Obesity- Causes, complications and treatment

World Obesity day is observed on 11 th 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 sedentary life style and excessive intake of calories, more than what are being burned by daily activities and exercise.

Obesity is usually defined as excess of body weight, atleast 20% higher than normal which has an adverse affect 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”.

World Obesity day, check your BMI
Body Mass Index

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 sterioids, certain types of medication, endocrine disorders, medication for mental illnesses and sometimes even genetic susceptibility. A genetic mutation in the FTO gene, significantly increases 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 over weight or obese often have PCOD.
  • Over production 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 whuch 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 gall bladder, 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 dairy, to record what’s being consumed helps and so does keeping a record of exercise being done everyday.

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.

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Stomach Cancer- Why does it catch us unawares ?

Stomach cancer is defined as the growth of cancerous cells in the stomach lining.
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), there will be approximately 24,590 new cases of stomach cancer every year.

Stomach cancer
Clinical stages of stomach cancer. How stomach cancer spreads?

Stomach cancer is often left undiagnosed because it doesn’t have many early symptoms – it is diagnosed when cancer spreads to other parts of the human body.

A few early signs are:
Nausea and Vomiting: Nausea is defined as a feeling of queasiness at the back of your throat or stomach. Vomiting, on the other hand, is defined as the contraction of your stomach muscles that push the digested food back through your oesophagus. Both nausea and vomiting may be early symptoms of stomach cancer especially if one’s blood shows in the vomit.
Bloating: If one faces bloating, which doesn’t ease up and persistent, it calls for a visit to the doctor and an ultrasound at least to start with.

H. Pylori Infection: If one suffers from frequent indigestion, bloating,one must get tested for bacterial Infection with H pylori, as it is the most prominent indication of people developing stomach cancer later.

Research has shown that people suffering from H.Pylori infections have a much incidence of stomach cancers.

Weight loss: Stomach tumours cause blockages, preventing food from passing into the stomach or into the intestines causing loss of appetite. Similarly, stomach cancer causes energy from food to be burned at a faster rate which combined with nutritional loss causes weight loss.

Stomach Pain: Unexplained stomach pain , the kind which persists is also a warning sign that something may be wrong.

Frequent HeartBurns:  Frequent heartburns could be because of ulcers and may also indicate that everything is not ok.

Inability to eat: As the tumour progresses, it blocks various parts of the digestive system. Coupled with body’s inability to digest food,  there is a reduced appetite, which at a later stage is often total inability to eat and digest food.

As the symptoms are so generic, they are often missed leading to diagnosis at a much later stage when the cancer has spread or metastatised to other parts of the body.

Is there a co-relation between our habits and stomach cancer?
Food: Food and stomach cancer have a direct relationship. The right dietary intake can lower the risk of stomach cancer. Storage of food through refrigeration instead of by smoking, salting and pickling also reduces the risk because the nitrates and nitrites in smoked food increase the risk of stomach cancer.
Smoking: The use of tobacco increases the risk of stomach cancer. It is said that the rate of risk of stomach cancer is doubled in smokers as compared to non-smokers. This is because smoking reduces the production of natural substances that protect the stomach and duodenum from tissue damage. Additionally, smoking promotes the duodenum reflux and increases the acidity of the duodenum making it vulnerable to H. Pylori bacteria. Smoking also constricts the blood vessels in the stomach reducing the blood flow in the stomach. All these mechanisms strengthen the link between stomach cancer and smoking.

Treatment of stomach cancer involves, surgery if detected at an early stage, followed by chemotherapy as the 1st line of treatment.

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Good Health – A few vital indicators!

 Good health
Vital parameters for good health

We all talk of good health. Are there some common parameters which indicate good health ?


