How Hypertension Harms Us


Regular readers know (or I sure hope you know) that bariatric surgery is very effective at improving (and in many cases) can cure diabetes.  In fact this is one of the main reasons I got into the field in the first place.  In addition to diabetes there are several other medical conditions that I frequently see in my patients:  Hypertension, Sleep Apnea and Heart disease.  The good news is all three of these (like diabetes) can be dramatically improved with bariatric surgery.  Today I want to talk about High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)….


When you go to your doctor's office and they measure your  blood pressure there are two numbers.  If your blood pressure is normal the top number should be less than 120 and the bottom number should be less than 80.  "High" blood pressure is when the top number is above 140 or the bottom is above 90.

It is often called the "silent killer" because its effects are not often obvious to the patient.  That is until they become very obvious because they've caused serious damage.

As you might expect the blood vessels themselves get damaged from the persistent elevated pressure, but also there is damage to the some of the internal organs as well.

Stroke:  if the blood vessels in the brain get weakened they can either rupture and cause bleeding (hemorrhagic stroke) or the wall of the blood vessel gets thick and eventually clots (ischemic stroke)

Hardening of the Arteries:  if the blood vessels get "stiff" or "hard" they can eventually get blocked. It can happen anywhere in the body but is most common in the legs.

Heart Attack: If the blood vessels in the heart get blocked up a person can have a heart attack.

Heart Failure: Over time the heart muscle gets weak trying to push blood against stiff blood vessels and can eventually lose strength and fail.

Kidney Damage: High blood pressure affects the blood vessels going to the kidney which then compromises the blood flow to the kidney and can lead to kidney damage and in extreme cases kidney failure requiring dialysis.

Eye Damage: The tiny blood vessels in the eye can be damaged by high blood pressure.  This can in turn damage the part of the eye that senses light (the retina)

So as you can see High Blood Pressure is a serious medical condition and if you have been diagnosed with it you should take the medications that have been prescribed your physician.  Even though you may "feel fine", that doesn't mean you don't need treatment.

The good news, however is if you never had High Blood Pressure until you gained weight or if your blood pressure got worse as you gained weight there is a good chance that if you lose weight your blood pressure will improve.  If you, or someone you know, is overweight with poorly controlled blood pressure you may want to let them know that there is a chance that losing weight will improve their blood pressure.

Instead of being on 2 or 3 medications they may only need 1 and more importantly the blood pressure can be better controlled on less medications.   The better the blood pressure is controlled the less likely you are to have any of the problems we just mentioned.

When it comes to bariatric surgery the statistics show that at least  half of patients will either be off all blood pressure medications or taking far fewer medications after they have had surgery and lost weight!
Lab Tests

Switching topics for a moment there is a website I just found out about that I think you might find useful.  I suspect many of you have had the experience of getting blood work done (maybe even ordered by me!) and you get the results and you think "what the heck does that mean"?  Good news!! there is a website just for you:  It is written for consumers (it is not overly technical) and can answer many of your questions.  There is even an app for mobile devices:  LabTestsOnline-M…yes there is an "app for that"!

See below for full details on our informational seminars, but we have two this week, on Wednesday in Millburn and on Thursday in Kimball Hospital (please note, it is a new location at Kimball)..hope to see you there!


From the Gut... by Glynn Fluitt
Mr. Fluitt is a patient that has graciously offered to contribute to the newsletter – his column is a welcomed addition to the GSBWC newsletter and its readers!



Ringing the Bell…


I just finished my 3rd JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge. The Challenge is a 5K run around Central Park (I don't think it's an "official" 5K, but I'm good with that!).


I had my gastric bypass in April 2009 and did my first Challenge in June of that year. Each year 15,000 runners, walkers and in-betweeners gather in the twilight hours and make their way around the park, heading up the west side, and down the east side. The different company teams design t-shirts for the event, and we gather for an apres-race social event at a local spot afterward for the 100 or so participants from my firm.


The weather this year was fabulous! The skyline was lit up by the sunset beautifully! There was music. I met friends from other firms. My time wasn't as good as last year, but 4 years ago I couldn't walk a mile, much less jog over 3 miles! What could ruin an evening like that!?!


Celebrating too fast, THAT's what!!


