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Weight Loss Surgery and Sexual/Hormonal Health

A recent article in HealthDay reports on a new study led by bariatric specialists from the University of Buffalo and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and published in The European Journal of Endocrinology. The study tracked severely obese teenage male weight loss surgery patients over five years. 

Before surgery, over 70 percent of the boys had below-normal levels of free testosterone. By two years following their procedure, only 20 percent of the young men still had below normal levels of the key sex hormone; moreover, the benefit lasted for three additional years for 67 percent of the participants. The study is one more indication of the many benefits of weight loss surgery for severely obese people of all ages and genders.

Hormone levels are just one of many important factors contributing to both adolescent and adult sexual health. There’s no doubt that severe obesity can cause sexual dysfunction in multiple ways and the impacts only grow as we age. Such common comorbidities as diabetes and high blood pressure are known to be related to several sexual issues including erectile dysfunction (ED). A 2019 study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that nearly 50 percent of both male and female participants enjoyed a marked improvement in their overall sexual health and functioning five years following their weight-loss surgeries. 

Hormonal

Angelo and Hector got sleeve gastrectomies at BHP.

Most people misunderstand the nature of obesity and why a weight loss surgery such as a sleeve gastrectomy works. It’s now widely understood by experts that the body produces hormones that make losing a lot of weight difficult and keeping it off nearly impossible in the long term. It does this by producing intense cravings to overeat that increase as dieters lose weight. These cravings feel exactly like true hunger and the vast majority of people who lose large amounts of weight on their own eventually break down under the hormonal onslaught –regaining most or all of their lost weight, often with a “bonus” of several additional pounds.

Bariatric surgery, however, interrupts the body’s normal response to food restriction and weight loss by radically reducing the size of the stomach. Impacts include making overeating very uncomfortable as well as dealing with the body’s overproduction of such hunger-inducing hormones as ghrelin. As more and more procedures have been successfully performed on severely obese people young and older, the weight of evidence in support of the benefits of weight loss surgery is undeniable.

If you are interested in learning more about weight loss procedures here at Beverly Hills Physicians, please request a consultation and we’ll get in touch with you.

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