Although many consider obesity as a cosmetic concern, unfortunately, it is not just a state of being unsatisfied with your body look. Obesity is a complex disease; a medical problem consisted of many factors that altogether increase the risk of many health problems, including heart disease, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, certain cancers, increased risk of stroke, and unfortunately again, many more!
When your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher you are diagnosed obese. If you want to calculate your BMI simply divide your weight in kg by your height in meters squared or divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared and multiply by 703. If your BMI is from 18.5 to 24.9 your weight is normal, from 25 to 29.9 you are overweight, and as mentioned BMI of 30 and above is obesity.
Also, the distribution of weight is very important. Having too much weight around your waist is riskier to your health much more than having fat in other parts of your body distributed more or less equally.
Below are listed and explained the most likely to happen diseases and conditions linked to obesity and overweight.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, and more than 87% of adults dealing with this condition are obese or overweight. High blood sugar causes a lot of other diseases and conditions, heart disease, stroke, blindness, cardiovascular diseases, and is one of the leading causes of death in the US. The reason why obesity is linked to diabetes type 2 is a cellular change that happens as a cause of overweight and causes insulin resistance, which causes cell incapability to take sugar, which then causes more insulin to be produced, which then leads to cell gradual fail.
Weight loss prevents or delays the onset of diabetes type 2, and physical activity also helps control blood sugar levels, followed by a healthy diet and low fat intake.
High blood pressure
Hypertension is a condition in which blood is forced through the blood vessels with a greater force than normal, causing high blood pressure on the vessels, damaging normal heart function, damaging and weakening your blood vessels. When diagnosed at a younger age, simple lifestyle change can significantly lower the risk of developing a more serious condition (physical activities, healthy diet, loss of weight, quitting smoking, salt intake reduction). If diagnosed later, a certain drug to maintain normal blood pressure must be prescribed by your doctor.
Heart disease is defined as issues and conditions that affect your normal heart function and may cause heart attack, heart failure, cardiac arrest, angina, or irregular heart rhythm. Obesity causes pilling fat in your blood vessels that affect your normal heart function by high blood pressure and high levels of blood fats (lipids like HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides). Losing weight lowers the risk of developing heart disease, also including a healthy diet with low fats and carbs helps a lot, normally followed by regular exercise.
When blood flow to a part of your brain stops, even for a short amount of time, a stroke happens, damaging brain cells by depleting them from oxygen intake. The most common type of stroke is called ischemic stroke, a blocking of the artery that carries oxygen-rich blood to your brain.
Obesity is linked to a higher risk of stroke again as a result of high blood pressure, high levels of blood fat (HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides), and high blood sugar levels. Keeping your blood pressure under control significantly decreases the risks of stroke. Losing weight is the smartest option if you would like to lower the risks of stroke.
The definition of cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in any part of the body, caused by many factors, including stress, genetics, unhealthy lifestyle, and obesity, and overweight. Cancer and obesity can be linked, however, not as clearly as obesity and the above-mentioned conditions. How obesity increases the risk of cancer development is not yet known, however, it is known that some cancers like breast, colon, pancreatic, kidney, and prostate cancer can happen when overweight or obese. Most probably obesity puts pressure on these parts of your body, pilling fat and enabling normal organ function for a prolonged period.
Maintaining a healthy diet and normal weight significantly decreases the risk of developing cancer; unfortunately, there is no guarantee that cancer won’t develop, even if you stick to all the proposals from your physician. The genetics factor plays a major role in cancer development.
Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects joints and muscles and causes pain and stiffness, and mostly affects your hands, knees, hips, and lower back. This condition is mostly caused by genetic factors, and happens as you grow older; however, increased weight puts additional pressure on your joints and cartilages and wears them away.
Losing weight can decrease the risk of developing osteoarthritis, and if you already have this condition, losing weight will improve your symptoms.
Fatty liver disease
Fatty liver disease, or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, is a disease that occurs when fat builds up in the liver causing liver injury, liver scar tissue (cirrhosis), and liver failure. This is a serious disease that can have fatal consequences and shows little or no symptoms at all. Fatty liver disease is linked to obesity because of increased liver function and high blood fat levels and/or diabetes type 2.
Losing weight is general advice for fatty liver disease patients, and also healthy diet and physical activity are suggested.
Obesity is treated by losing weight and changing your lifestyle habits. Losing only 5% of your weight will show a significant result, and you will feel a lot better. What you should keep in mind is that losing weight is a slow game, and includes small steps in a long-term plan, including small rations of healthy food several times a day, insuring that losing weight won’t affect your good health.
The option of losing weight includes weight loss medicines, in which case always look for FDA-approved ad licensed medicines and medicines with a good reputation and testimonies. The choice of weight loss medicines on the market is huge, however, your physician will most certainly advise you what medicines you should use.
Surgery is also an option, however, losing weight is a precondition to surgery, because obesity is a serious surgery risk factor, and cannot be performed while severe obese. Regular physical activity, a healthy diet, and avoiding emotional eating increase the chances of success, and maintaining this new lifestyle guarantees a longer and healthier life.