Obesity, in and of itself, is a physical and emotional challenge. But what many people don’t remember is that obesity is also connected to an extensive range of conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes, just to name a few. Those who make the decision to have weight loss surgery often do so – not just because of the weight itself – but because of a condition that they have developed because of the weight. When weighing the decision to undergo a surgery – not a small thing – against the risk of living with a potentially damaging and life-threatening condition, many people find that surgery is the right decision. Diabetes is a common condition associated with obesity and can leave sufferers with a host of problems. And as the epidemic of obesity continues to rise in this country, the cases of diabetes grows right beside it. In fact, out of the millions of people diagnosed with type II diabetes – the most common form of diabetes that is defined by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood – approximately 80% to 90% of those people are also considered obese.
Carrying extra weight puts stress on the body; stress that our bodies are not meant to manage. This includes regulating our blood glucose level. When our body becomes unable to do this, diabetes can develop. Weight loss takes this stress off the body and allows for blood sugar to settle into a normal range which may allow you to reduce and even eliminate medications under the supervision of your doctor.
Left unchecked, however, diabetes can affect eyesight and damage vital organs such as your heart and kidneys.
If you’re dealing with diabetes or any other weight-related condition, consider talking with your doctor about your candidacy for weight loss surgery. By taking the steps to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, you can potentially eliminate a variety of life-changing and even life-threatening conditions.
You’ve made the decision to have bariatric surgery – whether it’s the Lap-Band surgery, gastric bypass, or sleeve gastrectomy – and now it’s time to get ready for the big event. Like anyone else in your position, you are likely feeling a combination of excitement and anxiety. The most important thing at this time is making sure that you are knowledgeable about what is going to happen next. Knowledge and preparation will put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to preparing for your weight loss surgery so that you can be best poised to achieve – and maintain – a healthy weight.
Prepare for your upcoming weight loss surgery by:
- Talking with your doctor. Your weight loss surgeon should make time to answer your questions and ensure that you completely understand the details of the surgery that you have chosen. Going over the plan for preparation, recovery, and after-care with your medical team will go a long way towards putting you at ease.
- Researching. Doing your own independent research regarding the surgery you will be having will help to prepare you more for what’s to come. There are many books and online resources available regarding weight loss surgery so take advantage of them.
- Talking to other patients. There’s no one who can better help you know what to expect than someone who has been through it. So ask your weight loss surgeon for a recommendation on support groups where you can meet with people who share this experience with you.
- Preparing for recovery. Do you have instructions about after-care? Do you have family or friends in place to help you during the short-term recovery when you may need some physical assistance? Make sure you have all the things in place for a successful recovery.
- Preparing for life after surgery. Weight loss surgery will put you on the road to getting healthy but you have to do the work. Make sure you understand what lifestyle changes need to be made and commit yourself mentally to doing what you need to do to be successful.
In preparing for weight loss surgery, you are putting all the tools in place for ensuring your long-term success.