Coping with Stress During COVID-19: What Bariatric Patients Need to Know (according to the OMA)

Bariatric Times. 2020;17(5):18–19

As 2020 has increased in uncertainty and disruption of normal life, many obese patients have encountered additional stress as they walk the streets with impaired immunity. The Obesity Medicine Association released this article in the Bariatric Times to explain the effects of stress on an obese patient, offering 8 patient-centered stress management techniques. 

Increased mental stress can worsen complications from obesity, such as hyperglycemia, high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, and might also worsen obesity itself. The good news is that if clinicians are attuned to the physical impacts of mental stress, then proactive measures can be taken to mitigate the potential adverse consequences of mental stress…

As we navigate the unparalleled COVID-19 crisis, it is critical that clinicians, including bariatric surgeons, counsel patients to recognize the signs of mental stress, as well as its potential negative impact to health. This would include increased blood sugar, high blood pressure, increased body weight, and challenges fighting viral respiratory infections. Bariatric patients should receive specific and actionable guidance… Address potential mental stress head-on, as one of the first topics of discussion during patient encounters (e.g., via telemedicine or otherwise). When appropriate, clinicians can then recommend patient-centered stress management techniques that might prove helpful. 

Click here to read the full article, including the OMA’s specific stress management techniques.

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