Blood Pressure :The force of blood pressing against your artery walls is your blood pressure
Ideal BP is 120/80mm.  BP over 140/90mm increases risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Cholesterol : Cholesterol is a fat-like, waxy substance in the blood which gets deposited in your arteries and reduces blood supply.
Ideally total cholesterol, which should be less than 200mg/dL; tri-glycerides, which should be less than 150mg/dL; good’ HDL cholesterol, greater than 60mg/dL and ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, less than 100mg/dL. Higher levels of cholesterol may block blood flow to the heart an increase risk of heart disease.
 BMI or Body Mass Index is a key indicator for fat in the body  measures body fat using your height and weight.
Ideally  BMI should be between 18.5 to 24.9. BMI less than 18, indicates under weight with possible nutritional deficiencies.
A BMI of 25 and above is considered to be overweight, while 30 and above is considered to be obese. 
Sugar: The amount of glucose in the blood is called sugar
Sugar is measured by Fasting Sugar, PP sugar or HbAIc tests (hemoglobin Alc ).
A high HbAIc indicates pre diabetes, insulin resistance which lead to diabetes. Ideally HbAlc should be less than 5.7% and fasting glucose should be less than 126mg/dL.
Diabetes is usually diagnosed when HbAlc is 6.5% or higher, while your fasting glucose is 126mg/dL or higher. High sugar levels can damage blood vessels, increasing risk of heart disease and kidney failure.

Boosting Weight Loss

Boosting Weight LossThis post comes straight from my personal experience to lose weight.

I have gradually begin to realize that as one grows older, the body changes. You no longer lose weight in a jiffy and weight adds up slowly and steadily if you are not careful with what you eat.

So here is a list of foods from my personal repertoire which help with weight loss

1. Eggs and more Eggs– We have written about eggs earlier too. With 70-86 calories per eggs are a great way to start your day.

Research shows that weight loss is significantly higher for women who eat atleast 6 egg whites a week.

A protein rich breakfast helps boost metabolism and helps with weight loss.

2. Uncut raw oats- Oats have a low glycemic index which leads to slow release of energy through out the day. A breakfast of oat porridge with veggies is a great way to stay full and start the day.

3. Hot Peppers- Hot peppers have capsaicin which increases our metabolism , make us sweat and flush toxins out of our body. A bit of chilli and peri peri are actually good for us.

4. Apples, Oranges and pears- Apples, Oranges and pears are low in calories and eating small apples, pears and oranges helps with weight loss.

But remember, just one fruit at a time

5. Load up on the greens be it spinach, kale and broccoli- Not favourite foods with many, these foods are rich in folate, iron and some are good sources of calcium too.

They provide not just vitamins and minerals but also help with necessary fibre intake.

6. Load up on Vitamin D and Calcium rich foods- The sunshine vitamin is great for health which is why foods such as eggs are rich in Vitamin D and help with weight loss.

A Vitamin D and calcium deficiency prevents weight loss.

People who consume 1200 mg of calcium daily are often able to lose weight faster than the average Joe with calcium deficiency.

7. Dump white, opt for browns and red- Ditch the white rice and refined flours for healthier whole wheat, oat, millets such as Amaranth, Ragi, Brown rice which are a source of complex carbohydrates and help boost metabolism by stabilizing insulin levels in the body.

If one is not able to lose weight despite measures and the BMI is over 31, a Weight loss surgery may be the last option.

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Knee Pain- When to consider Knee Replacement as an option

Knee Pain, Knee Replacement Surgery Cost In IndiaCauses of Knee Pain

Knee Pain is caused by either knee injury or degenerative arthritis which affects middle aged and older people such as Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Arthritis can affect walking, sitting, climbing and even lying down and affects the quality of life.

If the pain is debilitating, surgery can bring relief , however the following options must be considered before option for surgery

Oral Pain Relief Medication and Topical Ointments– OTC pain medication such as Advil, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Paracetamol  can help with pain relief for some time. Topical Ointments may also provide short term pain relief.

Corticosteroid injections- Especially hyaluronic acid boost the natural joint fluid  which helps in movement of knees. Affect of cortisone shots may last upto 6 months or a bit more.

Weight loss– Incase you are obese, weight loss can take pressure off the knees and offer relief.

Regular Exercise- helps with muscle strengthening. Our muscles support our knees and strong muscles help with easier movements.

Arthroscopic surgery– A surgeon inserts an endoscope and  flushes the knee and removes cartilage, loose bones etc which maybe causing pain. Recovery is quick and the surgery may delay a  total knee replacement surgery.

Knee Replacement Surgery– During a knee replacement surgery, the damaged knee joint is replaced partially or completely with a new plastic or metal joint.

Although complete recovery and natural movement takes some time, relief lasts often of several years.

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Good Friday and A Happy Easter!

