It’s obvious that obesity has significant health risks. Not only are many daily activities more difficult for obese people, yet obesity itself raises the risk of contracting many deadly and preventable diseases. Most people know about the correlation between obesity and type 2 diabetes, but diabetes is not the only thing obese patients need to think about. Fortunately, bariatric surgery is an excellent choice not just to lose significant quantities of weight, but also to reduce the likelihood of contracting such disorders. Best of all, many bariatric surgery patients have noticed that their obese-related symptoms have gone into remission or have gone entirely, regardless of actual weight loss. So, what are these problems, why are they linked to obesity, and what can bariatric surgery do for patients who are struggling with obesity? Let’s find out.
Problems from Obesity
It is important to remember that obesity itself is a risk factor for health. While health cannot be decided by looking at weight on its own, an obese person would almost certainly be healthier if they were in a reasonable range of weights. In general, it’s better to be overweight than obese, and it’s better to have a healthy weight than to be overweight. This is not a philosophic position or opinion: it is a truth that is confirmed by medical research and has been proved over and over as more Americans die of preventable health-related causes.
Health Problems Caused by Obesity
- Joint pain: Heavier people, as they move, place more pressure on their joints. This strain causes joint pain due to cartilage in the lining of the joint. Joint pain may reach the point that the patient is entirely unable to walk, relying instead on mobility carts to get around.
- Difficulty breathing: Excess fat tissue can interact with the internal organs, making normal functions much harder. The lungs are no different. While the lungs are covered by a rib cage, they are not safe from the strain that visceral fat tissue puts on them.
- Sleep apnea: Obese people are more likely to develop sleep apnea due to fat collecting around their necks. This fat puts pressure on and can block, the airway during sleep.
Health Risks Associated with Obesity
- High blood pressure: There are several mechanisms by which obesity influences blood pressure levels, but the evidence is clear: obesity increases the risk of developing high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to severe heart events that can lead to death.
- Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is perhaps the most common comorbidity, and the explanation for this is clear. Type 2 diabetes is most commonly caused by cells that become more insulin resistant. Insulin is a compound that helps to control glucose, an essential part of organic chemical reactions. Blood glucose levels are regulated by insulin, and if the cells are immune to insulin, blood glucose levels are more difficult to control! Fat cells have been shown to impair insulin sensitivity, resulting in type 2 diabetes.
How Bariatric Surgery Helps
Bariatric surgeries like gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, gastric balloon surgery change the patient’s digestive system to do two things: reduce a patient’s proclivity to eat and prevent a patient’s ability to digest large amounts of food at a time. The effect is a dramatic loss of weight in the vast majority of patients. This dramatic weight loss, when achieved in a controlled setting under the care of a doctor, can have wonderful health benefits. Patients report being able to walk again see their sleep apnea vanish entirely and have been able to get rid of their blood pressure drugs! Also, patients who do not lose a significant amount of weight may find that their lower food intake helps to control their blood sugar levels.
If you want to learn more about bariatric surgery and how it can change your life, please give us a call and we’ll arrange a consultation for you!
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