Beyond Shedding Pounds: Weight Loss Surgery & the Bigger Picture
Local & Global
There’s no doubt that weight loss surgery (WLS) such as gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, or gastric balloon helps people lose weight. In fact, compared to other means of shedding pounds, these approaches are much, much more effective in accomplishing that task. Results are more likely to be permanent, and studies have shown a better effect on fatty deposits when compared to diet and exercise. 
These procedures don’t do the weight loss themselves, but, by restricting the amount of food that can be digested, they efficiently set up the condition for positive results. And, of course, it does feel great to succeed in something as difficult as achieving a target weight. That said, the effects of these procedures go beyond just weight loss; there are numerous other benefits, not only to individuals but to those around them. What are they? Here are three big ones:
Heart Health & the Scale
It’s important to note that excess weight—especially in the case of obesity—puts a great deal of strain on the heart and cardiovascular system. The list of problems that this helps avert is extensive, but most notably, WLS effectively reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, a blockage of arteries in the heart that can lead to heart attack.  In addition, post-surgery patients have a much lower risk of other circulation issues like stroke or peripheral artery disease. This occurs because cholesterol and blood pressure levels are normalized.
Not only can WLS be an actual lifesaver, it reduces the amount of care and resources required to manage disease that are comorbid with obesity. The impact of cardiovascular disease is astonishing: it’s projected that by 2035 this condition’s impact on the US economy will reach $4.4 trillion.  As it stands now, it’s already the number one preventative cause of death. On an individual scale, then, it pays off to avoid these sorts of problems.
A Help in the Fight Against Type 2 Diabetes
Tremendously damaging and devastating, type 2 diabetes is a condition characterized by an inability to properly digest sugars. What’s particularly galling about this disease is that there is no actual cure, only means by which it can be managed. That said, a growing body of research is finding that weight loss surgeries can make it go into remission. In one study, 62 percent of patients showed no signs of diabetes at all six years after surgery. 
As with the cardiac effects of obesity, WLS provides another way to forestall and even completely stop the ravages of type 2 diabetes. Given that this condition has been on the rise and is present in around 10 percent of the US population,  it’s certainly worth considering.
Administering Mental Health
As covered on this blog in the past, there’s a link between weight status and mental health. Obese individuals are more likely to feel left out, isolated, and anxious, all of which can contribute to depression.  Indeed this relationship can be cyclical as mental health problems themselves lead to problematic eating behaviors. And while WLS comes along with its own set of emotional and psychological struggles—most associated with the relatively rapid changes in lifestyle and physical shape—this set of procedures is largely beneficial for mental health. 
Especially if counseling occurs alongside the changes after the procedure as is recommended, most patients end up happier and healthier after WLS. Unburdened by their own doubts and internalized stigmas, they can be more present for their families, loved ones, friends, and coworkers. This is certainly a positive change, especially in a time period during which rates of depression are on the rise. 
Taking Care of Yourself, Taking Care of the World
There’s certainly some truth to the old wisdom that, in order to help others, you need to help yourself first. Ensuring that your own health is where it should be really is the first step in becoming a better friend, family member, or professional. Obviously, a gastric bypass surgery isn’t going to save the world, but what it will do is make you better able to be a force of positive change. It’s worth considering what it can do for you, your family, and the community.
If you’re struggling with weight loss the team at Evolve can help. The experts here employ the latest in surgical approaches to ensure positive outcomes for their patients. Learn more about what they do by calling 469-638-0209 today!
- Wu, Fu-Zong, Yi-Luan Huang, Carol C. Wu, Yen-Chi Wang, Hsiang-Ju Pan, Chin-Kun Huang, Lee-Ren Yeh, and Ming-Ting Wu. 2016. “Differential Effects Of Bariatric Surgery Versus Exercise On Excessive Visceral Fat Deposits”. Medicine95 (5): e2616. Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health). doi:10.1097/md.0000000000002616.
- “7 Bariatric Surgery Benefits Besides Helping You Lose Weight”. 2015. Health Essentials From Cleveland Clinic. Accessed December 20 2018. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/7-bariatric-surgery-benefits-besides-helping-you-lose-weight/.
- “Cardiovascular Disease Costs Will Exceed $1 Trillion By 2035: Nearly Half Of Americans Will Develop Pre-Existing Cardiovascular Disease Conditions, Analysis Shows”. 2018. Sciencedaily. Accessed December 20 2018. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170214162750.htm.
- “Weight Loss Surgery And Type 2 Diabetes”. 2018. Webmd. Accessed December 20 2018. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/type-2-diabetes-guide/weight-loss-surgery-and-type-2-diabetes#1.
- American Diabetes Association. 2018. “Statistics About Diabetes”. American Diabetes Association. Accessed December 20 2018. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/.
- “The Mental Health Struggles Of Weight Loss Surgery”. 2016. Psychology Today. Accessed December 20 2018. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-truth-about-exercise-addiction/201611/the-mental-health-struggles-weight-loss-surgery.
- Fox, M. “More Teens, Young Adults Get Depression Diagnoses, Insurance Co Finds”. 2018. NBC News. Accessed December 20 2018. https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/major-depression-rise-among-everyone-new-data-shows-n873146.