Obesity was once considered to be the disease of the “Rich”! India, with about 270 million people living below the poverty line, was never expected to be in this race. Unfortunately, India comes only third after U.S and China in Obesity cases. As the obesity epidemic continues to grow, it is led by an alarming increase among the fairer sex. According to the WHO consensus in urban India, a staggering 42.4% of women meet the criteria of being obese (Body Mass Index or BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2). However, the problem is not just limited to the numbers.
Surveys indicate that Indian women have a tendency to pile on fats much faster than men. Besides blaming the hormonal imbalance and postpartum weight gain, there are many other reasons which pre-disposes the women to obesity. Women have to often do multitasking while striking a balance between work and home, thereby ignoring their own health. The fact that their own health never tops the priority list, coupled with the sedentary lifestyle and imbalanced diet, contributes towards obesity in a big way. This puts them at a higher risk to a number of problems including Type II diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, sleep-disorders, joint pains, menstrual disorders and even cardiac diseases.
Mrs. Sushma Shrivastava, a Pune based Bariatric Surgery or Weight Loss Surgery operated patient says, “I was silently suffering every day because of my weight. Since childhood I was overweight, and by the time I was 25 my weight had become 95kgs. My parents were finding it difficult to get me married and my confidence was extremely low. I finally decided to undergo a Bariatric surgery- Sleeve Gastrectomy at Aastha health care. Post-surgery, I lost 35kgs within 18 months and soon was able to find my life partner as well. Today, it has been 6 years since I underwent the surgery and it has truly transformed my life.”
Obesity in women can affect fertility too as it causes imbalance in hormones and interferes with the ovulation. Obesity is also associated with PCOD (Polycystic ovarian disease) which is a common factor behind infertility. Bariatric surgery, or weight loss surgery, can be considered as an effective treatment option for PCOD and Infertility where all other methods have failed. According to Dr Manish Motwani, Bariatric Surgeon practicing at ‘Aastha Health Care’, Mumbai, “In our practice, we see 3-5 obese women every month suffering from Infertility, where methods such as IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) have failed after multiple attempts. In such morbidly obese patients, bariatric surgery has proved to be very effective. Most of these patients are able to conceive after 18 months.” This effectively shows that getting diagnosed and operated at a young age will not create any problems in the married life of a woman including physical relationships, pregnancy or child birth. In fact, it will avoid complications that would normally arise when an obese patient becomes pregnant. Pregnant, obese women are more likely to experience miscarriage or other pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes.
Obese women are also at 40% higher risk for many different kinds of cancers! Dr Motwani, says, “Bariatric surgery can be a preventive measure for cancer and should be considered by obese women for improving their current and future health condition. According to a research conducted in US on 7 million admissions of obese women at 392 medical centers, it has been shown that women who have had bariatric surgery are at a 70%-85% lower risk of developing Uterine and Breast cancers than other morbidly obese women.”
Laparoscopic Weight Loss Surgery or Metabolic Surgery not only assists to lose weight, but also has tremendous impact in treatment of diabetes. Obesity surgery may be a reasonable hope for achieving some quality of life and avoiding complications when alternate weight loss treatment such as diet, yoga, exercise, cosmetic surgery (liposuction and tummy tuck), slimming centres and weight loss pills have failed! You can watch videos explaining obesity management in detail at – http://bit.ly/KnowledgeCapsules-Obesity