As the obesity epidemic spreads, bariatric surgery is becoming an increasingly popular option for fighting it. While the number of these procedures performed is on the rise, you might not be fully aware of what it entails, so here’s a look at some interesting facts about it and its effects.
- Bariatric surgery can make you lactose intolerant.
After having bariatric surgery, some patients report problems with eating dairy—including gas, bloating, and cramping. This is because the procedure can cause products like these to move too quickly through the intestinal tract, which doesn’t allow them to be digested properly. While lactose intolerance will improve over time for most bariatric patients, a small percentage will struggle with it for the rest of their lives.
- Bariatric surgery can indirectly prevent childhood obesity.
If one or both parents of a child are overweight or obese, there’s a much higher chance that he or she will be as well. However, according to some studies, children of women who have bariatric surgery before becoming pregnant have a decreased risk of obesity. This is not necessarily because of any physiological change in the women, but rather, it’s likely due to the fact that these mothers will be more keenly aware of healthy eating habits.
- Bariatric surgery can cause unexpected digestive issues.
Certain bariatric surgeries, such as gastric bypass, make major changes to a patient’s digestive tract, which can often lead to problems like incontinence, diarrhea, or in severe cases, dumping syndrome. This problematic condition occurs when food moves too quickly through the stomach and can lead to nausea, cramps, and vomiting. While some will undoubtedly argue that the benefits of bariatric surgery far outweigh these drawbacks, they’re still something to consider.
- Bariatric surgery usually requires other surgeries.
Bariatric surgery helps patients lose lots of weight in a relatively short amount of time. This rapid weight loss often means that they’re left with lots of loose skin, which, aside from being unsightly, can lead to painful chafing and infection. While skin is somewhat elastic and able to tighten up naturally, after a certain point it won’t bounce back and will require additional surgeries to remove it. However, most bariatric patients feel like this is a small price to pay for regaining their health.
- Bariatric surgery can’t replace a healthy lifestyle.
While bariatric surgery can help in the weight loss process, diet and exercise cannot be neglected. In fact, most bariatric patients must become more concerned with what they eat than if they were on a more traditional diet. In addition, most doctors will recommend their bariatric patients get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day—which is the general recommendation for everyone. This surgery is not an alternative to healthy living, but rather, it’s a supplement.