Good Friday and A Happy Easter!Easter Eggs Benefits:

Easter eggs are lovely but do we know that eggs are incredibly nutritious and a great addition to diet too.

Great for fertility, healthy heart, weight loss along with many other health benefits, here are a few reasons to crack one daily

An egg a day can fulfill the following daily vitamin and mineral requirements

Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA.

Folate: 5% of the RDA.

Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA.

Vitamin B12: 9% of the RDA.

Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA.

Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA.

Selenium: 22% of the RDA.

Eggs also contain vital vitamins such as  of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium and Zinc.

Protein Intake

One egg gives about 6.5 g of protein. The protein component is largely found in the egg white.

Daily protein reqt  is approximately 50 gms so 3 egg whites alone can make up for roughly half of daily protein recommended intake.

One egg has as much protein as 30g cooked meat, fish or poultry.

Breast Cancer

Research shows that Choline can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 24 percent. An egg yolk contains 125.5 milligrams of choline, about 1/4th of the recommended daily intake, so just two boiled eggs can work wonders.

Women who eat 6 eggs a week have a 44% reduced risk of developing  breast cancer.

Preggers – Eggs are the best for foetus development

Choline found in the eggs helps in foetal brain development and l memory enhancement.  Choline is of extreme importance during pregnancy and lactation when the reserves may get depleted.  Going in for an IVF(In Vitro Fertilization), don’t forget your daily intake of 2 eggs a day.

Weight Loss

One Egg contains roughly 70-86 calories. Eating eggs for breakfast keeps us full at a low calorie count and leads to less snacking and subsequent weight loss when on a diet.

Many dieticians recommend atleast 6 egg whites in a week during weight loss programs

Prevents Cataract

An egg  a day may reduce your cataract risk by 20%. It may also reduce age-related lens and retinal degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly (up to a 40% decrease).

Eggs are a good source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthine, which play an important role in keeping the eyes healthy.  Getting enough lutein and zeaxanthine is therefore very important from childhood onwards throughout life.

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Weight Loss or Obesity ,What Would You Choose?

weight loss, cost of bariatric surgery in IndiaWhat is Obesity?

Obesity is an issue of concern worldwide because excess weight comes along with certain severe health issues which include heart trouble and diabetes.  When all other options fails and you are unable to lose weight with exercise, dieting under medical supervision, a weight loss surgery comes to the rescue.

Types of Bariatric Surgeries:

The 3 types of weight loss or bariatric surgeries are Lap Band,  Gastric Sleeve or Gastric Bypass.

Like every other surgery, these also come with some associated risks, however the benefits in terms of reduced blood pressure, controlling diabetes, high cholesterol levels,  preventing heart disease, fatty liver far outweigh risks.

If you are planning to go for a weight loss surgery, then you must make sure to collect detailed information about the surgery cost, procedure, pre and post operative restrictions, hospital stay, etc.

The cost of weight loss surgery is different in different countries. Bariatric surgery in India is much cheaper when compared to the other countries like USA, Australia, UK, Canada, etc. The lower surgery expense makes India , a preferred destination.

If you are planning to come to India for surgery then here are some tips which will help you decide.

  • Cost of Bariatric Surgery in India depends on the type you select.
  • Hospitals and clinics in India  may have different charges. You must look for different options, compare the rate and facilities and then select one that fits your budget.
  • Travel cost is another factor that you must take into consideration when planning surgery budget.
  • Decide on which kind of weight loss surgery in India is perfect for you.

Mostly the kind of operation doctors perform depends on the body weight and health condition of the patients.

You can  upload your medical reports, and get a Free 2nd Opinion along with an Estimated Cost of weight loss surgery.

Post that  will be easy for you to look for the cost and then plan the budget.

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Maintaining a Healthy Weight, BMI

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall health and can lower your risk for coronary heart disease and heart attack. Aim for a Healthy Weight by following a heart-healthy eating plan and keeping physically active.
Knowing your Body Mass Index (BMI) helps you find out if you’re a healthy weight in relation to your height and gives an estimate of your total body fat.

  • Below 18.5 is a sign that you are underweight.
  • Between 18.5 and 24.9 is in the normal range.
  • Between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight.
  • Of 30 or more is considered obese.

A general goal to aim for is a BMI of less than 25 for a healthy heart.