Gastric Bypass. When is too young too young?

In our last endo appt, the doctor told my 14 yr. old child to get Gastric Bypass. Yes my child is a bit over weight but exercise and carb. counting has helped her loose a total of 37pds. in 4 months. Apperently that’s not enough for her endo. She pereffers her to be pencil thin. Can some one tell me what’s wrong with this issue? This is why girls have eating disorders and low self esteem, they are the one’s who pressure our girls to be thin.

Huh? I didn’t think anyone under 18 qualified, or anyone under 100 lbs overweight . . .

Change docs immediately!!! Thats horrible to recommend that. What about a nutritionist??? a exercise plan??? I mean 40 pounds is not healthy but its not that extreme…14 is way too young for cosmetic surgery of any kind!

Time for a new endo, ASAP! That is ridiculous. It is also ridiculous that an endo would say try gastric bypass before, oh, I don’t know, diet, exercise, etc.?

That’s nuts! So very many problems associated with this procedure that I’m stunned it would be recommended for a growing child.

Good work on her losing 34 lbs. She deserved praise from her endo. Get another.

I wish I could come by and slap your endo. Shame, shame, shame. It is hard enough having diabetes. But having your daughter lose 37 lbs in 4 months is a huge amount of weight. I really could care less if your daughter is heavier than normal. Concentrate on having your daughter eat in a healthy manner. If she does, then her weight will normalize to what it should be. Please hug your daughter and tell her she is beautiful. Shame on your endo.

Lemme guess, your endo has a colleague who she recommends to perform the procedure?

I don’t know your daughter’s medical history or why her endo would recommend such a drastic step; however. please, at least get a second opinion before going forward with such a major decision, especially on your 14-year-old daughter.

I used to be told constantly by an endo who was easily 250+ that I, at a whopping 155lbs (as an adult, after having a baby) needed to “lose some weight”… I did not, and I fired her :stuck_out_tongue:

I currently weight a bit more than that and my current endo has never mentioned my weight…

I think that losing 37 lbs at any age is a considerable achievement but that’s a short time. If she (Stephany I presume?) has been that successful, I am not sure why the doc wouldn’t just advocate continuing with that. I have lost a bunch of weight but it has been a very slow, tedious process for me, like 6 years of pretty much constant focus on things. I would have to focus anyway, having diabetes and maybe that helps in that I have to think before I eat, but I don’t think gastric bypass surgery is anything I would mess around with. Both the people I knew who had it ended up with serious and very unpleasant complications.

What??? He should have thrown a party for her. Losing almost 10 lbs a month 4 months in a row is a huge accomplishment! I REALLY hope he didn’t say that in front of her. I might have had to get up and b*tch slap him. Just MHO, but I’d look for another endo. Is he a peds endo?

Please send my congratulations to her - what a lot of hard work she did to lose that weight, yahoooo!!!

I’m probably the first in line to say how idiotic doctors can be, but there are some things about this post that don’t make sense, imho. The OP says her daughter is “a little overweight” (though she just lost 37 pounds). What is “a little overweight”. I don’t know the exact criteria for gastric bypass but I thought it was morbidly obese. She says the endo wants her daughter to be “pencil thin”, implying she is already only a little above normal. This just doesn’t compute. Perhaps the OP can post more details. I feel we are only hearing part of the story.

Gastric bypass can ‘cure’ diabetes within hours/days of the surgery and yet the surgery does have its risks. It’s not recommended lightly; particularly for still-growing adolescents. (A thought–a 14 year old girl is still building bone mass for the rest of her life; wouldn’t the ‘forced malnutrition’ of a GB surgery endanger her adult health? Again, only recommended in adolescents with life-threatening weight problem.)

Losing almost 40 lbs in 4 mos. is a very fast, almost “Biggest Loser” rate of loss, which can set the girl up for an eating disorder, if she doesn’t already have one. (My descent into an eating disorder and resulting 60 lb. weight loss in 3 mos. was what kicked my metabolism over from pre-diabetes to active Type II, though I wasn’t diagnosed for another 15 years…and I am still battling the eating disorder. Fast weight loss makes one feel euphoric but with every high there is a corresponding low…I think the endo is seeing this girl’s future–or lack thereof–if she DOESN’T get the weight problem solved quickly.)

Zoe, I’m with you. I don’t think we’re getting the whole story here and iMYho, the mother may be emotionally invested in her daughter’s weight in an unheaIthy way.

Gastric bypass is not a ‘cosmetic’ surgery. It is a bariatric surgery; used to save the lives of the morbidly obese. Vast difference.

Also, see if you can find the Oprah show about it online. It explained how there were addictive tendencies the surgery didn’t cure and interviewed several women who replaced a taste for food with a taste for drinking and/ or sex. The one lady amazed me when Oprah said “well, what do you mean by drinking a lot, how much did you drink?” and the lady answered “like 30 beers a night…” as apparently the GBP causes some sort of short circuit in alcohol processing that processes it very nicely but very quickly, sort of like beer crack is how I interpreted it.

Yep! I agree with Linda and acidrock. Food and weight issues are complex and diabetes only adds to this complexity. There is a reason why many types of weight loss, up to and including surgery can be successful, but then the weight is regained. Those weight loss methods are a “quick fix” that don’t address the underlying issues. Even when it doesn’t meet the diagnostic criteria for an Eating Disorder, food issues are complex for everyone - think about how much of a role food plays in our lives, and the emotional symbolism it had in our childhoods. And for many it is both problematic and multi-layered, caling for a solution that is equally multi-facted. I think weight loss programs have gotten better at addressing emotional eating issues, and I do believe there is a fair amount of counseling required for gastric surgery, but unfortunately the goal is still often lose as much weight as possible as quickly as possible, rather than examining and altering one’s relationship with food, and considering body image issues which are created by both our families and our cultures.

For some really intelligent discussion of food issues, Google Geneen Roth…she has the most in-depth take on disordered eating I’ve ever found.

For diabetics, having an eating disorder is a double whammy–you have to eat well in order to live at all, much less live well. Talk about underlying pressure!

I already had a problem with food; being diagnosed with diabetes has alternately forced me to be mindful of eating less and of eating more…and walking that knife edge of nutrition vs. portion control can be crazy-making when you tend to eat in response to emotions. Rather like driving a car with a diesel engine and being forced to fill 'er up with methanol–you know you will probably get down the road some distance but there’s no telling how far, and however far you do manage to go, it’s going to be a lot more ‘adventurous’ and ‘interesting’ trip than it has to be.

Yes, I’m familiar with Geneen Roth and agree she is great. I actually had 12 years recovery from my own eating disorder (and had worked with many other people with EDs) when I got diagnosed with diabetes and was very grateful for that! Many of the things I’d learned through my own ED recovery I had to pretty much do the opposite for my diabetes! But I’ve been able to come to terms with both. Now I am working on becoming more flexible. (I’ll always be working on that!)

Why in the world would an endo recommend gastric bypass surgery for a 14 year-old who is T1 and losing weight? Sorry, but that makes absolutely no sense. If I have the facts correct here (T1, 14, has already lost a significant amount of weight through exercise and carb counting, etc), then you need to find your daughter a new endo. Now.

Unfortunately, many young women with T1 end up with some kind of disordered eating, and I think you’re right that this is setting your daughter up for an eating disorder if you don’t intervene. Your daughter doesn’t need to be thin; she needs to be healthy. For her, that may mean always being slightly “overweight.”

It is easy to slide down the path of diabulemia, anorexia, bulemia, or just bad habits. Many of us T1s struggle with food issues.