How Bariatric Surgery Can Improve Overall Health
Bariatric surgery is about more than just weight loss. Find out how the procedure can improve your overall health.
If you asked 10 different people preparing for bariatric surgery why they chose to undergo the procedure, you’d come up with a wide variety of answers. Some people want to slim down for aesthetic reasons while others want to have surgery so they can reduce their risk of weight-related health conditions like type 2 diabetes.
Let’s explore the various ways bariatric surgery can help you improve your overall health, not just help you lose weight.
How Weight Loss Fosters a Healthy LifestyleMany serious health complications are comorbid with obesity, meaning someone with obesity may have one or more other medical conditions caused by or related to it. The good news is that comorbid conditions are highly likely to disappear once the primary condition is resolved.
Losing weight via weight loss surgery can improve your overall health by:
- – Boosting cardiovascular health — High cholesterol and high blood pressure are two of the most common causes of heart disease. Numerous studies have shown that bariatric surgery normalizes and stabilizes these factors, which reduces your risk of developing heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions.
- – Eliminating sleep apnea — Sleep apnea can occur when you have too much weight pressing down on your airway and crowding your tongue, which makes it difficult to breathe. This disrupts your sleep and increases your risk of heart failure, stroke, and high blood pressure. Weight loss surgery helps you lose weight in your midsection and put less stress on your respiratory area. In turn, you can breathe easier and get a better night’s sleep.
- – Contributing to long-term remission of type 2 diabetes — Almost 25 percent of people with severe obesity also have type 2 diabetes, but bariatric surgery can help. To start, losing weight can lower your blood sugar to a healthy range. According to a University of Pittsburgh study, 65 percent of gastric bypass patients were able to stop taking diabetes medication and 40 percent went into complete or partial remission.
- – Lowering your risk of developing certain cancers — The American Cancer Society estimates that obesity is at least partially responsible for eight percent of all cancer diagnoses and seven percent of all cancer deaths. Losing weight reduces your risk of developing skin cancer, colon cancer, and more.
- – Reducing joint pain — Did you know that every pound of excess weight you carry is equal to four pounds of extra pressure on your knees? Weight loss surgery relieves joint pain so you can increase your flexibility and mobility. Broadening your range of motion is key to getting the most out of an exercise routine (and sticking to it), boosting your metabolism, and crushing your weight loss goals.
Surgery’s Unique Benefits for Women
The aforementioned health benefits can be enjoyed by all, but bariatric surgery also offers unique benefits for women. Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer found in women andone in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer within their lifetime. Luckily, a recent Annals of Surgery study found that women who had weight loss surgery reduced their risk of developing breast cancer by 37 percent.
If you’re trying to getpregnant, weight loss surgery can help you get healthy and improve your fertility. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, obesity causes fertility problems in six percent of women who never had issues conceiving before. Obese women take longer to get pregnant and have a higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes like preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and toxemia. Weight loss surgery can help you achieve a healthy weight and remedy any other weight-related issues before you conceive, increasing your chances of a smooth pregnancy and healthy delivery.