ItHome Hypertension Those who lose weight through bariatric surgery gain numerous health benefits

Those who lose weight through bariatric surgery gain numerous health benefits

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Those who lose weight through bariatric surgery gain numerous health benefits

With studies confirming that some two-thirds of the U.S. population classifies as overweight and/or obese — possessing a body mass index, or BMI, of 25 or greater — the negative impact of this excess body weight on Americans’ health has been well-documented.

“There are over 200 medical conditions/diseases linked to and/or exacerbated by excess body fat in the human body and it represents the fundamental basis of multiple physical and emotional problems — from heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes to sleep apnea, kidney disorders, infertility, orthopedic/joint problems, poor self-esteem, and many more,” shared Vivek Bansal, MD, endocrinologist, MD, FACE at the Hunterdon Healthcare Center for Healthy Weight in Clinton.  “However, evidence has shown that losing even 7% to 10% of your body weight can help improve many of these conditions by 50% or more, either by medical weight loss strategies and/or bariatric surgery, both of which offer safe and effective ways to achieve that goal.”

A Range of Benefits

Vivek Bansal, MD, endocrinologist, MD, FACE at the Hunterdon Healthcare Center for Healthy Weight in Clinton.

Following, Dr. Bansal and other experts from the Center for Healthy Weight discuss the impact that weight loss can have on a range of health conditions as well as some of the many benefits individuals gain when they lose their excess weight through medical weight loss strategies or bariatric surgery:

Hypertension – “Excess weight strains the heart muscle and increases one’s risk of heart attack and stroke,” Dr. Bansal said.  “However, almost half of individuals with hypertension could reduce their systolic blood pressure by 10 to 15 points and get off of their blood pressure medicine just by losing 7% to 10% of their body weight.”

Diabetes – “Diabetes, pre-diabetes, and insulin resistance are all on the same spectrum and are primarily driven by changes in lifestyle – e.g., how active we are and how we process food,” Dr. Bansal said.  “Studies show that reducing your weight by 10% or more gives you an over 50% chance of putting your diabetes or pre-diabetes in remission and/or reducing your need for medications in future.”

Sleep Apnea – “Obstructive sleep apnea increases one’s risk of heart attacks, hypertension, and strokes,” Dr. Bansal confirmed.  “However, losing 20% of your body weight can not only help you breathe better, sleep better, and wake up with more energy, but it gives you a 50% chance of resolving your sleep apnea and getting rid of assistive devices like CPAP machines.”

Naveen Ballem, MD, director of bariatric surgery at Hunterdon Medical Center in Flemington and a surgeon at the Hunterdon Healthcare Center for Healthy Weight in Clinton.

Orthopedic Problems – “Losing extra pounds takes significant strain off joints, reduces back pain, enhances the longevity of a joint replacement, and might avoid the need for a knee or hip replacement altogether,” said Dr. Bansal, who noted that nearly one in four individuals who seeks a total hip or knee replacement has to undergo weight loss for successful long-term success.  “For those with osteoarthritis of weight-bearing joints, a 15% to 20% weight loss can deliver 30% to 50% improvement in mobility and functionality of joints.”

Fertility/Pregnancy Issues – According to Dr. Bansal, “science shows that losing 10% to 20% of body weight enhances a woman’s ability to conceive, maintain the pregnancy, and have a safe delivery and decreases the risk of conditions such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and subsequent maternal and fetal complications.”

Energy Level – “People find that they have so much more energy after medical weight loss or bariatric surgery and are then able to make better food, activity, and lifestyle choices and maintain their weight loss,” Dr. Bansal said.

Mental/Emotional Health – According to Barbara Jo (“BJ”) Jacobson, RN, program coordinator/office manager/lead nurse at the Center for Healthy Weight, the emotional boost driven by weight loss can be transformative.  “Following bariatric surgery, our patients become different people – they’re so much more confident, experience greater self-esteem, make eye contact, and want to participate in or be the center of conversations and activities,” she said.  “Weight loss positively impacts every aspect of their life – from their relationships with partners, friends, and family members to those with neighbors, colleagues, and community members.  At the Center for Healthy Weight, we address the emotional aspects of weight loss by having dedicated psychologists on our team, offering peer counseling, and running monthly in-person and/or virtual support groups where patients decide on the topics to be covered.”

A Happier and Healthier Path

BJ Jacobson, RN, program coordinator, office manager/lead nurse at the Hunterdon Healthcare Center for Healthy Weight in Clinton.

“Obesity can negatively impact every part of an individual’s life and health, but losing weight through medical weight loss strategies or bariatric surgery will reduce that risk and significantly improve one’s length and quality of life,” said Naveen Ballem, MD, director of bariatric surgery at Hunterdon Medical Center in Flemington, and a surgeon at the Center for Healthy Weight.  “We see incredible transformations every day and I’m not sure that there’s another surgery that’s as impactful on so many different fronts.”

“The Center for Healthy Weight provides comprehensive surgical and non-surgical options for patients interested in losing weight and individuals dealing with obesity could enjoy so many benefits by utilizing our weight loss services,” said Dr. Bansal of the Center’s proactive three- to six-month program. “We have nurses, surgeons, dietitians, psychologists, and other experienced specialists ready to help patients through their journey and provide the help they need; people just need to understand the importance of getting started.”

“Obesity is considered a disease, but the good news is that it’s a largely reversible condition,” Dr. Bansal said.  “We encourage people to take control of their weight today by reaching out to our center so that we can help put them on a path toward a happier, healthier, and more prosperous life.”

The Hunterdon Healthcare Center for Healthy Weight is located at 1738 Route 31 North, Suite 214 in Clinton.  For more information, call 908-735-3912 or visit www.hunterdonhealthcare.org/service/weight-management/center-for-healthy-weight/.



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