Obesity- Causes, complications and treatment

World Obesity day is observed on 11th Oct globally, to create awareness and find solutions to check the epidemic called “ Obesity”

Obesity is sometimes genetic but normally builds up over a period of time due to a sedentary lifestyle and excessive intake of calories, more than what is being burned by daily activities and exercise.

Obesity is usually defined as an excess of body weight, at least 20% higher than normal which has an adverse effect on the body.

It is normally calculated using a ratio of height to weight called as Body Mass Index ( BMI)

A person having a BMI( Body Mass Index) of over 30, is classified as “Obese”. A BMI between 25 and 30, classifies as “overweight”.

Body mass index, indicator of Obesity

What Causes Obesity?

Obesity builds up largely due to a combination of factors, such as excessive intake of foods, lack of physical activity, intake of steroids, certain types of medication, endocrine disorders, medication for mental illnesses and sometimes even genetic susceptibility. A genetic mutation in the FTO gene significantly increases the risk of obesity.

Other medical conditions, which lead to obesity are as follows:

  • Hypothyroidism caused by under activity of thyroid gland slows metabolism causes weight gain.
  • PCOD or polycystic ovarian disease also leads to obesity. Vice versa, women who are overweight or obese often have PCOD.
  • Overproduction of hormone cortisol by adrenal glands also known as Cushing’s syndrome leads to weight gain and full in the upper body, face, and neck.
  • Prader-Willi syndrome, a rare condition which leads to constant eating also leads to obesity.

 What are the medical complications associated with Obesity?

A few medical conditions associated with Obesity are coronary heart disease, needing angioplasty or even an open heart surgery, diabetes, gallstones which require gallbladder removal , hypertension or high blood pressure, wearing out of knees due to excess weight and subsequently osteoarthritis which may require knee replacement, sleep apnea, several type of cancers and infertility which may require an IVF.

The list of cancers due to obesity is fairly long with 25% of cancers being attributed to an increased risk due to obesity.

These include breast cancer, multiple myelomas a type of  blood cancer, cancer of  the gallbladder, oesophageal cancer or cancer of the food pipe, thyroid cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, liver cancer, colorectal cancers, kidney cancer and even some of the brain tumours.

The important question here is “ How to treat obesity?”

Regular exercise, diet modification, eating small healthy meals, avoiding junk, high carbohydrate, and fat rich food has benefits and helps lose weight.

Maintaining a journal or a food diary, to record what’s being consumed help’s and so does keeping a record of exercise being done every day.

Using fitness wearable’s is a good idea too.

However, if all fails, a bariatric surgery or a weight loss surgery be it a gastric bypass or a gastric sleeve as the benefits accrued are considerable.

A weight loss surgery may be considered only when the BMI exceeds 35 or if there is a serious medical condition associated with obesity.

Get in touch with us for a second opinion on your weight-related problems, write to us on info@ihealthkonnect.com or send us a query

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