Binging and purging is an ancient and unhealthy way to try to lose weight. It’s characterized by rapidly eating massive amounts of food. It’s necessary to get the food out of the body before it has a chance to be absorbed and processed by the body therefore escaping the effects of gross calorie overload.
The most common way of purging is by making one’s self vomit. Quickly after the bingeing episode, a finger may be inserted into the throat to cause vomiting. Some people prefer to use a variety of substances to stimulate vomiting.
I want to caution readers before going any farther that I do not endorse employing vomiting after eating as a method of weight loss. It’s dangerous, extremely dangerous, and it doesn’t even work.
Another way to purge is to try to get it out the “other end” quickly before the calories (and nutrients) are absorbed with the use of laxatives or other agents that make the food slip through the digestive tract and end in the toilet quickly.
I just want to make it crystal clear that this blog isn’t about bulimia or in any way, big or small, suggesting that it be employed as a method of weight reduction.
The new, minimally-invasive, FDA approved, weight loss device is called AspireAssist. It doesn’t change how much you eat the way bypass surgery, gastric sleeves, or the lap band does. It removes some of the food after you eat it and before it gets processed.
It’s kind like vomiting only the food doesn’t come back out of the mouth. There is a hole the food from which the food is expelled and it’s in your abdomen. Similar to using laxatives to purge, the food goes directly from your stomach into the toilet through a tube the doctor surgically inserted into your belly.
It’s a medically approved and assisted way to eat and get rid of calories before they get into your system where they can make you gain weight or impede your weight reduction. Although the weight loss results are impressive, this method is definitely not embraced by the entire medical community. Some health care professionals have grave concerns.
To be blunt, I think it sounds quite disgusting, Watching food get aspirated out of my belly through a clear tube and into a container that I empty in the toilet would probably make me throw up. CHECK OUT THE VIDEO OF THE DEVICE IN ACTION Pretty vile, I think.
It sounds gross, but it could be a solution for some folks that’s probably safer with fewer complications than gastric bypass or remaining obese. I understand the challenges of controlling eating behavior by creating healthier eating habits. Finding something that works isn’t easy. For some people a solution, however gross, could be the answer.
This particular method lets you eat more and safely remove up to 30% of what you just ate. I’m not judging, but I will opine that it sounds good from the point of “oh boy, I don’t have to starve to lose weight,” and bad from the point of, “how does this promote sustained weight maintenance behavior?”
It’s a “minimally invasive,” and that’s a good thing. It’s a device that consists of a thin tube placed into your stomach. It connects the inside of your stomach directly to a button on the outside of your abdomen. The button is said to be discreet.
You eat your meal like normal. Then you can empty up to 30% of the food you just consumed straight into the toilet with the tube which you connected to the discreet button with a small, handheld device that pumps out some, but not all, of the contents of your stomach. You then empty it into the toilet. The device is about the size of a smartphone, and stores away in a small case afterwards.
I am slightly concerned with how a septic system or sewer handles the aspirated food and if problems can stem from flushing the food down the toilet. I think it could cause problems, but I’ve found nothing on issues with disposing of the food into the toilet. That might be because it’s fairly new and use hasn’t become widespread.
I did find some statements indicating health care professionals find it appalling (because it mimics binge and purge behavior) and disgusting. I, myself, am somewhat disgusted. Disgusted, but certainly not so much that I can’t see that perhaps AspireAssist is the answer for some people who don’t want obesity surgery and want something that works better with fewer dangerous side effects than prescription diet pills.
It’s important to note:
- It allegedly doesn’t promote bingeing because food must be chewed thoroughly. Large chunks of food clog the tube.
- Because it requires a lot of chewing it slows down how fast you can eat. Slowing down eating helps the brain recognize satiety sooner which results in less food being eaten.
- Patients don’t just get the tube and button installed and go off on their merry way. They must be monitored regularly for weight loss progress, stoma site health, and metabolic and electrolyte balance.
- Patients are also required to attend monthly lifestyle counseling sessions to reinforce healthy changes for sustainable weight loss. The goal is to reduce the frequency that food is aspirated until eventually the device is no longer needed and removed.
- Concerns include dehydration, loss of nutrients, infections, and interference with normal activities such as bathing, and exercising. The makers of the device say these concerns though valid, rarely present any lasting or significant complications.
AspireAssist is probably not the magic fix for obesity. It’s definitely not for the person who has a small amount of weight to lose. Like other forms of bariatric surgery patients should have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or more, have been unsuccessful with conventional weight loss efforts, is basically healthy and hasn’t been diagnosed with a physical disability, mental disability, or psychological illness that might prevent them from being able to use the therapy safely and successfully.
It’s an interesting solution and one that is too new to judge how effective it is for delivering lasting weight loss results. I don’t think it should be a first line of defense, but it could be just what the doctor ordered.
Here is one patient’s story AspireAssist gave me my life back