What is Obesity?
Obesity can be defined as an excessive or abnormal accumulation of fat in the body. This reason for this fat accumulation can be anything ranging from overeating to depression. This is the reason why diagnosing and treating obesity can be tricky, complex and a bit risky in some cases. Most people think lack of physical activity is the reason behind obesity but that’s not the case for the majority of patients.
Obesity is one of the most dangerous and widespread health problems in today’s world. Most people consider obesity to be a problem of their appearance but in reality, it is doing much more damage to their body on the inside. Obesity has been considered an epidemic that’s spreading all over the world.
In order to determine if a person is obese, doctors usually use the BMI (Body Mass Index), which is a simple numerical value calculated using a patient’s weight and height. BMI is equal to the weight of a patient divided by the square of their height in meters.
What Are Common Types of Obesity Disorder?
Researchers & doctors have divided obesity into many different types. Different researchers use their own methods and techniques. Some researchers have divided obesity into as many as 59 different types. Going in such depths so we will be sticking to the six different types as defined by the study that was published in the Journal of Public Health. This categorization was done using different factors listed below apart from a patient’s BMI.
- Heavy Drinking Obese Males
- Young Healthy Females
- Unhappy, anxious middle-aged adults
- Patients with poor health
- Affluent healthy elderly
- Physically ill but happy elderly
What Causes Obesity?
There are many different things that can make a normal person become obese. It could be one single factor or many different factors. We will be discussing some of these common factors that contribute to obesity.
Genetics & Inheritance
In many areas around the world, obesity is passed down from one generation to the next through genetics. It is the genes that make the body perform essential functions and genes are responsible for deciding how much fat the body needs to accumulate and wherein the body this fat has to accumulate. How much energy from food should be utilized by the body and how much of it should be stored as food.
Lifestyle plays a huge role when it comes to obesity. People with an active lifestyle tend to be safe from obesity. On the other hand, people eating a healthy balanced diet usually don’t get fat, while people eating fried foods and high-calorie foods tend to increase their body weight. Drinking alcohol, energy drinks, cold drinks, processed juices, and other sugary drinks also forces the body to get fat.
An inactive lifestyle without much physical activity is the main culprit behind obesity. People all over the world have their physical activity decreased significantly, while their food intake has increased. As a result of this the body stores all the extra calories as fat.
Medications & Health Conditions
There are many different health conditions and medications that can cause obesity. There are many health conditions that restrict a patient’s physical activity, which in return causes obesity. Obesity is a common side effect of many anti-depressants, steroids, antipsychotics, beta-blockers, and diabetes medications.
Age is a huge factor when it comes to obesity. Youngsters are a bit less prone to getting obese as compared to adults and the elderly. In most cases people tend to decrease their physical activities as they age. Plus the body muscles also decrease. Both these factors contribute to body requiring less energy. As a result, the body starts storing excess energy as fat.
Stress, Anxiety & Depression
People suffering from stress, anxiety or depression tend to restrict themselves to the maximum extent and at the same time, they turn to comfort foods to feel better. These comfort foods are usually foods with high sugar content that is gets turned into fat once in the body. Such obesity can only be avoided by decreasing anxiety, stress and depression.
What Are Signs & Symptoms of Obesity?
The first and most noticeable sign of obesity is the gain of weight. This could be within a few days or over an extended period. Many people won’t even notice the increase in weight unless measured. Usually, people start noticing obesity when they start having issues in their everyday life. Listed below are some of the common symptoms that people experience when obese.
- Increased sweating
- Unable to sudden or hard physical activities
- Feeling tired through the day
- Body aches, muscle, and joint pain
- Snoring while sleeping
These are just few of the symptoms that patients experience, only a health expert can exactly determine the other complicated symptoms of obesity.
How Is Obesity Diagnosed?
Note: If you have doubts that you are suffering from Obesity, please don’t diagnose or start treatment on your own. Make an appointment with a doctor or dietitian to get a complete diagnosis and correct treatment.
Obesity diagnosis starts with the calculation of BMI (Body Mass Index). After that, the next step is to check a patient’s medical history. Usually, doctors also ask for obesity in another member of the family. while for personal history doctors usually ask about other medical conditions, medications being used, any diet plan being followed, exercise routine, daily physical activity, or any past efforts of losing weight.
The next thing that doctors do is a physical exam to see the fat distribution in the body and checking of vitals such as heart rate and blood pressure. The most important thing is measuring waist circumference. Doctors might also need to measure the circumference of thighs, hips, and biceps.
Once the measurements have been complete doctors check for other health conditions. Usually, they look for cardiac and respiratory issues. The most important thing that must be check is diabetes. Diabetes is the highest risk that obese people suffer from.
In rare cases, doctors might need to run some blood tests to check if organs such as the liver, kidneys, and heart are working well. Usually, doctors also run a thyroid test to check the health of the thyroid gland.
How Is Obesity Treated?
Treating obesity can be easy and complicated depending on the root cause. Some people can start losing weight and get back to normal within a few weeks while others might need to work for months before seeing any visible changes. Listed below are some of the possible treatment routes that doctors recommend.
This is the most effective solution for weight loss. It doesn’t put much stress on the body as it helps patients lose weight in an orderly manner. All they will need to take a planned diet. Daily calorie intake should be strictly managed. Cutting off all fried and processed food also helps. People changing to organic foods have also shown positive results.
Increased Physical Activity
Adding a bit of exercise to daily life goes a long way when it comes to weight loss. This helps the body to burn the excess calories instead of storing them in the form of fat. Patients should try to walk as often as possible. Even a simple change such as taking stairs instead of an elevator can also help in burning some calories
Behavior Changes and Therapy
Therapists are the best option in case a patient is unable to bring about changes in their everyday life. Counseling can help patients wade off their urge to eat excessive amounts of high-calorie foods. Another thing that therapists can help with is compelling patients to live an active life and introduce activities such as yoga and jogging to help with weight loss.
There are many different weight loss supplements and medications available in the market. There are hundreds of herbal supplements being advertised online and on TV almost all the time. The truth about many of the advertised supplements is that they are scams and don’t usually work. While on the other hand there are prescription medications that do work. Only doctors can determine if these medications are safe for a patient or not. So consult your doctor instead of using any medication without proper knowledge. Some of the frequently prescribed medications for weight loss are Adipex, Belviq, Xenical, Qsymia, and Contrave.
This weight-loss technique is a bit less utilized but people go for it. This process is used to decrease the size of the stomach. There are two different ways of making this possible. Either stitching up the stomach walls to make its size smaller or inserting an inflatable balloon filled with air to take up some area of the stomach.
Fat Removal Surgery
There are many different surgical procedures that are used to extract fat from the body. Among all liposuction is really famous. Almost all top cosmetic surgery clinics nowadays are offering liposuction and people are getting it. In this procedure, the fat inside the body is broken and sucked out. It is best for fat removal from the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks. As per estimate doctors are doing around 300,000 procedures every year. Apart from liposuction, there are many other surgical procedures for fat removal, please consult a specialist to know more about them.
What Health Complications Are Caused By Obesity?
Obesity can cause countless other health problems if not managed properly and in time. Extra fat in the body puts a strain on the organs such as the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. Under strain, these organs can fail and cause serious health problems.
Apart from everything else, the biggest risk that comes with obesity is Type II Diabetes. Diabetes has no cure and once a patient has it, they will need to manage it too throughout their lives. Listed below are some other common health problems that obese people tend to have.
- Heart Diseases
- Irregular Blood Pressure
- Fatty Liver Disease
- High Cholesterol
- Sleep Apnea
- Cancers such as colon and breast