Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bariatric Surgery Can Treat Metabolic Syndrome

Bariatric surgery has been shown to be an effective weight loss approach. The surgery is not only an effective weight loss tool, it is also a tool for resolving type II diabetes in many cases. Now, studies are showing that bariatric surgery can reduce the health risks associated with a collection of metabolic conditions comprising what is called the metabolic syndrome.

An agreed-to definition of the metabolic syndrome does not exist. But most definitions consist of similar elements. For example, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) chooses from five key metabolic conditions to establish the syndrome.

The NHLBI considers a person to be suffering from metabolic syndrome if the person is diagnosed with any three of the following five conditions: 1. Abdominal obesity, 2. "a high triglyceride level (or [the person is] on medicine to treat high triglycerides)," 3. a low HDL cholesterol level (or [the person is] on medicine to treat low HDL cholesterol)," 4. high blood pressure (or [the person is] on medicine to treat high blood pressure)," and 5. high fasting blood sugar (or [the person is] on medicine to treat high blood sugar)."

If a person has metabolic syndrome, that person's risk of diabetes, heart attack, or stroke is increased. Two studies have shown that bariatric surgery can reduce the severity of conditions commonly associated with the syndrome. In one study consisting of 258 patients, where half of the patients underwent gastric bypass surgery and half of the patients were treated non-surgically, gastric bypass surgery decreased "the prevalence of metabolic syndrome" to a greater degree than did the nonsurgical treatment.

And in another investigation, which was an "observational study from 1992-2009, of 40 consecutive elderly age persons greater than 60 years… with class II-III obesity," bariatric surgery decreased the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in a large percentage of the patients.

So bariatric surgery can effectively treat metabolic syndrome in some cases. This treatment option adds to the usefulness of the surgery. The possibility that bariatric surgery may be an effective treatment for metabolic syndrome should be of interest to bariatric surgeons and non-surgical weight loss service providers.


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