Weight Loss Surgery May Cure Health Woes
Gastric Bypass Surgery May Reverse Diabetes and High Blood Pressure
WebMD News Archive
June 29, 2005 --
may not only help severely obese people shed
pounds, but it may also solve some of the most common health problems caused by
obesity -- even if they remain overweight.
A new study showed that high blood pressure within two years in severely obese men and women
who had the procedure.
and, in most,
Researchers say these health benefits of gastric bypass surgery for weight
loss were apparent even though the participants were still considered
overweight or obese.
Two years after the procedure, about half of the participants reached a body
mass index (BMI, measurement of weight in relation to height used to identify
obesity) of 30 or less. Ten percent reached a BMI of 25 or less, which is
A BMI of 25-30 is considered overweight, over 30 is obese, and more than 40
is considered severely or morbidly obese.
Bariatric Surgery Solves Many Health Problems
In the study, researchers followed a group of 107 morbidly obese men and
women who underwent
The procedure involves reducing
the size of the stomach and allows food to bypass much of the small intestine,
where absorption of nutrients occurs.
Two years after the procedure, the participants had lost an average of 36%
of their body weight with a 50% decrease in their fat mass.
Although most of the participants were still classified as obese, the
significant loss of fat and body weight had resolved many of their most
pressing health problems.
- Before weight loss surgery, 83% of the participants had borderline to
severe high blood pressure. Afterward, more than 96% had normal blood pressure
levels and the remaining 4% had mild hypertension, which did not require the
use of blood pressure-lowering medication.
- Before the procedure, 23% of the participants had a diagnosis of diabetes.
Two years after the surgery, 88% of the people with diabetes had regained
normal blood sugar levels.
- Insulin sensitivity increased by 150% among the participants after weight
loss surgery. A gradual loss of sensitivity to the action of insulin to lower
blood sugars leads to type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.
- Overall, the number of participants with at least one major risk factor for
heart disease dropped from 100% to 19% in men and from 97% to 9% in women.
Researchers say the results show that many of the health problems associated
with severe obesity can be resolved with significant weight and fat loss
through gastric bypass surgery, even if obesity persists.