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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.
WHAT IS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?
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 2 different 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 health blood pressure is said to be anything at or below 120/80.
HOW IS OBESITY RELATED TO HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?
Someone who is overweight or obese is at a greater risk for developing either prehypertension, or high blood pressure. Having extra fat in your body means the heart has to work harder to push the blood through the arteries. This is why weight and high blood pressure are often linked.
It is not only obesity that is linked to high blood pressure, but abdominal obesity specifically. This is the type of obesity where someone carries a lot of their extra weight around their mid-section. Some studies have shown abdominal obesity to be more linked with diseases like high blood pressure.
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HOW MAY LOSING WEIGHT HELP WITH HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?
Although high blood pressure can be treated with medication, losing weight can help substantially. According to the Obesity Action Coalition, “with weight-loss, a significant fall in blood pressure may permit a decrease in the number of medications taken or decrease the amount of medication taken… Weight-loss is the most important step in reducing hypertension and improving quality of life.”
In studies, bariatric surgery has been shown to eliminate high blood pressure in 30 – 50% of patients, and to improve high blood pressure in another 20 – 30% of patients. The best results are seen when patients have their bariatric surgery sooner rather than later. It is important to treat high blood pressure as quickly as possible.
If you have high blood pressure, losing weight can reverse or improve your condition. This gives you a better chance at avoiding the heart disease and early death that high blood pressure is linked to. For people with a substantial amount of weight to lose, bariatric surgery is considered the most safe and effective method. Please contact us here if you’d like to learn more about the surgical weight loss options we offer, or about how health conditions like hypertension can be helped with bariatric surgery. You can call us at to get more information.
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