Obesity: Cause of Life-Threatening Complications

Obesity: Cause of Life-Threatening Complications

Obesity is one of the most prevalent noncommunicable lifestyle disease. This itself might have effects on health but acts as risk factors for many other complicated illnesses which can lead to life threatening complications. Diseases such as myocardial infarction (heart attack), cerebrovascular accidents (stroke), hypertension, diabetes, etc., have direct association with obesity. 

A person is called obese when his body mass index (BMI) is above 25 kg/msq. BMI is calculated by dividing the weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. Anybody with BMI more than 25 is prone for many complications related to heart and brain. It is considered as a reversible cause before the complications have set in yet. Hence, healthcare professionals do always stress on importance of weight loss in obese individuals as it makes a considerable difference.

There are many ways for one to loose weight, the healthy way being slow loss by diet and exercise. Calorie deficient diet, keto diet, paleo diet, etc., are the ones usd by many which do show good results. These efforts may take time to show results but are healthy for sure. Well, there are few other options to reduce weight faster relatively, such are surgery like Gastric bypass, where the size and capacity of the stomach are reduced so as reduce the food intake and loose weight, liposuction a novel invasive technique which involves removal of subcutaneous fat. Most used procedure in morbidly obese patients is gastric bypass as the results are very pleasing.

The gastric bypass is a procedure where surgically the size and capacity of the stomach is reduced to almost around 15% to 20% of its original size. Well, this procedure is most often coupled with side effects like vitamin deficiencies which depend on normal size and normal functioning stomach to get them absorbed.  Also, a recent study showed much darker side of the surgery which is accelerated addiction to alcohol. A study led by Wendy C King associate professor of epidemiology at University of Pittsburg Graduate school of Public health in Pennsylvania showed that about 11% of 2000 men and women who underwent gastric bypass ended up in drinking problem. The study was done over a period of 7 years and considerable facts about increased addiction was noticed within first 2 years only.

The reason behind such result is being postulated, but has no strong evidence to support the same. The absorption and effect of alcohol are very quick compared to normal people, same are the effects on addiction of alcohol. People tend to consume more alcohol due to tolerance and dependence developed due to its better and quick action.

The stomach lining contains an important enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase which breaks down alcohol. After a gastric bypass since the stomach size is less and there is very less of alcohol dehydrogenase resulting in more alcohol reaching the blood stream quickly relatively. Women normally have less alcohol dehydrogenase which makes them prone for the stronger addiction post gastric bypass compared to men.

It is recommended for any obese patient to Ask A Doctor about any such potential side effects of the surgery. Care is taken that adequate counselling is delivered to the patient who has habit of alcohol consumption prior to the surgery. Also, a good motivational intervention is necessary postsurgery to avoid such addiction. It is advisable to every patient, who has undergone bypass, to quit alcohol altogether as it can also hinder the vitamin absorption some more. 

Almost every surgery has its effects, when it's an elective procedure like gastric bypass care has to be taken to prevent side effects from the time the surgery is planned. 


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