The Serious Health Effects of Being Over Weight
Being overweight does not only affect one’s lifestyle or way of living. One major concern of being overweight especially being obese are the health complications that comes along with it. The problem of obesity is so widespread that health officials are taking action. It is not just a problem affecting Western civilization but it is now recognized as a problem worldwide. Although some cultures have associated being overweight to being wealthy, the rate of increase of people being obese have become alarming that it is even considered as an epidemic. It not only affects men and women but an increasing number of children even under the age of 5 are already considered as obese.
As a wake-up call for those who are still not taking steps to address their weight problems here are but some of the medical conditions and maladies often associated with weight gain:
- Cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and heart diseases are but some of the complications of excessive weight gain. Overweight and obese persons are more prone to stroke, heart problems and kidney problems as compare to those with normal weights. It increases the risk of heart attacks due to the high levels of cholesterol, triglycerides or fat found in the blood and LDL cholesterol which causes blockage on the walls of the blood vessels.
- Being overweight and obese makes one more prone to type II diabetes, so much so that almost 85% of people diagnosed as being diabetic is overweight. Diabetes can cause complications such as kidney failure and in some extreme cases cause blindness. It can also affect the heart functions. One alarming fact is an obese or overweight person may develop diabetes in a small amount of time, more so for children.
- Obesity can also make a person susceptible to brain haemorrhage. Because of the high level of cholesterol, triglyceride and LDL cholesterol, these may cause blockage in the arteries of the brain causing blood clots obstructing normal blood flow. An aneurysm may result or a rupture of arteries can occur causing internal bleeding which may result to death or disability.
- Obesity and being overweight has been linked to certain types of cancer. These can be breast cancer which can affect both male and female, endometrial cancer affecting the lining of the uterus, kidney cancer which is a type of cancer that starts in the cells in the kidneys, esophageal cancer or a malignant tumor on the esophagus or the muscular tube that moves the food from the mouth to the stomach, prostate cancer or a cancer that starts in the prostate gland which is a gland in the male reproductive organ. Gall bladder cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects more women than men, usually diagnosed too late. The gall bladder stores bile which is a fluid produced by the liver to digest fat. During digestion the gall bladder releases bile through the bile duct. Colorectal cancer or colon cancer is a cancer affecting the large intestine or the rectum. Ovarian cancer that starts at the ovaries and cervical cancer that start in the cervix, the lower part of the uterus that opens on top of the vagina are cancers that are also linked to being overweight and obese.
- Digestive disorders such as Pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas, gall stones, fatty and enlarged liver where fat accumulates inside the liver cells, acid reflux and GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease are but some of the complications associated with being obese or overweight. GERD is manifested by heartburn, regurgitation and nausea.
- Excess weight often causes pressure and strain on the lower back and joints which may lead to arthritis. For every kilo of weight gain, the risk of arthritis increases by 9 to 13 percent.
- Obesity and excess weight can cause breathing problems such as asthma, sleep apnea which may affect more men than women. Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder which is characterized by abnormal pauses of breathing during sleep. This pause may last for a few second up to a minute and can occur several times in an hour. Another form of breathing disorder associated obese persons is Pickwickian Syndrome or shallow breaths, or shortness of breath even gasping causing fatigue or even dizziness.
- Obese persons are also prone to depression, low self-esteem and irritability. Being socially ridiculed and ostracized can affect the psychological health of an individual. Discrimination and rejection are but some of the social ramification of being obese and overweight. One may say being is obese is not a problem but seeing the physical harm that can result from being overweight isn’t it about time to do something about it?