Today, over 40 percent of the American population is considered medically obese. Medical obesity denotes a body mass index or BMI of 30 and above. Understanding how body weight affects overall health may motivate many patients to try to lose weight. When attempting to preserve health well into old age, patients must try to bring themselves to a healthy BMI.
Belly fat or visceral fat is dangerous in large quantities. It produces chemicals and hormones that promote insulin resistance and inflammation.
Many methods can be used to lose weight. Diet, exercise, and surgical procedures like a gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery are frequently used. Carlos A. Barba, a physician, and weight loss surgery expert describes some of the medical conditions caused and exacerbated by obesity.
Heart disease carries many risks. At worst, it can cause cardiac arrest and death. If patients are interested in maintaining their overall health, they should pay close attention to their cardiovascular wellness. Many different conditions are related to cardiovascular health, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Overeating saturated fat is associated with high cholesterol. “Bad” or LDL cholesterol in excess levels can cause fatty plaques to build up in the blood vessels. This is a condition called atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.
Obstructed arteries can cause heart attacks, stroke, and other serious cardiac conditions. Lowering body weight and eating a healthier diet with plenty of whole grains and lean meats have lower “bad” cholesterol levels.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure means that a patient’s heart is working too hard to distribute blood throughout the body. Healthy blood pressure should not be above 120/80. High blood pressure damages the kidneys, among other bodily systems. Reducing bodyweight is one of the simplest ways to reduce high blood pressure. Moderate cardio exercise of at least 30 minutes, five times each week, is another vital part of the puzzle.
Excess fat in the body causes patients to become insulin resistant. This means that patients will become more vulnerable to the effects of high blood sugar on the body. High blood sugar can cause a patient to accumulate more fat, and it can put a great deal of pressure on the liver and kidneys.
Diabetes is a dangerous disease that many people do not take seriously. Diabetes can damage the heart, kidneys, and blood circulation. It can cause blindness in the case of diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetes can also cause nerve problems like neuropathy, preventing patients from moving around freely. Their reduced mobility can lead to a lower chance of getting a healthy amount of exercise.
Circulation problems can lead to the loss of toes in extreme cases. Patients should do everything they can to lessen their chance of developing diabetes, including getting healthy weight and BMI.
It stands to reason that joint problems like arthritis are more common in obese patients. Being overweight puts a great deal of stress on the joints, which were not made to support such a high weight. The extra pressure on joints means that an overweight person will feel less mobile, often causing them to exercise less. This provides a Catch-22 that can ensnare many patients with higher body weights.
Obese patients are also more likely to experience dementia in later life. Dementia may be exacerbated in people who have excess belly fat. How bodily fat percentage and BMI directly impact dementia are unknown, but research is being conducted to determine the exact cause.
Carlos A. Barba MD recommends that patients interested in avoiding dementia should also pay attention to their waist-to-hip ratio or WHR. A high waist-to-hip ratio is associated with cognitive decline. Central or belly fat obesity has been associated with a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. It is a better indicator of dementia risk than BMI.
Solutions for Obese People
Fortunately, Carlos A. Barba, MD, believes that even severely obese patients hope to return to full health. Obese patients who want to try to lose weight on their own should follow healthy and sensible eating plans. Rapid weight loss, such as that produced by starvation diets or “cleanses,” is more likely to be reversed later on, creating dangerous “yo-yo” dieting.
It is better to change your diet and incorporate plenty of whole grains, lean meat and fish, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat or non-fat dairy. Oils, fats, and sweets should be eaten in smaller quantities. Most people who want to lose weight should stick to plans that involve losing 1 to 2 pounds a week. This gradual pace is more likely to be successful.
Patients with obesity should also incorporate exercise in their daily lives. Even 10 to 15 minutes of exercise a few times a day can have substantial benefits. Obese patients may need to modify their activity to protect their joints.
Many people who have been trying to lose weight with diet and exercise become frustrated with their lack of progress. Carlos A. Barba MD offers surgical solutions to help these patients, including gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgeries. With these surgeries, the stomach’s capacity is reduced, causing patients to eat less and feel full quickly.
Carlos A. Barba is interested in helping patients live healthier lives. Together with their doctors, patients should determine whether they are good candidates for this type of surgery. It requires a serious lifestyle commitment and the conviction to succeed. Having weight loss surgery can be a significant investment in your health and could pay off in fewer chronic conditions and longer life.