Alabama Bariatrics & Minimally Invasive Surgery

Bariatric Diet Orbera Gastric Band Sleeve Gastrectomy Gastric Bypass

W. Jay Suggs, MD, FACS, FASMBS
Huntsville & Decatur
Phone: (256) 274-4523
Fax: (256) 203-8791

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Contact Us

W. Jay Suggs, MD, FACS, FASMBS
Huntsville & Decatur
Phone: (256) 274-4523
Fax: (256) 203-8791
EMail: drsuggs@alabariatrics.com

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measuring-blood-pressure-TG4QWCLHuntsville, AL - There are a variety of side effects that come with the territory of obesity. Some of which are more common than others. In the world of bariatric medicine, specialists understand that there are more commonly known to the public, such as type two diabetes. But one of the first signs of the adverse effects of obesity is usually high blood pressure. The moment that blood pressure gets consistently too high that is when general practitioners start to talk about a change of dietary habits.

But how does blood pressure directly link to obesity in the world of bariatric medicine. And how, if at all, can weight loss surgery affect a patient's blood pressure altogether? The only way we can know that is to find out how it works and what type of body chemistry does obesity do to play a role in blood pressure at all.

How Blood Pressure Works and its Findings In Bariatric Medicine

Blood pressure by definition refers to the rate in which your blood flows from your heart, and through your body. It is also a measure of how your circulatory system is functioning. The circulatory system, which contains the heart, arteries, veins, lymph nodes, is responsible for transmitting nutrients and oxygen to cells through the bloodstream. A healthy body will typically carry a blood pressure systolic diastolic reading of 120/80.

The top number refers to the amount of pressure in your arteries during the contraction of your heart muscle. This is called systolic pressure.The bottom number refers to your blood pressure when your heart muscle is between beats. This is called diastolic pressure.The numbers do vary when it comes to an established baseline but for the most part, this is the accepted normal range.

However, when the numbers start to go higher, that is usually a sign of hypertension or elevated blood pressure. When your blood pressure climbs that is usually a sign of a heart that is pumping too hard to get the blood flowing through tight blood vessels. And that is where oftentimes, obesity is the cause of such a thing.

When your arteries are clogged, usually through excess fat cells in the bloodstream it makes your body work all that much harder to maintain its normal circulation. If your blood pressure is only slightly higher than normal range, the consequences can be minimal, especially if you are consistently engaging in healthy habits. However, if it is consistently high, that means patients can run the risk of vision loss, stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease.

Doctors often prescribe medications to assist the patient in combating the hardening of the arteries called antihypertensive medication. But does the medication alone do the trick ? Can bariatric medicine in the forms of weight loss surgery net a better outcome for patients with high blood pressure?

Bariatric Surgery Could Help with Managing Blood Pressure

According to 2 Minute Medicine, a physician publication, this study points to strong evidence that blood pressure can be at least partially managed through weight loss surgery.

"1. In this randomized clinical trial, patients who received bariatric surgery were nearly 7 times more likely to achieve at least 30% reduction in the total number of hypertensive medications and nearly 20 times more likely to achieve blood pressure control without medications compared to those who did not receive surgery.

2. Patients who received bariatric surgery achieved an average weight loss of over 25%, while those who received medical therapy alone actually experienced weight gain."

Basically, what this says is that bariatric medicine specialists observed the data of random patients that either went through weight loss surgery and another group who used medication alone. From what they could tell, patients of weight loss surgery relied less on the antihypertensive medication and saw more blood pressure control on average compared to those who only went through medication treatment. This does sound sound like a promising prospect for many people who are struggling with high blood pressure as well as obesity, especially when you apply it to a broad population.

However, before we start celebrating that doesn't mean that it is a cure all for people suffering from high blood pressure due to obesity. According to the researchers themselves, “Bariatric surgery is an effective and durable strategy for reducing the number of antihypertensive drugs at 3 years in patients with obesity and hypertension while maintaining well-controlled blood pressure control; however, we did not demonstrate superior blood pressure control with RYGB.“Nevertheless, RYGB may be an attractive option in patients with refractory hypertension or for whom nonadherence to medical therapy and its related consequences are major concerns.”

If you want to know more about bariatric medicine, or weight loss surgery visit us at www.alabariatrics.com