Being overweight or obese greatly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a serious condition that causes a range of long-term health problems. Diabetes treatment used to be entirely about losing weight and taking tablets or insulin injections. Now, though, international experts recognise bariatric surgery as a treatment for people with type 2 diabetes and a BMI over 35.
Weight forms part of our identity. After many years of being overweight, it’s quite normal to develop a ‘fat identity’, an entrenched sense of self that is actually harder to shed than the kilos themselves. Many people who’ve had bariatric surgery comment that they still feel fat afterwards. They’re not. By an objective measure, they’re now fit and healthy. But the feeling of fatness persists. Sound familiar? Here’s what’s going on.
Researchers are exploring many questions about obesity to learn more about how it develops, how to treat it and how to change it. Patients too have many questions. Why obesity affects them, why it’s so hard to change, whether it’s genetic or lifestyle related and, most crucially, how to treat it and reach a healthy weight.
Everyone seems to have an opinion about bariatric surgery. Some people are talking from their own experience but many others read something online or heard a bad story from a colleague or think that the whole thing is unnecessary because willpower is all you need.
Each patient has their own reasons for losing weight. Some have had a health scare, others are aware that they’re sitting on the sidelines of life because they don’t have the energy to join in.
Christmas can easily be a time of overindulgence. There’s all those parties, dinners, brunches and cocktails not to mention the scrumptious desserts. For all its many joys, Christmas can be a tricky time when you’re trying to manage your weight. You don’t want to undo months of hard work on healthy habits in a seasonal binge of eating, drinking and being merry.
You’re probably well aware that being overweight puts you at higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
But did you know that obesity also weakens your immune system, making you more likely to catch viruses and develop other infections?
So, you’ve decided to see a weight-loss surgeon. It’s a big step but you think it’s the right one. You’re tired of those kilos stubbornly sticking to you despite your efforts to shift them. You want a decisive change.
You’ve done your research, met your surgeon, asked your questions and decided to go ahead with bariatric surgery. Now, you’re wondering what to tell your family, friends and colleagues. How do you handle people’s questions about what you’ll be doing during your time off work?
Can you go to the gym yet? Can you visit Nan in her nursing home? Is it safe to go to hospital for your bariatric surgery now? In the middle of lockdown, we were encouraged to see ourselves as ‘safe at home’ rather than ‘stuck at home’.