As a bariatric surgeon, I (Dr. Guillermo Alvarez) understand that the goal of gastric sleeve surgery is not just to help my patient lose weight and look better — it is also to improve his or her overall health. This includes helping the patient to manage blood pressure.
Hypertension, the clinical term for high blood pressure, affects nearly half of all American adults. Obesity is one of the leading risk factors for hypertension, accounting for as many as 78% of the cases of hypertension. The good news is that gastric sleeve has been found to be a useful tool in lowering patients’ blood pressure.
Blood pressure is the amount of force the blood that circulates through your body puts on your arteries, the body’s major blood vessels. Having hypertension can lead to serious health consequences like heart disease, heart attack, stroke and aneurysm.
Although taking medication can help many people to manage their high blood pressure, only about one in four adults has their hypertension under control.
How Obesity Aggravates Hypertension
Obesity changes hormone signals in the body and alters the functionality of the kidneys. It can also interfere with the sympathetic nervous system, which is known to trigger a fight-or-flight response. All of these factors are known to raise hypertension.
Recent research has found an additional connection: fat tissue releases a hormone called leptin into the bloodstream. The purpose of leptin is to communicate to the hypothalamus that it should suppress appetite because the body has enough energy. However, leptin can also cause new blood vessels to grow in the hypothalamus, which adds to hypertension.
Furthermore, obesity and related health consequences can make it more challenging to treat hypertension. Untreated hypertension is liable to get worse.
How Gastric Sleeve Can Help
Given the strong link between excess weight and hypertension, one of the best methods for overcoming (or preventing) hypertension is to lose weight. However, as many patients can attest, losing a significant amount of weight can be extremely challenging even with a strict diet and exercise plan. Bariatric surgery is a reliable way to streamline the weight loss process and achieve a healthier body.
When it comes to hypertension, at least one study found that gastric sleeve patients saw their blood pressure drop more dramatically than gastric bypass patients. Those numbers held up even in gastric bypass patients who ended up losing more weight than gastric sleeve patients.
Schedule a Consultation
If high blood pressure has you nervous and you are considering undergoing surgery to take back control of your body and life, schedule a consultation at Endobariatric to learn more about gastric sleeve.
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“Changing lives…one sleeve at a time”.