How Weight Loss Surgery can Decrease Heart Problems

How Weight Loss Surgery can Decrease Heart Problems

Matters of the heart are a complex thing. Whether you are talking about romance or the literal organ that keeps your blood pumping, it’s always important to keep it healthy.  It is a major player in keeping us alive. Mainly by providing us with the oxygen and nutrients our body needs and carrying away waste. Like any other organ, the heart can be vulnerable to damage. Including damage from obesity. With the recent wave of obesity over the last few decades, nutritionists and scientists alike have looked into how it does damage to our bodies. Obesity and inactivity are known to cause severe heart problems. However, recent long term bariatric studies point to the opposite also being true. So, how does that happen? What makes weight loss surgery effective against obesity and heart problems?


How Heart Troubles Happen

Our heart, for lack of a better term, is a muscle that is responsible for pumping blood to our system. When it beats, it uses a pumping motion to push blood through the body either to the lungs or away from them, depending on which chamber the blood is entering or exiting. From there, the blood moves through the veins and arteries to distribute oxygen to the body or return oxygen-depleted cells.  A perfectly healthy heart and body will have uninterrupted blood flow, through clear pathways in the veins and arteries. This is because every part of our body, every muscle, tissue, bone, and nerve needs access to oxygen to survive.

When obesity, excess alcohol or tobacco use come into the picture, there is a greater risk of parts of your body not getting the oxygen it needs to survive. That risk comes in the form of a heart blockage. Blockages form when plaque starts to build-up from excess fat, cholesterol, and other substances. Eventually, when the plaque hardens, it breaks away into a mass known as a clot. The clot blocks the blood flow and the tissue where the blood is supposed to connect to starts to get damage from a lack of oxygen.

When a clot manages to block the blood flow into the heart, that is when a heart attack happens.

According to the Mayo Clinic, common heart attack signs include:

  • Pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw or back
  • Nausea, indigestion, heartburn or abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheaded ness or sudden dizziness

Weight Loss Surgery and Heart Health

So, how does obesity play in heart health? Well, obesity is associated with high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It adds to the fatty deposits that create plaque in the arteries. So, what does weight loss surgery do to fix it?

According to a Cleveland Clinic and the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, “Death and heart complications were 40 percent less common in people with obesity and diabetes when they had bariatric surgery.” People who have gone through weight loss surgery are seeing across the board. Many weight loss surgery patients, including those in Huntsville, AL are seeing metabolic improvements. Improvements that range from the reversal of type two diabetes to a decrease in cardiovascular disease or risks of stroke.

But what is causing it to happen? And why is it important news to share with other people?

Some if not most of the weight-loss surgical procedures require removing a portion of the stomach, which surprisingly plays a huge role in our overall health. Not only does it give our gut flora a chance to center itself back into a healthier ecosystem, but it is also reducing the amount of mass that the heart needs to pump blood to. Even if weight loss surgery is not even in the equation, 10 lbs of weight loss is enough to decrease your risk of heart disease.

As far as why it matters to share these results with other people, “More than one in three (nearly 40 percent of) Americans has obesity, which is linked to type 2 diabetes heart disease, and stroke. And adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from heart disease than those without diabetes: Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people with obesity and diabetes.”


Heart health is an important thing to worry about, especially if it is tied to obesity. If you or a loved one are struggling with heart health related to weight problems, you might need to talk to a specialist. Visit our website at www.alabariatrics. com. We have a staff of weight loss surgery experts in Huntsville, Al who want to help you on your journey.  Your heart will thank you.