Obesity is a weight disorder that occurs when a person possesses excess body fat which may cause one to develop other medical conditions. Obese people are at a risk of having health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, arthritis, sleep apnea, and even infertility. Body mass index (BMI) is calculated by dividing one’s body weight (in kilograms) by one’s height (in meters). If one has a BMI higher than 30, then one can be to be obese. One does not just wake up to become obese, it is caused by consuming more calories than one burns. These accumulated calories come together to cause weight gain and eventually obesity if unchecked. Eating foods rich in carbohydrates, thereby, increasing fat and calorie intake may cause one to become obese. Obesity can also be caused by living a life without activity which causes cravings and increased food intake, and genetics which can negatively impact the way food is processed into energy and how fat is stored for future use. What`s more? As one gets older, there is a reduction in one’s metabolic rate, and this may also cause obesity. There are some medical conditions that could cause one to gain a lot of weight which may lead to obesity if untreated.
We`ll discuss some medical conditions that could cause obesity.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Persons who have PCOS are most likely to have problems losing excess weight, therefore, making obesity a possibility. PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects young women and may lead to fertility issues. PCOS increases the level of androgen which is a male hormone which is sensitive to insulin or is insulin resistant. High levels of insulin trigger the high production of androgen which causes weight gain among other conditions. This excess weight is most likely to be in the midsection area where androgen hormone is located and produced.
Prader-Will Syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes the patient to have some physical, mental and behavioral challenges; it also causes one to be excessively hungry. Persons with the prader-will syndrome are always hungry and feel the need to eat all the time. This may lead to excess weight gain and eventually obesity if it goes untreated.
Persons with crushing syndrome usually have high levels of cortisol which is a stress hormone. Increased levels of cortisol make it difficult to lose excess fat, especially in the abdominal area.
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
Persons with an underactive thyroid will most likely experience weight gain. Weight gain is caused due to the inactivity of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) which are thyroid hormones. These hormones influence one’s metabolic rate through their interaction with a person’s pancreas, liver, hypothalamus, muscle, and fat cells. They help one break down fat and enable the pancreas and liver function properly. However, when they are inactive, one is bound to gain weight because the interaction of the thyroid hormones with the vital organs of the body has been disrupted.
This is a condition that causes wear and tear to the cartilage which cushions the bones in various joints. Persons who have osteoarthritis find it uneasy to lose weight because of the pain they are in, hence they are unable to exercise, and may be immobile for a long time. Osteoarthritis can also cause inactivity, which can encourage weight gain.
Health Complications of Obesity
Obesity goes beyond excess body fat; the excess fat puts a lot of strain on the bones and internal organs, and this may bring about some health challenges. We`ll discuss them briefly.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body is insulin resistant, that is, the body is unable to react to insulin effectively. People who are obese have an additional strain on the pancreas and this might affect its ability to produce insulin or the body’s ability to use insulin properly. So, an obese person can develop type 2 diabetes. One can prevent this incurable disease by losing some weight. If a person who suffers from obesity does not already have diabetes, it is paramount that they lose excess weight so as to reduce the risk of having type 2 diabetes.
Obesity may cause one to have an increase in the blood pressure level and can trigger an inflammatory reaction that may most likely cause harm or damage to one’s cardiovascular system. High blood pressure caused by obesity may cause the plaque in the arteries to rupture, which may cause a heart attack. Obesity may cause the heart to work harder than normal because of the excess fat.
Obesity can increase one’s chances of getting breast, colon or endometrial cancer. The excess fat cells in an obese person are active, and they send signals to the other cells in the body to further divide, which can cause the growth of cancer cells. Obesity can also cause bowel, womb, pancreatic, gallbladder, ovarian and thyroid cancer.
The excess fat in a person who suffers from obesity can cause inflammation which may lead to poor blood flow, causing some blockages, thereby, causing a stroke. Obesity can also cause hypertension which causes stroke as well.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes one to stop breathing repeatedly for about 10 seconds during sleep. Obesity can cause sleep apnea.
An obese person would most likely develop arthritis due to the strain of excess fat on the joint, which causes pain and discomfort. The function of the joints is limited because they are inflamed and strained. The hip and knee joints may suffer severe wear and tear that would make it mandatory for them to be replaced because they have been damaged beyond repair.
Excess fat in the body can cause infertility due to the fact that obesity affects the hormones of an obese person. It causes hormonal changes which may reduce the chances of one to conceive. Obesity causes insulin resistance in the body, which causes one to have abnormal menstrual cycles and anovulation. Anovulation is a condition that causes a failure of the body to properly produce eggs. Obese men may also be unable to get a woman pregnant because of the reduction in the production of testosterone which can cause infertility. An obese man can also have erectile dysfunction as a result of the excess fat.
High cholesterol is unhealthy because it causes health hazards such as high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and metabolic syndrome
The excess fat obese people may affect the gallbladder which is the sac beneath the liver, thereby, causing it to be impaired or diseased. Gallbladder polyps, gallstones, and gallbladder cancer are examples of gallbladder diseases one could have as a result of obesity.
Having read so extensively on obesity, you can tell that it is a terribly dangerous health condition that can cause other health complications that may be life-threatening. It is advisable for people who suffer from obesity to seek medical attention and lose as much weight as possible, so as to reduce their chances of having health conditions due to excess fat. Do remember to share this, and ensure that you eat healthily, exercise regularly, and go for medical checkups as often as required.