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Weight Loss Surgeries and Chronic Kidney Disease

Human KidneyOf late, weight loss surgeries and chronic kidney disease have been a focus of attention in the scientific world.

According to various studies conducted in different parts of the world, weight loss surgery is known to cure health problems that cause kidney disease, thereby slowing down the progression of kidney disease or sometimes even curing it.

On the other hand, there are also some studies which suggest that weight loss surgery increases the tendency of developing kidney stones.

As per a study – “Weight Loss Interventions in Chronic Kidney Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis” by Navaneethan, Yehnert, and Moustarah, published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology in 2009, “obesity is a risk factor which contributes to development and progression of chronic kidney diseases”.

Weight loss surgeries are recommended to extremely obese patients, who have failed to lose weight by conventional methods such as diet, exercise, etc. Diabetes, hypertension, and blood pressure are usually the major reasons behind chronic kidney disease.

Weight loss Surgeries

  • Recommended to patients with a BMI of 35 or more and even to patients with BMI 30 or above, provided they suffer from co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heat problems etc.
  • Weight loss surgeries are a solution for extremely obese patients to lose weight.
  • There are a variety of weight loss surgical procedures such as gastric bypass, FDA approved lap-band surgery, gastric sleeve surgery, etc. that can be adopted.
  • All these procedures can either be restrictive or malabsorptive in nature.
  • A restrictive surgery helps patients to lose weight by reducing the capacity of the stomach to hold food.
  • A malabsorptive procedure reduces the amount of nutrients body consumes from the digested food.  This results in reduced calorie intake by the patient and he loses weight.
  • Both procedures have implications and can both positively and negatively affect the kidney function.

Chronic Kidney Disease

Weight loss surgery and kidney diseaseChronic kidney disease, usually caused by hypertension, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, kidney stones, kidney infections, obstruction in flow of urine, hardening of arteries, etc., refers to gradual and permanent loss of kidney function. Chronic kidney disease can be divided into five stages:

  • Slight
  • Mild
  • Moderate
  • Severe
  • Total kidney failure

Kidney disease develops gradually over months and years. With the gradual loss of kidney function, waste, water and toxics start accumulating in the body. At the end stage of the disease, there is almost hundred percent loss of kidney function and patients require either dialysis or kidney transplant.

Does Treating Obesity Stabilize Chronic Kidney Disease?

There are numerous studies that have been conducted to find out the linkage between obesity stabilization and chronic kidney disease.

  • Studies conducted so far have found both positive and negative linkages between weight loss surgeries and chronic kidney disease.
  • One set of studies suggests that kidney disease is helped by weight loss surgery. According to it, weight loss surgeries provide cure for diseases such as cholesterol, blood pressure, etc., which are the main causes of chronic kidney disease, thereby leading to delay in the progression of the  diseases and sometimes even leading to total cure of  the chronic kidney disease.
  • Another set of studies has suggested that there is an increased tendency to develop kidney stones in obesity patients who have undergone weight loss surgery.
  • High levels of oxalate in urine can lead to formation of kidney stones. It has been found that levels of oxalate are higher in patients who have undergone weight loss surgery than those who haven’t.
  • Tendency to develop kidney stones is more in case of malabsorptive surgery than restrictive.
  • Kidney stones, again, can lead to development of chronic kidney disease by obstructing with the normal functioning of kidney.

So, as of now, there is no consensus on the issue of linkage between weight loss surgeries and chronic kidney disease. Further research is needed to arrive at a solid conclusion.

Bariatric Surgery World facilitates affordable weight loss surgery in  India, Mexico, Belgium, Jordan, the US, and Costa Rica. For more information and FREE quote, submit the estimate–request form on the right.