Office worker tells how gastric surgery at 21 stone 'cured her diabetes'

Tag:Alison Law Weight Loss Surgery

Tag: Alison Law Weight Loss Surgery

ALISON Rennie was told she faced a five year wait for surgery on the NHS and decided to opt for private care in a desperate bid to lose weight.

Alison Law Weight Loss Surgery
Alison Rennie feels like a new woman

WHEN Alison Rennie decided to have drastic weight-loss surgery , she expected the results would take months to see.

But the 31-year-old has told how a gastric sleeve operation cured her Type 2 diabetes overnight.

The call centre worker was desperate to shed the pounds. After piling on weight through two decades of unhealthy eating , she was unhealthy and miserable .

She had stopped socialising with friends and was hiding behind an ever-expanding waistline.

Finally, after failing time and again with a variety of diets, she decided to opt for an operation which would remove part of her stomach.

Alison Law Weight Loss Surgery
A before photograph of Alison

But she was told she faced a potential five-year wait in the NHS for surgery .

Alison said: “It all came to a head and I’d had enough. I had spoken with my GP and decided that weight loss surgery was what I wanted.

“I had diabetes, I had polycystic ovaries (PCOS) which is affected by insulin and made weight loss even more difficult and I had lots of other problems that had been caused by my weight.

“I wanted a permanent solution. I told myself that was how my life was going to be and I didn’t want to have an option to reverse it. In the end, I had to have the op done privately.”

Her parents Moira and Craig agreed to lend her the £10,000 to have the surgery she so desperately wanted.

Overnight, she was able to stop taking daily medication and has dropped from more than 21 stone to 16-and-a-half in just three-and-a-half months.

Alison Law Weight Loss Surgery
Before pics of slimmer Alison Rennie before she had a gastric band fitted

Alison has revealed her personal struggle with weight loss as experts call for the NHS to double the number of weight loss operations.

There are only about 200 carried out every year at four centres around the country.

But two thirds of Scots are either overweight or obese.

Professor Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at Glasgow University, says the number of operations must rise to more than one a day to tackle the country’s obesity epidemic.

Alison had tried for years to lose weight through conventional diets and weight loss clubs. But the results were only ever short-term.

And as her weight crept up, her confidence continued to fall.

She said: “When I was young, I was slim. But I suffered badly from migraines and I was put on a steroid-based medication. Although it helped with the migraines, part of the side-effects was weight gain.

“I was put on the medication on three occasions and each time I put on weight. After that, I just stopped paying attention and my diet became unhealthy.”

By the time she was in her early teens, Alison was already a size 14.

Her weight gain made her self-conscious and she started to comfort eat, eventually leaving school as a size 18. She said: “I don’t know what weight I was. As anyone will tell you, if you are overweight, you don’t really want to know what weight you are.

Alison Law Weight Loss Surgery
Alison with her portion control plate for meals

“I would get upset so I would comfort eat and it just became a vicious cycle. No one was allowed to mention my weight or I became really upset.

“But I am not putting the blame on anyone else. It was my decision to eat the wrong things.”

Alison was diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes five years ago. She also suffered from hyperhidrosis, a condition that causes excessive sweating.

All of her problems were linked to her weight. And her PCOS made weight loss even more difficult.

She said: “I was taking eight tablets a day and injecting myself with a non-insulin medication to control my diabetes.”

Finally, last summer, Alison took matters into her own hands, determined to battle back to health.

She consulted specialists at the Nuffield hospital in Glasgow about a gastric sleeve. She said: “I knew it was going to be a long journey. I have a friend who lost six stone through a weight loss class. But it wasn’t for me. I struggled and battled and that’s when I looked at surgery.

“I knew it was a major operation. But the important thing for me was getting my life back on track and being healthy.

“I knew about the side-effects of the surgery but I knew I wanted something that was permanent.”

In August, Alison had a gastric sleeve operation, where surgeons cut away part of the stomach, permanently reducing its size and drastically limiting calorie intake.

She had been eating up to 4000 calories a day and gorging on fast food, white bread and high-fat, carb-based snacks.

Now, not only did her daily diet shrink almost beyond recognition, her diabetes has been reversed.

She said: “I had expected results would take up to six months. But I haven’t taken any of my medication since the day before my operation. And I don’t intend on ever taking it again. My blood sugar readings are now that of a person who does not have diabetes.”

Alison Law Weight Loss Surgery
Alison's control plate

Instead of chips, fried rice and greasy burgers, Alison now snacks on high-protein foods.

And she uses a small plate as a guide for her main meal. One half is protein, one quarter is carbohydrate and one quarter is veg.

Alison said: “I aim for quite a lot of protein and, when I have carbs, I try to have something like brown rice. I aim for 1000 calories per day but I probably don’t even reach that.”

She added: “I’ve been on a shopping spree recently. And although I have a bit to go, it was brilliant to be able to walk into a regular shop and get clothes to fit.

“I haven’t had any issues since the surgery. It’s phenomenal and I can’t believe how quickly my life has been transformed. I’m young and I feel like I’ve got my life back. I'm proof to people there is hope.”

More On
  • Slimming
  • Obesity
  • Junk food
  • NHS Scotland

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