A new research suggests that binge eating, depression sometimes go hand in hand with bariatric surgery especially in the severely obese.
After they have sifted through nearly 70 studies on the topic, researchers at University of California found that nearly 25 percent of patients who had underwent bariatric surgery reported mood changes and emotional instability. Another 17 percent said that they developed binge-eating disorder after the procedure.
The findings were published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Bariatric surgery, also known as weight-loss surgery, is usually recommended to people that are severely obese, or are over 100 pounds, and all efforts to shed the extra pounds through dieting and exercise had failed.
Dr. Aaron Dawes, lead author of the study, said that the severely overweight often display mental health symptoms such as binge eating and depression, but in patients who underwent obesity surgery those symptoms were twice more likely to occur than in the general public.
Yet, there is also a piece of good news: the depressive symptoms and other mental health symptoms did not seem to hinder weight loss in the wake of the medical procedure.
Bariatric surgery has multiple versions but the final goal is to help patients lose weight by limiting the quantity of food they can ingest. Additionally, after the surgery patients are recommended to change their diets to help them lose weight without falling ill.
This is why, researchers suspect that the mood of surgery patients could be affected by the changes they need to make after surgery. Dawes noted that the new findings underscore the significance of these patients’ mental health, which is often overlooked.
Study authors recommend doctors to keep an eye o their patients post surgery and prescribe them a treatment if mental health symptoms are visible. Currently, obese patients only need to undergo mental health screening before surgery.
If a professional concludes that they aren’t mentally fit to be referred to weight-loss surgery, they are barred from the procedure. And since mental health issues often affect severely obese patients, constant evaluation is critical.
Yet, depression is not a reason to ban the patient from obesity surgery. Doctors should evaluate the severity of the depression in each particular case and take the best decision. Additionally, people diagnosed with binge-eating disorder before surgery are not at risk of being excluded. Although these patients could find it harder than other obese patients to restrict their food intake, binge eating did not hider them from losing weight after obesity surgery.
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