Type II diabetes, heart disease, cancers - you know that being overweight or obese is a significant risk factor for all these serious health conditions.
Now, studies show that being overweight also increases your likelihood of developing microvascular disease, neuropathy, peripheral artery disease and critical limb ischemia, which can lead to amputation.
Microvascular disease damages the small arteries in your body, crippling their ability to expand and deliver oxygen-rich blood to your heart, brain, limbs and organs.
Neuropathy occurs when the nerves in your toes, feet and legs become damaged, causing a loss of sensation. You may feel numbness, prickling or tingling, sharp, freezing or burning pain or be extremely sensitive to touch.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) develops when arteries in your extremities, most typically the legs, are narrowed or blocked by fatty deposits, or atherosclerosis. Oxygen-rich blood flow is dramatically reduced to your toes, feet and legs. You may have pain while walking that eases when you rest (claudication), cold or pale feet and legs, loss of hair on your feet and legs, or a blueish tinge to your feet and toes.
When neuropathy and vascular disease happen together, your quality of life may take a steep decline. When you experience any cut, scrape or opening in the skin of your toes, feet or legs, neuropathy can prevent you from feeling that injury, meaning it could go untreated and then worsen. Having vascular disease means significantly less oxygen-rich blood flows to the wound, making healing even more difficult. These wounds can turn into ulcers which then can develop gangrene.
Critical limb ischemia happens when microvascular disease and PAD go untreated. The blockage in your arteries gets so severe that it causes irreversible tissue damage to your toes, feet or legs. You may develop gangrene, with the affected area turning black. Unfortunately, the only treatment is amputation.
New studies show that weight loss procedures reduce your risk of developing these conditions, thus avoiding amputation. In a study of 14,000 men and women, researchers found obese patients were an astonishing 150% more likely to develop peripheral artery disease. In a separate study of 4,024 adult patients, researchers found that weight loss procedures not only significantly reduced the risk of microvascular disease within 5 years, it also reduced the incidence of diabetic neuropathy. Weight loss procedures improve glucose, blood pressure and lipid control, reducing vascular complications.
Researchers Carel W. le Roux, MD, PhD and Philip R. Schauer, MD noted that weight loss procedures “should not be a last resort, but instead should be used earlier, because prevention is definitely better than cure.”
If you have a BMI of over 30 or a waist circumference more than 40” for men and 35” for women, it’s time to improve your health and preserve your limbs with a weight loss procedure.
Call Dr. Gaston and Metropolitan Gastroenterology Consultants at 773-238-1126 orto request a free consultation. Dr. Gaston will give you a full health exam and then discuss your non-surgical, reversible weight loss options, including Orbera, Obalon and AspireAssist. You’ll find the right solution for your weight loss needs - and for your long term health.