Gastric bypass surgery offers patients a means of managing their weight loss. The surgery is also believed to have some connection to a decrease in depression and anxiety. During gastric bypass, the stomach is made smaller through surgery and a portion of the system is avoided taking food directly to the lower intestine. This means that the body can hold less food to start with creating a smaller appetite for the patient. It also means that the patient will absorb fewer calories from the food and fewer nutrients. This allows the patient to reduce their body weight dramatically fairly rapidly.
While some weight loss surgeries are believed to cause some depression and anxiety with the entire process, it is believed that there could be a connection between a decrease in instances of depression and anxiety after gastric bypass surgery. In a study in July of 2007, a group of 13 female patients with an average median age of 47 years were scheduled for gastric bypass surgery. When recruited for the study the patient’s body mass index, blood markers of inflammation and self-reported measurements of depression and quality of life were taken into account. The patients underwent the surgery and were then interviewed again for the same information with a difference in results one year later.
The significant reduction in instances of depression and anxiety seemed to correlate with a decrease in C-reactive protein (CRP). This indicates that there is a necessary correlation between the weight loss and the reduction in CRP that create a reduction in depression. Where there was a decrease in inflammation among patients there seemed also to be a decline in the depression and anxiety reported by patients. This shows scientific reasoning for the connection between gastric bypass surgery and a reduction in depression and anxiety in patients.
Since the gastric bypass surgery pushes food past the stomach quickly allowing for less absorption of nutrients and calories, it is likely that the reduction will have a direct effect on the body to include a reduction in CRP. This reduction in CRP can affect the way that the body handles stresses and can alter depression and anxiety. This could ultimately change the way a patient makes lifestyle decisions going forward and help them to stay on a healthy weight path. Patients should be assessed before surgery and follow-up should be accomplished months after surgery to evaluate the state of their depression and anxiety.
Another major contributing factor in the decrease in depression and anxiety in gastric bypass patients may be the quality of life that is experienced due to the surgery. This could be an added reason for the improvement in patients concerning anxiety and depression. These findings are an important part of monitoring patients that undergo the surgery. It may be useful to keep track of the patient’s CRP and IL-6 levels to understand better how the patients are improving. This could also change the way that patients are counseled before and after the surgical procedures.