By Dr. Tulip Chamany, Bariatrics
Gallstones stones are a result of the accumulation of waste in the bile. Gallstones are common in obese people. It initially happens due to fat deposition causing high cholesterol level. When the cholesterol level increases in the body, the bile is unable to suspend that leads to create stones or lumps. These stones are known as Gallstone.
There are no initial symptoms before the accumulated particles have already formed a solid stone. After that, sudden abdominal pain and gallbladder inflammation makes life difficult.
Obesity and Gallstone:
The exact cause of gallstones is not known but obesity has been linked with the condition. Being overweight increases cholesterol levels in the bile. Excess cholesterol in the bile settles down and forms solid stones over time.
People who have a concentration of fat in the abdominal region are more prone to gallstones even if they are not obese by definition. Although maintaining a healthy body weight does not guarantee prevention of gallstones, it lowers the risk factor considerably.
Keeping the body weight and cholesterol level in check helps avoid gallstones. Consuming good calories and exercising also helps. For obese people, a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise every day is recommended unless they have other health conditions that prevent them from exercising. Severe weight loss programs like crash diets or a sudden switch to heavy exercise from a sedentary life do more harm than good.
The exact relation is not known but most likely, the sudden change makes more cholesterol deposit in the bile. Consuming vegetable proteins and reducing consumption of red meat prevents cholesterol. Good protein includes beans, soy, tofu and peas. Thus, ensure that you have a high fibre diet.
In most cases of obesity, diet and exercise alone do not work fast enough to prevent other related diseases. Surgery for weight loss is recommended for those who are too obese to exercise or those who have been overweight chronically. Waiting to lose weight merely with the help of exercise and diet might be fruitful in the long run. But when health problems like gallstones are already present, exercising is not even recommended due to the abdominal pain.
Once stones are formed in the gall bladder and are causing symptoms, Surgery for the gall stone i.e Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy removal of gall stones though tiny incision on the tummy is the only way to go. If left unattended, the stones could pass from the gall bladder in to th eductal system and cause block to the flow of bile and pancreatitis.
Types of Bariatric Surgery:
There are various kinds of Bariatric Surgery:
- Laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery.
- Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.
- Gastric sleeve surgery or sleeve gastrectomy.
- Duodenal switch.
- Revisional surgery.
These surgical procedures are a common practice in the bariatric field. The procedures are tried and tested. However, a healthy diet after surgery and exercise as recommended by a certified physician (about 4 weeks after surgery) is crucial for the success of the surgery.
It is always recommended to consult a doctor before going for any surgery and always get these surgeries performed by skilled and experienced surgeons.