by each of these men. Both choices were not easy. Both choices required sacrifice, though only one choice had the risk of death. During the last year, their doctor knows of six individuals who have died from gastric bypass surgery, and knows of many others who have experienced complications from some sort of bariatric procedure. Many have had long-term irreversible complications, and many have done well with their weight loss. Also in the last year, their doctor has seen hundreds of patients who were successful under physician directed weight loss programs, hCG Protocol or meal replacement for weight management. Some have had minor, but reversible, complications – none have had any irreversible complications and there were no deaths. Zero.
Bariatric surgery is an FDA approved procedure with a good success rate and even cases where patients have been cured of their diabetes, but there is a death rate. According to medical research studies, 1 in 50 people die within one month of having gastric bypass surgery.
This is not a story about how the hCG Protocol for weight loss, is for everyone, or a cautionary tale about the risks of a successful and relatively safe procedure. This is a story of how we all make choices in order to reach our goal for improved and optimum health. For Ken and Orest, neither of their choices was easy. Weighing risks, benefits, costs and possible outcomes is what it all boils down to. Making the right decisions to improve your health begin with simple choices to prevent bigger issues. The best advice is to be proactive about your health, so that you can avoid having to make a choice that puts your well-being, and even your life, at risk.