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Conditions Associated
with Obesity

Being overweight or obese can cause a range of different long-term health complications. Excess weight puts strain on your body and often creates issues with blood sugar, circulatory health, and joint pain. Some conditions are almost exclusively associated with obesity.

Select a condition to view details

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs in patients who have a high body mass index. This disease is progressive and must be controlled through diet and exercise for the patient to remain healthy.

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by low insulin secretion and poor insulin absorption into your cells.

When you have too much sugar in your blood, likely as a result of a poor diet and excess body fat, your pancreas is supposed to secrete insulin. Insulin is responsible for helping your body to use glucose as a source of fuel. When you are overweight or obese, you may develop problems with your body’s production and use of insulin.

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These symptoms can be dangerous or even fatal for type 2 diabetes patients. That is why it is so important to pursue weight loss. Weight loss surgery can help.

Over 34 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes. Almost 95% of these patients have type 2 diabetes. This is a problem of epidemic proportions, with 1 in 10 Americans being diabetic.

Type 2 diabetes can be managed through diet, exercise, weight loss, and in some cases, insulin medication.

Around 70% of type 2 diabetic patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery have entered remission for their condition. This means that symptoms are no longer present and the risk of health complications is significantly lower.

Weight loss surgery is incredibly effective at mitigating the health risks and permanent complications of type 2 diabetes. Remission is not a cure, but it is the closest thing modern medicine can offer for type 2 diabetes. Going into remission means that you no longer have to suffer from uncomfortable side effects and health risks as a result of your type 2 diabetes.

Gastric bypass surgery is one of the best options for treating obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Other weight loss surgeries are also extremely effective in treating this disease.

Arthritis

The word “arthritis” refers to a group of diseases that involve swelling and stiffness of the joints. When people talk about arthritis, they are most commonly referring to osteoarthritis, which affects approximately 27 million Americans.

When someone has osteoarthritis, the cartilage that covers the ends of their bones wears down. This cartilage is important because it provides a cushion, preventing friction when our joints move. When the cushion wears down, the movement in our joints causes pain and swelling. After years of bones rubbing together without the appropriate level of cushion, pieces of bone may chip off, or bone spurs can grow. Obese and morbidly obese people are four to five times more likely to develop osteoarthritis. Obesity can also cause arthritis to become worse over time as the joints must bear more weight. Osteoarthritis often gets worse with time, and can cause substantial physical limitations.

Arthritis is the single largest cause of disability in the country. It is responsible for more than a million hospitalizations a year, and can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life and ability to work.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is the common name for a dangerous sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea. People who have sleep apnea will stop breathing for periods of 10 seconds or more, multiple times throughout a night. Their breathing is stopped because the muscles in the back of the throat do not force the airway to stay open. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea.

People with obstructive sleep apnea tend to snore loudly, and are often tired during the day because the quality of their sleep is not sufficient. If sleep apnea continues unmanaged, it can lead to higher blood pressure, depression, stroke, and heart attacks.

While some people dismiss snoring at night as an annoyance, it can be the sign of sleep apnea. If snoring is caused by a collapse of the throat, especially in a person with obesity, this can lead to significant health risks. At West Medical, we treat many patients with sleep disorders and help them regain their energy and health through bariatric surgery and the subsequent weight loss.

High Blood Pressure

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is known as “the silent killer.” It can have serious health consequences, but does not have any noticeable symptoms. An estimated 80 million adults in the US have this disease, and it often affects people with obesity.

High blood pressure means that when the blood flows through your arteries, it exerts more pressure than normal. This extra pressure can stretch out the arteries.

Blood pressure is measured by two numbers. The higher number reflects the pressure when your heart beats. This is called systolic pressure. The lower number reflects the pressure when your heart is between beats. This is diastolic pressure. A healthy blood pressure is said to be anything at or below 120/80. When obese patients lose weight through weight loss surgery, one of the many health benefits can be a healthy improvement in blood pressure.

High Cholesterol

High cholesterol, or dyslipidemia, is dangerous because it has no symptoms, but is responsible for many deaths each year. Having high cholesterol makes you more likely to have heart disease – which is the leading cause of death in the United States. High cholesterol is another concerning health condition that is common among obese patients.

Cholesterol is a substance in your blood. Everyone has cholesterol, but too much can be dangerous. When cholesterol flows through your body, it can build up on the walls of your arteries and make them narrower. With a narrower passage to flow through, the blood may not spread as much oxygen as it needs to. This can lead to a heart attack. Every year, over a million Americans suffer from heart attacks. Losing weight through weight loss surgery is a highly effective method to managing and reducing high cholesterol.

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