Lisa Marie Presley died from scar tissue from weight loss surgery. She died on January 12, 2023 at the very young age of 54, from intestinal obstruction caused by previous scar tissue from her gastric-bypass weight loss surgery that was supposed to prevent food from passing through her stomach. The original reports of her death listed the cause as cardiac arrest, and these autopsy findings have just recently been released.
Lisa Marie had plenty of warning that she was in trouble. Her belly was visibly swollen after the weight-loss surgery and she developed belly pain for several months before her death. She had further cosmetic surgery and received pain medicine that almost always slows intestinal movement and causes constipation. She was hospitalized for a serious infection. She complained of fever, nausea, and vomiting for months before she died.
She also must have had out-of-control diabetes because she had:
• high blood sugar
• high blood pressure
• a previous stroke
• yoyo weight changes
• damaged kidneys that caused her blood to become acidic
On the morning of her death, she complained of belly pain when her ex-husband, Danny Keough, took her children to school. He returned to find her unconscious. She was immediately taken to the local hospital’s emergency room where she developed serious irregular heartbeats and she was given a pacemaker to make her heart beat more regularly. She was admitted to intensive care unit, but a brain scan showed that her brain was already dead from lack of oxygen.
The death rate from gastric bypass is very low. The 10-year mortality rates after gastric bypass surgery is three percent and most of those deaths occur within the first 30 days after surgery.
An autopsy found significant oxycodone in her bloodstream. Codeine slows down the intestines to make most people severely constipated and can eventually paralyze the intestines. The autopsy also found quetiapine, norbuprenorphine and buprenorphine, all of which can paralyze the intestines to cause constipation and obstruction. She had also suffered from alcohol and illicit drug abuse, and smoked a pack of cigarettes a day.
Pain drugs can cause intestinal paralysis, and the majority of drug addicts suffer from constipation. When the intestine muscles stop contracting, food stays in the intestines where fluid is continuously absorbed. The intestinal contents gets so dry and hard that they can block the intestines. Then the intestines fill up with more food until they can burst. The human colon rarely contains more than one pound of stool, but her father, Elvis, had more than 30 pounds of stool in his intestines at the time of his autopsy.
This was my original report on Lisa Marie Presley’s death, from January 16, 2023:
Lisa Marie Presley was the only child of Elvis Presley, the most dominant singer of all time, and actress Priscilla Presley. Lisa Marie wrote and recorded three albums, including a gold certified album in 2003, and was eventually the sole heir of Elvis’s fabulous wealth and Graceland estate. However, her hard life, early sexual abuse, drug use, yoyo dieting and four marriages took their toll on her health and she died when her heart stopped beating at age 54.
Her Hard Life
Lisa Marie was born in 1968 to Elvis and Priscilla Presley in Memphis, Tennessee, nine months after her parents’ wedding. When she was four years old her parents divorced, so she spent most of her childhood bouncing between her mother in Los Angeles and her father at Graceland in Memphis. When she was nine, her father died and she inherited part of his enormous estate. Her mother started dating actor Michael Edwards, and Lisa Marie later said that he sexually abused her. She was difficult to control and started using drugs, so her mother sent her to a series of private schools. Lisa Marie described herself as “kind of a loner, a melancholy and strange child. I had a real self-destructive mode for a while, I never really fit into school. I didn’t really have any direction.”
In 2001, when she was 26, she helped to set up The Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation (EPCF) that provided homeless families with rent-free housing, child day care, career and financial counseling and family management guidance to help them attain financial independence. The EPCF also provided college scholarships.
Her first album was released when she was 35, and it became a gold best seller. Her second and third albums, released at ages 38 and 44, also sold well. In 1997, for the 20th anniversary of her father’s death, she released “Don’t Cry Daddy,” sung as a duet with Elvis using a track that he had recorded before his death.
• At age 20, she married musician Danny Keough and they had a daughter, Riley Keough, who became an actress and model, and a son, Benjamin Keough, who committed suicide at age 27.
• In 1994, at age 26, she divorced Danny Keough and 20 days later she married Michael Jackson. She first met Jackson when she was seven years old. When she was still married to Keough, she rushed to support Michael Jackson when he was accused of child molestation and was heavily addicted to drugs. She persuaded him to pay to settle the abuse claims out of court and get medical help to get off drugs. After two years of marriage to Jackson, she filed for divorce. For the next four years she and Jackson attempted to reconcile, but did not remarry. She told reporters that she was devastated when Jackson died in 2009, even though they had been divorced for 13 years.
• In 1998, at age 30, she was engaged to musician John Oszajca but cancelled the engagement after meeting Nicolas Cage at a party.
• She married Nicolas Cage in August 2002, but Cage filed for divorce four months later.
• When she was 37, Danny Keough was living in the guest house on her estate and she told reporters that they were planning to remarry. He had continued to be a bass guitar player in her band.
• At age 38, she married Michael Lockwood, her band’s guitarist, music producer, and director. Danny Keough was best man at the wedding. At age 40, she gave birth to twin girls, Harper Vivienne Ann Lockwood and Finley Aaron Love Lockwood. At age 48, she began proceedings to divorce him, and the divorce was finalized five years later.
Health Issues and Death from Cardiac Arrest
At age 54, she died when her heart stopped beating. Two days before her death, she had attended the 80th Golden Globe Awards with her mother. Cardiac arrest means an irregular heartbeat in which her heart stopped pumping blood through her body. Anything that damages the heart can interfere with the electrical beat that starts in the upper part of the heart and travels down the heart, causing it to contract from top to bottom. The same risk factors for a heart attack also can damage the heart muscle to cause irregular heartbeats.
Lisa Marie had repeatedly gained and lost weight, and she told reporters that she knew that being rich and famous does not guarantee a long life. She said her father “passed away at the age of 42, grossly overweight and dependent on prescription drugs,” and she did not want to follow the same path. At age 46, she had lost weight and weighed in at 118 pounds, the same as she did when she was a teenager. In her forties, she tried to follow an organic diet and cut down her portion sizes. A few years before her death, she ballooned up to about 250 pounds, and used a mobility scooter to get around. By the time of her public appearances in the weeks before her death, she had lost the excess weight.
Every time you lose weight, you lose both fat and muscle, but when you regain lost weight, you gain mostly fat, so with every rise or drop in weight, you are fatter than you were previously. Having excess fat in your liver causes high blood sugar levels, a condition that affects more than 50 percent of North Americans. When blood sugar levels rise, your pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin drives sugar from your bloodstream into your liver. When your blood sugar level drops too low, your liver releases sugar from its cells into the bloodstream. However, when you have a fatty liver, your liver cannot accept sugar from your bloodstream. Instead it releases sugar from its cells to raise blood sugar levels even higher. High blood sugar levels can cause dementia, heart attacks, arteriosclerosis, strokes and all of the other consequences of diabetes. Excess fat also causes osteoarthritis, which would explain why she needed a mobility scooter.
Lessons from Lisa Marie Presley’s Young Death
Repeatedly gaining and losing weight markedly increases risk for Type II diabetes and heart disease. It fills up your liver with fat, that prevents your body from responding to insulin and increases risk for heart attacks and premature death. I recommend following an anti-inflammatory diet and eliminating all of the known sources of inflammation that you can control with your lifestyle. You will be helping to protect yourself from heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and the many other debilitating diseases and conditions that are linked to inflammation.
Dr. Gabe Mirkin is a Villager. Learn more at www.drmirkin.com