I was smart at the after-party. I took the grilled chicken, not the fried cheese. I took the pulled pork slider, but ate the meat without the bun. I skipped the pasta and the fried chicken tenders. I just simply ate too much, too fast!!


About 20 minutes after my first plate, it hit me. The faux nausea. The need for a really big belch to hopefully let some trapped air out. The hope that I could make it to the bathroom, but not really knowing what I wanted to do when I got there. This ain't pretty folks!!!


My buddy was with me. He's the one that is doing the
500 mile bike ride with me. He was the best man at my wedding 2 decades ago. He's seen me through thick and thin — and morbid obesity. So he understands. And he waited for me, holding my gym bag while I stood in the men's room wondering if I was going to be able to get to Penn Station for my train home.


Total time before I could muster my way out the door? An hour and a half.

Did I enjoy the after-race party? I don't remember, but I don't think so.

No one, except Dana, knew that I was miserable but everyone knows I was not my talkative, joking normal self. By the time I left, Dana and I were the last of the Firm's Challenge team still in the restaurant.


I made it to the train, and by the time I got home I was back to normal — it just had to work its way out of my wee tummy. Dana texted me later to make certain I was okay. So I had two friends with me that night — Dana, who held my bag and waited; and Pavlov, who rang my bell again to remind me how to take care of myself living as an ex-morbid.


Oh — 3.2 miles, 47 minutes and 16 seconds.


Be well.


follow me @BariatricDude        

Summer is here and that calls for light, easy meals that get you out of the kitchen fast. Here is a quick, healthy salad that you can whip up during the week.


Grilled Chicken Salad

Serves 4



    Juice from 1/2 a lemon
    2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
    Salt – To tastePepper – To taste
    Garlic powder – To taste
    2 to 3 springs of fresh rosemary
    1 pack of chicken tenders
    In a medium size bowl, combine all ingredients
     Let chicken sit in marinade, in the refrigerator for 15 minutes



    5 Cups of mixed salad greens
    1 Hass avocado, cut in half, peeled and diced
    2 plum tomatoes, diced
    1/4 cup of unsalted walnuts
    2 Tablespoon of feta cheese
    In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Set aside.



    Cook chicken on a heated grill over medium heat for about 5 to 8 minutes on each side or until the inside is no longer pink
    Dice chicken tenders into small pieces and toss with prepared salad
     Drizzle salad with your favorite low fat dressing

Upcoming Free Seminars
The next Free Informational seminar is at our Millburn office on July 11th  2012 starting at 6:30pm.  Dr. Yurcisin leads the discussion on weight loss, your surgical options and if 'Bariatric Surgery is Right for Me?'.
Dr. Bilof will be leading our July 12th 2012 South Jersey Free Informational Seminar in Lakewood NJ—  Kimball Medical Center (Conference room D) from 5:30-7:30pm.  Join Dr Bilof as he discusses your surgical options for reclaiming your health through bariatric surgery!
To Find out more, simply click here for Dates and Locations of Seminars!
We welcome your guests and anyone that wants to know more about the benefits of bariatric surgery.

In This Issue HypertensionFrom the GutMarisol's Nutritional Corner

This Designation  is the 1st line of Defense for All Patients when looking for a Certified Center of Excellence Bariatric Surgeon.  GSBWC has proudly been Certified since we began our practice.

July News for the Team!

We have no July babies on the team for Birthday celebrations and will gear back up in August for Anna's birthday!
Wendy – our fabulous Surgical Coordinator is in full swin
g and assisting all of our patients as they prepare for surgery.
We are finalizing the expansion of our South Jersey office and hope to have  new members to our South Jersey team.  Look for announcements in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, see you in Bayville!!!!!!  

Upcoming Dates and Locations of Support Group in Your Area:

Next Support Group at ACC in Livingston is July 18th 2012 from 6pm to 7:30pm.   Elion Krok, M.D.; Internal Medicine and  Metabolic Specialist will be our distinguished guest speaker in July.  Support Groups are designed for YOU and what you need for sustainable weight loss and reclaimed health! Hope to see you there.

 Thanks For Trusting Us with Your Health!


Yours in Good Health,
Michael Bilof, MD
Basil Yurcisin, MD


Garden State Bariatrics & Wellness Center
Michael Bilof, MD

Basil Yurcisin, MD

P: 973.218.1990  F: 973.629.1274
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