Obesity-Related Health Conditions

Obesity-related health conditions are health conditions that, whether alone or in combination, can significantly reduce your life expectancy.

A partial list of the most common conditions 
(Your doctor can provide a more detailed and complete list of up to 60 conditions)

Type 2 Diabetes

Obese individuals develop a resistance to insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels. Over time, the resulting high blood sugar can cause serious damage to the body, including loss of limbs, loss of vision, kidney failure, neuropathy, vascular disease, stroke and heart disease.

High blood pressure/Heart disease

Excess body weight strains the ability of the heart to function properly. The resulting hypertension (high blood pressure) can result in strokes, as well as inflict significant heart and kidney damage.

Osteoarthritis of weight-bearing joints

The additional weight placed on joints, particularly knees and hips, results in rapid wear and tear, along with pain caused by inflammation. Similarly, bones and muscles of the back are constantly strained, resulting in disk problems, pain and decreased mobility.

Sleep apnea/Respiratory problems

Fat deposits in the tongue and neck can cause intermittent obstruction of the air passage. Because the obstruction is increased when sleeping on your back, you may find yourself waking frequently to reposition yourself. The resulting loss of sleep often results in daytime drowsiness and headaches and has been shown to increase your risk of trauma due to drowsiness.

Gastroesophageal reflux/Heartburn

Acid belongs in the stomach and seldom causes any problem when it stays there. When acid escapes into the esophagus through a weak or overloaded valve at the top of the stomach, the result is called gastroesophageal reflux, and heartburn and acid indigestion are common symptoms. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of patients with even mild sporadic symptoms of heartburn will develop a condition called Barrett's esophagus, which is a pre-malignant change in the lining membrane of the esophagus and is a cause of esophageal cancer.

Depression

People who are seriously overweight face constant challenges to their emotions, which can include repeated failure with dieting, disapproval from family and friends, sneers and remarks from strangers. They often experience discrimination at work, cannot fit comfortably in theater seats or ride in a bus or plane.

Infertility

The inability or diminished ability to produce offspring can be directly related to obesity and usually reverses itself after significant weight loss.

Urinary stress incontinence

A large, heavy abdomen and relaxation of the pelvic muscles, especially associated with the effects of childbirth, may cause the valve on the urinary bladder to be weakened, leading to leakage of urine with coughing, sneezing or laughing. 

Menstrual irregularities

Morbidly obese individuals often experience disruptions of the menstrual cycle, including interruption of the menstrual cycle, abnormal menstrual flow and increased pain associated with the menstrual cycle.

Cancer

Obesity has been clearly established as an independent risk factor for several cancers.  Not only does obesity place an individual at higher risk to develop cancer but they are also less likely to respond well to therapy for their cancer.

 

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