New Diet Pill Expands Into a ‘Balloon’ in Your Stomach

What is this ‘magic pill’ that people are traveling to Mexico to buy? It’s called Obalon and it supposedly helps to suppress your appetite and lose weight.

ABC News covered the weight loss pill with the above investigation (watch the video), and talked to two women getting ready to buy and take the pill. Correspondent Mariana Van Zeller met and accompanied two Los Angeles women on their journey to get Obalon.

Kimmy G, a successful former plus sized model, was interested in getting back to a healthier weight by losing at least 60 pounds. Dr. Daisy Martin wanted to lose about 30 pounds which she’s held onto from getting older and having children. The capsule is not available in the States, so they drove to Tijuana, just south of the U.S. border.

Obalon Diet Pill Facts:

  • Obalon is a nonsurgical gastric balloon.
  • The pill is attached to a catheter. After you swallow the pill, a doctor inflates the balloon with nitrogen gas.
  • Obalon inflates quickly into a small balloon. Patients report feeling full very quickly.
  • The balloon is about the size of an apple.
  • Two more balloons can be added during the 12-week period.
  • The Obalon procedure done in Mexico costs about $4,000.
  • It is not FDA-approved and is not currently available in the United States.
  • Obalon is approved in the E.U. and is available for sale all over Europe.
  • Unlike gastic bypass, the pill is not just for the morbidly obese.
  • Some doctors, like Dr. Ariel Ortiz, who lives in San Diego but practices in Tijuana, report that their patients lose 30 pounds in 12 weeks.
  • Side Effects include: stomach pressure, cramps, possible nausea and vomiting during the first few days.

Obalon Diet Pill Guidelines:

  1. Patients cannot eat solid food for the first three days.
  2. For 12 weeks, patients must commit to working out 90 minutes per day.
  3. Once you are able to eat solids, you are not able to eat more than one small plate of food per day.
  4. The balloon should be removed after three months.

The capsule is so new that many doctors don’t yet have an opinion or enough information to comment on it. But Dr. David Katz, an obesity specialist from Yale University, did comment that he wanted to know more. He said he was interested to see what happened after the balloon was removed from the stomach.

Watch the above video for some video diaries from Kimmy and Daisy. After 30 days, Daisy had already lost 10 pounds, and Kimmy had lost 22 pounds. They still have two more months of living and eating small with the balloon.

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