However, I still have some heart rhythm issues – a legacy of years of obesity. The stress of carrying so much weight caused the left atrium of my heart to enlarge, and I get occasional atrial fibrillation.
A new study shows that gastric bypass improves heart function in obese people. The left atrium continues to grow in size in obese people, but stays stable in those who have gastric bypass. I lost an equivalent amount of weight, without surgery.
Overweight and obese people are 2-3 times more likely to develop abnormal heart rhythms during their lives. I already have a history of intermittent episodes, but hope to reduce them as much as possible by exercising, controlling my weight, and taking fish oil (though another recent study did not show a benefit of fish oil).