Many people turn to bariatric surgery as a last resort of weight loss to improve health and quality of life. Since, past attempts at losing weight have been unsuccessful or not successful long term, bariatric surgery has become more of an accepted form of weight loss.
Bariatric surgery is performed in overweight and obese adults to promote rapid weight loss. It is a tool that, combined with a healthy diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices, allows people to achieve long-term weight loss success. There are several positive outcomes of weight loss surgery, including an improvement in many overweight and obesity-related conditions. However can bariatric surgery procedures, such as gastric bypass and gastric sleeve, improve your heart health?
First, let’s see how obesity affects overall health and the heart in particular.
What’s the Connection Between Weight and Health?
To state that there is a strong connection between one’s weight and their overall health is an understatement. In many cases, it can be a direct link.
Obesity is a condition in which the body retains too much fat. An estimated 97 million adults in the United States are overweight (body mass index or BMI 25-29.9) or obese (BMI 30 or above).
Obesity can be associated with several medical diagnosis, including diabetes, hypertension, respiratory disorders, heart disease, gallbladder disease, kidney disease, liver disease, sleep apnea, cancer, and bone and joint complications.
Facing these prognosis can be alarming, and one significant reason why people turn to major surgery to help find a solution for health and weight concerns.
The good news is that no matter what you weigh, even a modest weight loss of 5-10 percent of your body weight can result in health benefits and decrease the risk of chronic diseases related to obesity.
How Does Obesity Affect the Heart?
What does it actually mean to have heart disease or a heart condition?
Heart disease is a label, used to describe a number of complications that affect the heart muscle. Retaining excess weight can make it difficult for the heart to perform biological functions like; negatively affecting the heart’s ability to pump blood to the body, as well as receive blood to the heart. It can also place undue stress on the heart, causing strain.
Furthermore, and distressing heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for many heart conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attack, abnormal heart rhythm, angina and heart failure. Increased body fat directly contributes to heart disease by causing atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in the arteries) and enlargement of the heart chambers.
Obesity indirectly contributes to heart disease by causing sleep apnea (starting and stopping of breathing during sleep) and thromboembolic disease (clot formation in the bloodstream). Additionally, obesity can worsen or cause many conditions that are risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol and diabetes.
With these threatening symptoms looming, it is important that patients take the proper steps to reduce weight and improve health conditions.
What Does Bariatric Surgery Achieve?
Bariatrics Surgery Explained
Bariatric surgery such as; Gastric Bypass or Gastric Sleeve, works by changing the anatomy of the stomach and digestive system. The surgeries help to reduce the amount of food and liquids that the stomach can hold, by removing a portion of the stomach or bypassing a large portion of the stomach. Bariatric surgery is the strongest “tool” for weight loss. It is designed as a drastic change in one’s ability to eat large portions of food and fall victim to further weight gain.
Moreover the surgery impacts hormones, reducing hunger and appetite and also increases the feelings of satiety. Resulting in decreased portions sizes of meals and less frequent eating. This then can catapult weight loss at a more accelerated pace.
To aim for long term weight loss success, it is important to combine with favorable nutrition, regular exercise and reshaping behaviors.
Bariatric Surgery Benefits
Successful weight loss surgery can improve a person’s health and quality of life with better control over blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels with a reduced need for medications.
Does Weight Loss Surgery Lower the Risk of Heart Disease?
Researchers have compared patients who have had weight loss surgery to patients with similar medical status who did not undergo bariatric procedures. The results indicate that procedures such as gastric bypass and gastric sleeve can reduce the risk of obesity-related complications such as coronary artery events (heart attack), heart failure, and atrial fibrillation (heart rhythm abnormalities).1https://www.endocrineweb.com/news/diabetes/62395-weight-loss-surgery-one-way-improve-heart-health-well-diabetes Studies show that weight loss surgery can:
- Reduce the chances of getting coronary heart disease in the next 10 years by 40 percent.2https://asmbs.org/articles/weight-loss-surgery-reduces-risk-of-coronary-heart-disease-by-40-percent
- Lower total cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol), and triglycerides, and increase HDL (good cholesterol) by 40 to 55 percent.3https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/news/20120621/bariatric-surgery-cuts-heart-attack-risk-for-years#2
- Reduce C-reactive protein by 80 percent (this is an inflammatory marker that increases the risk of heart attacks).4https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/news/20120621/bariatric-surgery-cuts-heart-attack-risk-for-years#2
- Cut the risk of heart failure by almost half.5https://newsarchive.heart.org/bariatric-surgery-shrinks-heart-failure-risk-in-severely-obese/
- Reduce the risk of death from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer by 40 percent along with an associated reduction in long-term healthcare costs.6https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.721027
There is a direct relationship between excess weight and heart health as well as several other serious health conditions.
Heart disease is responsible for 1 in every 4 deaths and takes the lives of 630,000 Americans every year.
“Heart failure is on the rise, affecting more than 6 million U.S. adults as of 2014. By 2030, that number is expected to surpass 8 million. It’s also a drain on quality of life, causing symptoms such as shortness of breath and fatigue.”
By taking definitive actions to control obesity through weight loss surgery, patients can lower their risk of heart disease and take control of their overall health.
- Health Risks of Being Overweight. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/health-risks-overweight
- Weight Loss Surgery and the Prevention of Heart Failure. https://www.verywellhealth.com/can-weight-loss-surgery-prevent-heart-failure-4119920
- Obesity and Heart Dieases. https://www.obesityaction.org/community/article-library/obesity-and-heart-disease/
- Effects of Bariatric Surgery on Cardiovascular Disease: A Concise Update of Recent Advances