Let’s start by stating that obesity is not just a cosmetic concern; it affects more than your looks and confidence. While you would think the worst that can happen is not finding a dress in your size, it is just the beginning of what can go wrong. If your weighing scale indicates that you are overweight and your doctors express concern, you may be putting your health at stake and welcoming numerous ailments in your body. According to medical science, having an excessive quantity of body fat distributed unevenly in your body is termed obesity, and a person who has a BMI over 30 is considered obese (1). It strains your bones and organs and also alters your metabolism. Here are some of the illnesses that you are susceptible to when you exceed the weight you should be according to your height. Read on to know them all.
1. Type 2 Diabetes
If your blood sugar levels are consistently higher than they should be, you may have type 2 diabetes (2). Over time, this can lead to heart disease, nerve damage, stroke, renal illness, visual difficulties, and other health issues. In addition, it has been seen that type 2 diabetes is a common problem in people who are obese (3).
2. Heart Illness
Obesity is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. As time passes, fatty deposits in the arteries that carry blood to the heart may build up. It results in elevated levels of blood pressure, bad cholesterol (LDL), triglycerides, and glucose, all of which are risk factors for heart health (4).
Many of the risk factors for stroke and heart disease are similar. Strokes mainly occur when the brain’s blood supply is cut off. Brain damage from a stroke can produce a variety of problems such as speech and language difficulties, muscular weakness, and alterations in cognitive functioning (5).
4. Sleep Apnea
The apneic syndrome is a condition in which a person’s breathing stops for a brief period as they sleep. Obesity increases a person’s likelihood of developing sleep apnea (6). This is because they tend to have more fat around the neck, which causes the airway to become smaller. As a result, snoring and breathing difficulties at night might be caused by a narrow airway. The risk of sleep apnea can be reduced by losing weight, which reduces the amount of fat in the neck.
The increased fat tissue will necessitate a greater blood flow via your arteries, making your heart work twice as hard (7). As a result, extra pressure is placed on your arteries’ walls due to the increased volume of blood flowing through them. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the medical term for this additional stress. Heart and artery damage may occur due to long-term high blood pressure.
6. Disease Of The Liver
Fatal liver disease or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis can occur in people who are obese (NASH). A buildup of fat in the liver can lead to cirrhosis, a condition in which scar tissues form (8). Even when there are no obvious signs of fatty liver disease, it can eventually cause liver failure. Weight loss, regular exercise, and abstinence from alcoholic beverages are treatments that can help reverse or control the illness.
7. Disease Of The Gallbladder
Bile, a chemical that helps digest food, is stored in the gallbladder and then sent to the small intestines during digestion. Bile aids in the digestion of lipids. You’re more likely to have gallstones if you’re overweight (9). A buildup of bile in the gallbladder can lead to gallstones, which are hard lumps of bile. The gallbladders of obese people may not function properly, resulting in the formation of gallstones due to the elevated cholesterol levels seen in their bile. Surgery may be necessary if gallstones are found. But the good news is that gallstones can be prevented by eating a diet high in fiber and healthy fats.
The link between fat and cancer is less apparent than in other disorders like heart disease and stroke, but the risk of malignancies such as breast, colon, pancreas, kidney, and prostate cancers can be increased by obesity (10). In addition to these specific diseases, obesity can also raise the risk for uterine, cervix, and endometrial and ovarian cancer (11).
9. Complications In Pregnancy
Insulin resistance, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure are more common in pregnant women who are obese or overweight. Pregnancy and childbirth can be complicated by a variety of issues, including:
- gestational diabetes
- blood clots
- premature birth
- heavy bleeding
- defects of the spinal cord and brain
More than 60 percent of pregnant women with a BMI of 40 or more experienced one of these issues, as shown in one research (12). Women who are overweight and want a baby can benefit from a weight-loss program before getting pregnant. Staying fit and active and talking to your doctor will help you figure out when it is safest to have a baby after having lost weight effectively.
Obesity is often associated with depression (13). People who are obese may be subjected to unfair treatment because of their bodies. This might lead to self-loathing and feeling isolated in the long run. Even overweight children are treated differently by their peers, and in a way, this affects their mentality largely.
While body positivity is something we should encourage and accept, obesity is a concern as it puts your body at risk. Choosing an active lifestyle and staying fit is a goal you should consistently work towards. Make sure you choose an activity or workout that you enjoy which yields good results and eat healthy to enjoy life the way you should. So, do you have any favorite activity that helps you stay fit? Let us know in the comments section.