Oct 07

Obesity Related Diseases

Medical_complications_of_obesityObesity is a treatable and preventable disease. Thirty percent of the U.S. adult population is obese. Approximately 10% are morbidly obese. Obesity affects every organ system in the body.

The Lungs. Obesity increases the chance of obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea increases the work of the heart and leads to early death. Hypo ventilation syndrome, where the body is chronically low in oxygen, also is related to obesity.

The liver. In obese patients, fat accumulates under the skin and in the liver. Fatty infiltration of the liver is called steatosis. Steatosis can lead to liver failure.

Reproductive organs. Obesity leads to poly cystic ovarian syndrome, abnormal menstruation, and infertility. Losing weight restores normal hormonal function.

Skin. Obesity increases the risk of many skin diseases. Phlebitis and venous stasis dermatitis are often the result of obesity. Chronic skin infections of the excess skin is also a common problem. Yeast infections in the arm pits, groin and under the breasts also is much higher in obese patients.

Pancreas. Pancreatitis is more common in obese patients.

Brain. Obese patients have a higher risk of stroke and a higher risk of increased pressure in the brain.

Vascular system. Obesity causes diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. This triad leads to atherosclerosis in the heart and other arteries. This leads to heart attacks and occluded blood vessels.

Back. Chronic back pain and disk disease are related to obesity. In the obese patient, the center of gravity is forward of the spine and thus the spine is flexed forward, increasing the stress on the back.

Joints. Osteoarthritis or chronic arthritis is increased in obese patients. Our joints aren’t designed to carry the excess weight, so they prematurely wear out.

Cancer. Breast, uterine, cervical, colon, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, and prostate are all related to obesity.

As a society, we can saved $600 billion dollars over the next 15 years if we could reduce our BMI just 5%. The U.S. national debt is slightly over 1 trillion dollars. So we could reduce the national debt by 50% just by losing a few pounds.



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