Patients who suffer from bipolar disorder often wonder if their condition can be an obstacle in getting the Lap Band procedure done. They are concerned that the medication might interfere with the post bariatric treatment and the mood swings (which are characterizing this medical condition) would decrease their chances to successfully lose weight.
Well, they should not worry. Researches showed that there was no significant difference between patients with mental illnesses and mentally healthy people regarding their weight loss. These researches were also confirmed by bariatric clinics.
Bipolar Disorder – Characteristics
It is a mental disorder with two major types of episodes that are very different from one another: the maniacal and the depressive episode. These episodes can manifest with abnormally elevated energy or with depression and this is why it can strongly interfere with daily tasks. The first thing when treating a bipolar patient is establishing the medication that stabilizes the mood. The instability of the mood is why bipolar patients need to constantly take their medication.
How does bipolar disorder affect weight gain?
If left untreated, bipolar disorder can lead to changes in appetite and eating patterns. Furthermore these appetite changes can lead to weight fluctuations. There is evidence also, that shows a direct relationship between medication for bipolar disorder and obesity.
The well-known mood stabilizers have several side-effects that influence weight fluctuation. It is believed that lithium leads to hypothyroidism in approximately 30% of the cases, which means that the hormone production of the thyroid decreases and this is usually associated with weight gain.
In addition to this, women who had their psychological treatment prescribed before the age of 20, valproic acid is associated with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), which is also linked to increased body weight, as it causes an increased appetite and consumption.
The gastric-band and bipolar disorder
The adjustable gastric banding will not influence the way the drugs are absorbed, but will help you deal with the appetite increase obtained because of the medication. And even more, the scientific studies performed on weight loss surgery patients who also had mental disorders are very helpful in this area, as they show similar results with bariatric surgery patients who were psychologically healthy. Therefore, if your BMI tells you that you need weight loss surgery, do not worry, lap banding is a restrictive procedure, it is a reversible surgery, minimally invasive and bipolar disorder is not an obstacle for you will be able with the lap banding to control your appetite changes.