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5 Unexpected Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

News | Adelaide Bariatric Centre

27 Mar 2015 10:58 AM

Obese Man

In Australia the prevalence of obesity has more than doubled over the past two decades, according to Monash University.

There’s no doubt in the medical community that obesity causes a number of serious health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Undergoing weight loss surgery is often the most effective means of losing significant weight, and for someone suffering from this challenging disease, losing weight is essential for their health.

Bariatric surgery provides many health benefits to patients such as lowered risk of heart disease, diabetes control, lower risk of cancer and lower cholesterol, but what are some of the more unexpected health benefits of weight loss surgery?

Improved Memory

A 2013 US study authored by Shaeen E Lakhan and published in the Nutrition Journal indicated that obese individuals had poorer memory recall than peers of a normal weight, and generally poorer cognitive function across the board. The study states, “recent studies indicate that both obesity and T2D are associated with cognitive decline. Not only does midlife obesity increase the risk of developing late-life dementia, but also lower cognitive performance earlier in life is itself a risk factor for dementia later in life”

Lower Medical Bills

Because obesity has many associated health conditions, the average obese person spends much more on health care than someone of a normal weight. According to the State of Obesity, “obese people spend 42% more on healthcare costs than healthy weight people.”

Increased Ability to Conceive Children

Obesity has a negative impact on maintaining a healthy pregnancy, according to Your Fertility. But being obese can even affect a woman’s fertility by causing hormonal imbalances and problems with ovulation. A woman who is obese is more than twice as likely to have a miscarriage as a woman of healthy weight.

Fewer Allergies

To the naked eye, obesity and allergies appear to be unrelated. But this isn’t the case according to Michael Wald, MD, an integrated medicine specialist based in New York State. “For some people, being overweight contributes to worsened asthma and allergies. It puts a burden on the adrenal glands, which are involved in managing asthma and allergies. Being overweight is also a strain upon the respiratory system and can exacerbate asthma symptoms.”

Arthritis Relief

A number of studies have shown that weight loss improves arthritis pain, including a 2013 study led by Dr. Stephen Messier that concluded that “losing weight and exercise significantly reduces osteoarthritis knee pain and increases arthritic knee function.”

Obesity is one of the most significant health problems in Australia, and with 1 in 5 Aussies classified as obese, weight loss surgery procedures such as gastric sleeve, gastric banding and gastric bypass surgery play an important role in helping to address this epidemic.