YOUR HEALTH: Weight loss surgery; saving lives from diabetes, stroke & cancer

Forty one percent of the US is considered obese and those who are obese are at increased risk for more than 60 chronic diseases.
Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 6:00 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 14, 2022 at 7:12 AM CDT
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CHICAGO, Ill. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Forty one percent of the US is considered obese and those who are obese are at increased risk for more than 60 chronic diseases. Now new research shows weight loss surgery may not only help people lose weight, but decrease their risk of diabetes, stroke and cancer.

Emily Peterson says, “All I wanted from the time that I was a little girl, I mean probably as young as 5, 6, 7 years old, I just so wanted to be skinny. I have just a lifetime of little horror stories.” She tried basically every diet available, underwent a failed lap band surgery, and then, last year, had bariatric surgery.

Philip Omotosho, MD, Gastrointestinal Surgeon at Rush University Medical Center says, “There’s a whole list of things that bariatric surgery makes better.” He was part of a team to study almost 29 thousand morbidly obese patients. They found that gastric bypass surgery significantly reduced the risk of all cancers, including uterine, colorectal and lung—some by more than 50 percent.

Doctor Omotosho says, “The insulin resistance improves after bariatric surgery and we know that insulin resistance and growth factors have been actually implicated in some of these cancer pathways.”

Another study done by Doctor Omotosho found bariatric surgery lowered the risk of Ischemic stroke. And 52 percent of the gastric bypass patients had complete remission of their type two diabetes. None of the patients who did not have surgery saw a remission of their diabetes.

Before bypass, Peterson was told she was prediabetic. One year later, she has changed that trajectory and lost 105 pounds.

Peterson says, “I’m smaller now than I was in junior high school. So, this is all completely uncharted territory. I’ve never been this size in my life, let alone as an adult.”

Smaller and a whole lot healthier!

As of 2017, all 50 states have obesity rates over 20 percent. Two decades ago, no state had a rate above 15 percent. And as rates rise, you can expect health care costs to rise as well. In fact, obesity costs Americans 147 billion dollars each year. People who are obese pay almost 15-hundred dollars more out of pocket for healthcare than people who are not. A reminder: bariatric surgery, like any surgery, carries its own risks that need to be discussed with your doctor.

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