The health problems, emotional distress, and expenses that obesity commonly brings about can be overwhelming, especially considering that diet and exercise are usually not adequate methods for losing the amount of weight required to alleviate these problems. When a problem seems insurmountable, the drive to find its solution can take a considerable hit. The good news is that bariatric surgery makes the problem manageable for qualified patients and has proven to significantly improve their day-to-day living.
The health problems that stem from obesity are numerous, and the weight loss that follows bariatric surgery can prevent, improve, or eliminate them. These conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and high cholesterol, can limit mobility, prevent restful sleep, and require frequent medical attention. All of these side effects, among others, have a negative effect on quality of life. Many obese individuals suffer from more than one obesity-related health condition; this is known as “comorbidity.” The National Institutes of Health (NIH) stipulates that individuals must have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater, or a BMI of 35 combined with comorbidities. These criteria indicate the NIH’s recognition of the health risks associated with obesity.
Bariatric surgery patients have found that they have more energy and generally feel better than they did before their procedures. Once they lost some of their excess weight, they were able to perform more physical activity and even benefited from improved productivity, which all contributes to higher self-confidence. At its core, the logic is simple: becoming healthier can enrich your life.
According to a recent study, obese individuals pay an average of 36 percent more for healthcare and 77 percent more for medication than people who fall into the healthy weight range. These are higher than the average cost increases associated with smoking or alcoholism.
Getting closer to what’s considered a healthy weight usually results in improved health, and improved health means fewer medications and visits to the doctor’s office or hospital. All of this translates to lower healthcare costs. Patients who undergo weight loss surgery often incur fewer healthcare-related expenses over time; in fact, a recent study shows that bariatric surgery pays for itself within two years, and those who underwent laparoscopic weight loss surgery reached $900 within 13 months of their procedures.
The articles that follow will cover obesity-related health problems in greater depth. The more you understand about the potential consequences of obesity, the better informed you’ll be when deciding how to improve your situation.