Complications of Obesity – Stop It Before It Starts

Obesity rates in America have steadily increased over the past few decades. To combat this epidemic, people need to know the consequences of unhealthy eating and a sedentary lifestyle.

According to WebMD, people with obesity are twice as likely to suffer a higher mortality rate than those of a healthy weight. Medical complications from obesity are common and include the following:

  • Type 2 diabetes reduces the body’s ability to regulate its blood sugar. The intake of sugars and starches is converted to glucose. Insulin in the body moves the glucose from blood to cells. If too much glucose is produced, it builds up in the blood, which causes Type 2 diabetes. Exercise and limiting your daily intake of sugars and starches significantly reduces your risk for developing diabetes.
  • Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America. Obesity leads to high blood pressure, which is a major factor in heart disease. Angina, or chest pain, is the most common indicator that you may have heart disease. Other symptoms include a faster heartbeat, shortness of breath and sweating. People with unhealthy excess weight can suffer from a heart attack or stroke without even realizing that they have heart disease. If you are overweight, it’s best to get tested for heart disease so that you can take preventative measures before it’s too late.

  • Cancer is now linked to obesity as well in some cases. In women, excess body fat increases the amount of estrogen in the body, which raises the risk of developing cancer in reproductive areas such as the cervix, breasts, ovaries and uterus. In men, prostate cancer becomes a risk when overweight. Obesity also can make it harder for medical personnel to find tumors of any kind, lessening the chance of catching cancer before it spreads.

  • Osteoarthritis develops in the joints when cartilage breaks down. This disease also causes bone spurs, cysts and small broken fragments of bone. Obesity puts an enormous amount of pressure on bones, especially the knees, causing unrepeatable damage.

  • Sleep apnea is when a person stops breathing for a short time while asleep. Each episode can last from 10 seconds to a few minutes and can occur up to 30 times an hour. According to Dr. Michael D. Myers, M.D., 95 percent of people suffering from sleep apnea are obese. Obesity can also cause breathing problems during the day. Asthma is severely worsened by strained movements caused by being overweight. U.S. News.com reports that those with obesity face an increased risk of hospitalization for severe asthma attacks compared to those of a normal weight.

If you are overweight, taking precautions now can help stave off the onset of disease. Even losing just 10 or 20 pounds can improve your health significantly. Shedding even small amounts of weight can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, which in turn, reduces your chances of health complications and premature death.

Another thing to consider if you have already been diagnosed with any of these medical conditions is to invest in medical alert jewelry. These come in all shapes and sizes from stylish bracelets to dog tags that can be worn under your shirt. Your health information is engraved on the jewelry, so that in the event of an emergency, medical personnel will know almost immediately how you should be treated. This will save essential time in getting you the care you need. Order yours today and take a proactive step in your health.

About Amanda Beck

Amanda Beck writes for American Medical ID on a variety of topics relating to health care and healthy living, especially for those whose medical conditions warrant an emergency ID.