What is Hypertension?
High Blood Pressure (HBP), or hypertension, is when the pressure of the blood traveling through your artery walls that is too high. The heart has to work harder to pump blood through the veins. If the blood pressure (Systolic/Diastolic) is above 140/90, it is considered high. It is considered severe if the pressure is above 180/120.
There are typically no symptoms of high blood pressure. It has the following symptoms if the blood pressure is severe:
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- visual changes
- blood in the urine
The force and friction in the arteries strain the heart to work harder to push the blood in the vessels. Hypertension can lead to heart disease and stroke. Hypertension typically affects individuals aged 40 or older.
Weight Loss Surgery Helps High Blood Pressure Patients – Studies
In one study, Long-term Changes in Blood Pressure in Extremely Obese Patients Who Have Undergone Bariatric Surgery, 347 patients were monitored. Half of them were considered to be hypertensive before surgery. Some of these patients were unmedicated while some were being treated for hypertension. The patients that were not being treated for hypertension had a decrease in blood pressure that remained low throughout the study, 18 months after the surgery was completed.
These findings lead professionals such as John Fernstrom, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry, neuroscience, and pharmacology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, to believe that weight loss can have a direct relation to the blood pressure of patients. Fernstrom is also the director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center. The results of these studies also provide valuable information to the professionals regarding what they can expect for their patients after weight loss surgery. This can be positive things for these patients and can mean overall good health.
Related: Bariatric Surgery May Prevent Heart Failure
The results show that although patients may have had a BMI of 35 still, and considered technically obese, they had reduced blood pressure due to the overall weight loss. This can also lead to reduced cardiovascular disease risk, stroke risk, and even constant blood pressure related issues.
Fernstrom noted that these significant changes in blood pressure could be an excellent indicator of which patients would benefit from weight loss surgery most. These problems could be reduced or eliminated with a successful surgery. This would mean a reduction or stop of all medications relating to high blood pressure and an overall better health plan for the patients that successfully undergo the surgery. When choosing patients that are ideal candidates for weight loss surgery, professionals may look at the decrease in high blood pressure as a significant advantage of the operation. It could be a factor in determining who is a good candidate for the surgery and who is not.
The combined good eating habits, exercise, and surgery can decrease high blood pressure substantially. This can provide you with everything they need to get back on track with good health and positive results. Weight loss surgery isn’t just about losing substantial amounts of weight, sustaining a weight loss, and finding better habits, but also about reducing the risks for life-threatening events such as strokes and heart attack. This is a good reason to consider patients for the various weight loss surgery procedures for metabolic syndrome.