Your Chemical Romance

It’s no secret that many of us eat for emotional reasons, but did you know that research suggests that the brain circuit for eating overlaps with the brain circuit for interpersonal relationships? The neurobiology suggests that improving social relationships can actually help you lose weight. There may even be a few ways to trick the brain to achieve the same effect.

The neurotransmitter responsible for close, trusting relationships is oxytocin. Oxytocin is released by physical contact and supportive interactions with other people. Release of oxytocin increases feelings of trust and generosity. It also reduces feelings of stress and anxiety.

Amazingly, the act of eating actually releases oxytocin. In fact, eating releases oxytocin in dopamine rich brain areas, which helps explain why eating can be soothing and pleasurable. After all, part of the reason we’re drawn to emotional eating is that eating mimics the same feelings of comfort we get from close friends and family.

If you’re trying to lose weight, try boosting your oxytocin. Luckily, the best way to do that is to improve the quality and closeness of your relationships with family, friends, and significant others.

It seems like a simple suggestion, but unfortunately, problems with these relationships are often what triggers emotional eating in the first place. As a temporary measure — while you’re working on your relationships — here are a few ways to boost your oxytocin that don’t involve snacking:

  • Get a massage. Physical contact with another person is the surest way of boosting oxytocin. If you’re not in a relationship, it can be difficult to accomplish that. If you are in a relationship, then yes, your partner is a great source of oxytocin, but don’t rely on getting all your oxytocin from one person. Getting a massage releases large amounts of oxytocin, and will help you de-stress.
  • Say or do something nice for a friend. When other people trust and rely on you it boosts your oxytocin. Showing support for someone else helps that happen.
  • Pet a pet. Petting furry pets, whether it’s yours or someone else’s can help increase oxytocin. Part of it is their furry warmth, and part of it, particularly with dogs, is their trust in you. Being trusted helps increase oxytocin whether it’s a person or a dog.
  • Hug a friend. Ask a friend for a long hug, or ask them if they would like a hug. Hugs, particularly long ones, release oxytocin. In fact frequent hugging not only increases oxytocin, it also decreases blood pressure.
  • Have a conversation (in person or on the phone). The human voice can release oxytocin in ways that the written (or texted word) doesn’t.
  • Have a warm cup of tea while wrapped in a blanket. Physical warmth helps promote feelings of trust and generosity.

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are looking for ways to treat your obesity and the diseases that often accompany it, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda. He and his expert team can help you find the best treatment for your unique situation.

Happy group of diverse people, friends, family, team together

Bariatric Surgery as a Last Resort for Teens and Children

SurgeryasaLastResortforTeensandChildrenThe epidemic of childhood obesity has brought an increase in obesity-related diseases including type 2 diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Of course, weight reduction through lifestyle change and diet is the best treatment for these conditions, but the long-term results are often disappointing. According to the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, bariatric surgery — as a last resort when conservative interventions have failed — can improve liver disease and other obesity-related health problems in severely obese children and adolescents.

Although studies are limited, recent evidence suggests that in carefully selected patients an early intervention by bariatric surgery can strongly reduce the risk of adulthood obesity and obesity-related diseases, including NAFLD. Because of limited research data and the known risks of the procedure, the appropriate use of bariatric surgery in pediatric patients remains unclear.

Some believe that bariatric surgery should be limited to two groups of pediatric patients: those with body mass of 35 or higher (severe obesity), with severe NAFLD or other obesity-related medical conditions; and those with body mass index 40 or higher (morbid obesity), and mild medical conditions.

Several additional factors must be taken into account when considering bariatric surgery, including the patient’s physical and psychological maturity, desire to undergo the procedure, previous attempts at weight loss, and ability to comply with follow-up medical care. Also, which type of bariatric surgery should be performed? In adult patients, gastric bypass procedures (especially Roux-en-Y) are the most commonly used. However, concerns over the complex nutritional deficiencies occurring after these surgical procedures have limited their use in children and adolescents.

Temporary devices like the intragastric balloon are appealing for use in younger patients, as the effects are fully reversible. However, the data is limited on the use of these procedures in adolescents. The same is true for alternative procedures such as laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy. All of these approaches should be considered investigational in pediatric patients.

Read more online at:

Morbid Obesity: Causes and Treatments

Morbid Obesity: Causes and TreatmentsObesity, a condition in which you have a high body mass index (BMI), is one of the main health problems in the United States.

Some causes of obesity include:

  • low resting metabolic rate
  • environmental factors
  • family behavior patterns
  • poorly developed satiety response
  • reactive eating due to stress or anxiety

Morbid obesity is characterized by an increased number of fat cells and a degree of irreversibility. Overeating increases the size of fat cells; however, once they achieve their maximal size, cell reproduction is sparked and massive, irreversible obesity may result.

Knowing your BMI is a good starting point in addressing your weight. If you find you are in an unhealthy range, you should talk with your doctor to address this issue.

Morbid obesity is a complex issue and has many causes. It is a serious disease that needs to be prevented and treated. Each treatment differs from person to person. Your physician can best diagnose your weight issue and give you options according to your health and lifestyle.

Modifying those behaviors that may have contributed to developing obesity is one way to treat the disease. A few suggested behavior modifiers include:

  • Changing eating habits
  • Increasing physical activity
  • Becoming educated about the body and how to nourish it appropriately
  • Engaging in a support group or extracurricular activity
  • Setting realistic weight management goals

Surgical treatment of morbid obesity is the only therapeutic form that has stood the test of time, but bariatric surgery should be reserved as a last resort. There are various surgical options to choose from when considering bariatric surgery. In order to qualify for surgery, individuals must have a BMI of 40 or greater, or a BMI more than 35 and an existing weight-related co-severity, such as diabetes or hypertension.

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Tsuda to help decide if surgery is right for you. Read more online at:

Weight-loss Surgery: Is It Right for You?


Weight-loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, makes surgical changes to your stomach and digestive system. These changes work to limit how much food you can eat and how many nutrients you absorb, which leads to weight loss. Weight-loss surgery can help reduce your risk of weight-related health problems too — such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, and sleep apnea.

Breakthroughs in bariatric surgery have improved the lives of many, but it isn’t for everyone. Like any major surgical procedure, there are significant health risks, and there may be side effects. In addition, the long-term success of gastric bypass surgery is dependent on your ability to make permanent changes in your lifestyle. How do you decide if it’s right for you?

In many cases, you must meet certain medical guidelines and go through a thorough screening process to see if you qualify. Here are some general guidelines to see if weight-loss surgery might be an option you should consider:

  • If efforts to lose weight through diet and exercise have been unsuccessful
  • If your body mass index (BMI) falls into the extreme obesity category (40 or higher)
  • If your BMI falls into the obese category (35 to 39.9), and you have a serious weight-related health problem such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, severe arthritis, or obstructive sleep apnea
  • In some cases, you may qualify for certain types of weight-loss surgery if your BMI is 30 to 34 and you have serious weight-related health problems.

Bariatric surgery is lifesaving for some people, taking off pounds that have hurt their health, but it’s not right for everyone who has a lot of weight to lose.  If you’re thinking about it, talk with Dr. Tsuda about the benefits and risks, and whether it’s a good idea for you.