A Balloon WITHIN A Pill Leads To Weight Loss


Vukman, 53, of Wilkins, Pa., was part of a nationwide medical trial to check the Obalon balloon system, which is designed to help people with a physical body mass index between 30 and 40 to lose excess weight. The clinical trial launched in 2015 at 15 sites around the country and included more 300 patients.

The participant swallows a pill that contains a balloon. Once in the stomach, the doctor inflates the balloon with a nitrogen-based gas, allowing it to take up space in the stomach, which makes patient feel fuller faster. Over time usually three balloons are positioned in the stomach. Combined with exercise and diet counseling, the system is meant to kick-start weight loss. Eid said at a press briefing Wednesday.

On average, participants lost about 7 percent of their total bodyweight. Those in the control group, who received a glucose tablet along with diet and exercise counselling, lost about 4 percent. Participants showed improved blood pressure and reduced their cholesterol levels also. At the Pittsburgh site, the 24 total participants lost an average of 25 pounds. Vukman, who received the tablet with the balloon, lost 50 pounds.

Vukman enrolled in the clinical trial about enough time she had began a fresh job as an IT administrator, and the stress of she was being caused by the adjustment to overeat, she said. Weighing in at 210 pounds, she experienced the first balloon devote her stomach in May 2015. Over another nine weeks, she acquired two more balloons devote. She do feel their presence after one indulgent meal though, when she got swept up in discussion and finished off her salad.

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That night, she said, “I felt like I ate a huge turkey dinner.” The experience made her realize the importance of part control. October Vukman has kept off most of the weight since the balloons were removed last. She still targets her diet plan and is aware of what foods she eats now, a day avoiding sugary drinks and maintaining a constant three meals. But, even though the balloon system is an excellent spot to start, it could be hard to change lifelong habits with six months just. A wholesome BMI is below 25, and those with a BMI above 30 are obese.

This places them at an elevated risk for coronary disease, diabetes and hypertension. Eid said the gas-filled balloon poses no significant problems but that there surely is a risk for nausea, vomiting or abdominal cramping. In rare circumstances, the balloon may lead to bowel blockage and require surgery. He said people could have the treatment as many times as they like if they continue to have a BMI above 30, whether for health or cosmetic reasons. The Obalon balloon system is not approved by the U.S. Drug and Food Administration, but Eid is convinced it will be next season.

It has been approved in several other countries, including Europe, but the company’s website has pop-ups proclaiming the merchandise is not intended for U.S. You can find similar balloons that the FDA approved in August 2015 that are filled with liquid rather than gas. Although Allegheny Health Network offers a fluid-filled option also, Eid said the gas-filled balloons lead to fewer gastrointestinal side effects.