Obesity is a serious medical condition that causes many different health problems. The more your weight goes up, the harder it is to treat these problems. That means more doctor’s visits and more money spent.
Obesity also takes a huge on your health and self-esteem, and it can have negative effects on every part of your life.
Obesity surgery can help
There is no medicine that can treat obesity. People who have tried diet and exercise with no results often find that weight loss surgery works best for them.
The goal of obesity surgery is to lessen or get rid of the serious medical problems affecting your health. While weight loss is part of that goal, Dr. Dirk likes to focus on the bigger picture: better overall health and quality of life.
After weight loss surgery, you’ll finally be free to enjoy your life to the fullest. You’ll notice that you have more energy for work, relationships and hobbies. You’ll find it easy and fun to play with your children and join in on family activities. You’ll even enjoy greater intimacy and romance with your partner.
Health conditions caused by obesity
There are many health conditions that can come with obesity. Weight loss surgery often improves or even cures these conditions.
Type 2 diabetes is a serious medical condition. Doctors know that obesity the most common cause of diabetes in adults. If diabetes is not treated with good sugar control, it can lead to:
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Kidney failure
- Amputations of toes, feet and legs
Weight loss surgery can improve type 2 diabetes symptoms, and some people are even completely cured of their diabetes. After surgery, people often need less medication or none at all.
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
High blood pressure can lead to heart disease, heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. As your obesity gets worse, it gets harder to keep your blood pressure under control.
Losing weight using a combination of obesity surgery, good nutrition and exercise helps make high blood pressure more manageable. In some cases, high blood pressure goes away completely a year after surgery. Even if your high blood pressure sticks around after you have surgery, it will become easier to control as you lose weight.
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing during sleep. This can keep your brain and body from getting enough oxygen and can also lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
Losing weight through obesity surgery causes the tissues around your airway to shrink in size, allowing your airway to stay open while you are asleep. Many people who have weight loss surgery see their sleep apnea improve or completely disappear.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a disorder that occurs when stomach acid flows back into your food pipe (esophagus). The backwash (reflux) irritates the lining of your esophagus and causes GERD.
Obesity puts lots of pressure on your stomach, which overpowers the muscles in your food pipe that keep food and acid down where it belongs and causes GERD. People with obesity and GERD have a lot of issues with heartburn and burping up food or acid. The constant reflux can hurt the lining of the esophagus, which can lead to cancer of the esophagus.
Obesity surgery helps by reducing the amount of pressure on the food pipe and reducing or getting rid of GERD symptoms.
Although there are many medicines that treat high cholesterol, this condition becomes harder to control as obesity gets worse, and the medicines used to treat it have serious side effects.
High cholesterol can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart disease and poor circulation. Obesity surgery helps by changing hormones in your body and changing how your body handles cholesterol. Cholesterol changes slowly after surgery, but it does change over time. In general, Dr. Dirk’s patients with high cholesterol take about one to two years to get off their medications.
Joint Pain, Osteoarthritis and Back Pain
Being obese creates a lot of pain and pressure in your joints and on the spine. When this happens, joint replacement surgery is often the only option.
Weight loss surgery provides another solution. Losing weight relieves pressure on the joints and spine. Many of Dr. Dirk’s patients experience great relief after losing weight through obesity surgery.
Others are able to have joint replacement or spine surgery safely because the medical conditions that went along with their obesity have disappeared or improved, which lessens their risk during surgery.
Obesity increases your risk for getting a variety of cancers. When people lose weight, there are a lot of good hormone changes in their body. It is possible that these good hormone changes may also help decrease the risk of cancer. The weight loss after surgery also makes it easier for doctors to examine patients, and X-ray machines can more easily see what’s going on inside their bodies.
Obesity surgery is about moving to better overall health. Even if cancer develops when you’re no longer obese, your body will be healthier and stronger for treatment and your chances of beating the cancer will be higher.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel disease (IBS) causes a very upset stomach, cramps and irregular bowel movements, with on and off periods of constipation and diarrhea. Changing your nutrition habits can help, but for some people, nothing ever gets them the relief they need.
Dr. Dirk has had patients who say that their IBS either improved greatly or disappeared completely after obesity surgery. It isn’t known for sure whether this happens because of the weight loss or because of the hormone changes that come with surgery. Either way, Dr. Dirk’s patients experience relief from irritable bowel syndrome.
Say goodbye to your painful medical conditions
Obesity can cause a lot of serious health conditions, but many of them can be improved or cured with the help of surgery. If you are suffering from obesity and would like to reduce the impact of any of these conditions and improve your quality of life, contact Dr. Dirk today.