Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023
Obesity - How It Increases Your Risk of Different Diseases?
Written and reviewed by
Dr. Neeraj Nagaich
89% (168 ratings)
MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Gastroenterology
24 years experience
The new epidemic that has taken the world by storm is obesity. The proportion of obese people is increasing and the age of onset of obesity is decreasing gradually. There is an optimal weight for a given height of a person. Obesity is when a person's weight is 20% more than the optimal weight. It brings with it a host of other health conditions, as it impairs the body’s overall functioning.
- Diabetes 2: In a normal person, food gets broken down into glucose to provide the required energy for the body using insulin. The body’s inability to produce sufficient insulin to convert the excessive amount of sugar in the body leads to diabetes. Growing to be a leading cause of early death, diabetes brings with it a host of complications affecting almost all systems and parts of the body including stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and death. Diabetes and obesity have a direct correlation and can be prevented and managed by eating a balanced diet, losing weight, exercising, and having a healthy lifestyle.
- Heart problems: An increased BMI also ups the risk for coronary heart disease (CHD), where the blood vessels are narrowed due to constant accumulation of fat in their inner walls. This gradually reduces the blood flow through these and may when complete cut-off happens, it could result in heart attack or stroke, affecting the heart or the brain. There could also be cases where the heart fails to pump sufficient blood to the rest of the body, affecting their effective functioning. Obese people also have a higher blood pressure than people who maintain a good BMI.
- Breathing problems: One of the main causes of labored breathing is excessive weight. The condition called sleep apnea which is sudden bouts of absence of breathing during sleep is very high in obesity. It can cause snoring, daytime sleepiness, increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. In people with sleep apnea, weight loss is one of the first and most recommended therapies. Asthma and general breathing disorders are also higher in obese people.
- Abnormal body cholesterol: Obese people also tend to have abnormally higher levels of body fat, especially the bad cholesterol, which again leads to coronary disease. It is a vicious cycle with one leading to the other and aggravating the other.
- Osteoarthritis: Added weight leads to pressure on the hips, knees and lower back. There is added wear and tear and pain, which further limits movement.
- Cancer: Some cancers, of the colon, endometrium, kidney, pancreas, gallbladder, breast and esophagus are more prevalent in obese people.
These are just some, there are more. The best way to avoid all these is to watch your weight. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.
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