Many of us try the latest fad diets to lose weight, only to put the pounds back on. What if you could freeze your food cravings away? Researchers are studying a way to do just that!
Melissa Donovan is a busy nurse and mother who has been yo-yo dieting for years.
“I have lost and gained the same ten pounds probably six times.” Donovan said.
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When the scale tipped over 200 she knew it was time for a change.
“I think the solution for long term weight loss may be simpler than you might think,” said Dr. David Prologo, an Interventional Radiologist at Emory University School of Medicine.
Prologo says the reason yo-yo dieting doesn’t work is most people start a diet and exercise program and then quit when their body resists.
"So they don’t reach this point where everything changes and everything gets easy,” he said.
That’s where cryoablation comes in, a procedure he’s performing at Emory University that works by temporarily freezing the hunger nerve.
“We use a cryoablation probe. We decrease the temperature to minus 40 degrees. Thereby decreasing the signal in the nerve,” Prologo explained.
He says by freezing the vagus nerve which carries hunger signals to the brain you decrease the desire to eat. The nerve regenerates within a year.
“But in this case we only need that eight to 12 month window to get people over the hump," Dr. Prologo said. "So far we have done the procedure on 20 patients, 99.5 percent of them report decreased appetite."
“It’s been a game changer,” said Jenni Cawood, who lost 15 pounds.
Cawood dropped two dress sizes after the procedure!
“I don’t have to eat the doughnut. I don’t have to eat chicken nuggets.” Cawood continued.
Donovan has shed 28 pounds so far and has to remind herself to eat.
“I don’t crave sweets, I don’t crave salt, I don’t crave food,” said Donovan.
Helping to get off the dieting roller coaster and live a healthier lifestyle.
Prologo says the ideal candidate is a person who doesn’t qualify for bariatric surgery and has a BMI between 30 and 40. He says with any surgery there’s a small risk of bleeding and infection. His hope is to make the procedure available by early 2019.