Jenna lost 140 pounds without even trying
A Canadian woman experienced a 140 pound weight loss after having surgery to remove her taste buds. The extreme weight loss occurred over a span of just seven months.
Physicians have long pondered the idea, but it only became a realistic possibility in recent years with the novel use of medical lasers. In just the past few decades, the laser has revolutionized all manner of surgery from Lasik eye surgery to laser hair removal and now, taste bud removal.
For the first time in June of 2014, surgically-induced ageusia (loss of taste) was successfully achieved by a Canadian doctor. Amputation of all 10,000 taste buds disrupted the nerves that relay taste sensations to the brain leaving the patient with no sense of taste. Surprisingly, the procedure has shown to be a rapid and effective method of weight loss. The doctor was attempting to treat the woman’s addiction for other substances. However, before the surgery she also reported being addicted to sweets and starches in her patient survey. “Addition is the key here,” says Dr. Fister. “An overwhelming addictive craving for the taste of something can cause one to over-consume any substance. Whether it is cocaine or cupcakes, addiction is addiction.” Why not perform surgery on the brain instead?
“Part of the experience of taste is composed of the sensory information gathered by the taste buds (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and now, umami).” Said Dr Fister. The transfer of the information the taste buds receive to the brain is surprisingly complex and occurs along three separate cranial nerves. You would certainly lose your sense of taste if they were surgically severed…along with the ability to swallow, control your facial movements and other vital autonomic functions required to survive. There isn’t one specific area of the brain that processes taste information; it occurs all over the place… in the brainstem, thalamus, and cerebral cortex. So, destruction of taste-specific areas of the brain, if possible to do, would also likely result in disastrous side-effects. “ The Doctor cautions “Even with surgical removal of the taste buds, there is no guarantee that a patient will no longer enjoy food. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that some would enjoy a wider variety of it. A small percentage of the population, called nontasters, has an abnormally low number tastebuds. Because they are not as sensitive to flavors as other people, they are capable of ingesting almost anything, including foods that may be unpalatable to a ‘normal-budded’ person. Even in the absence of taste buds, taste can still be experienced while flavor is perceived largely through the sense of smell or olfaction.
For this reason, even without taste buds, one may still taste food to some degree, and the body’s physiological response to endorphin release could continue to occur.”
The 28-year-old woman, Jenna fully recovered from surgery within seven days and began showing weight loss in the first week, without even attempting to do so. “The weight just started dropping off of me. I was not hungry for the crap I usually gravitate towards”, Jenna reported after agreeing to do so anonymously to protect her privacy. Before her surgery, Jenna had tried everything from low-carb to low-cal. “I even tried the grapefruit diet, but the weight would not come off. I was exercising every day with no progress. It just left me hungry for cupcakes.”
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