There have been many studies conducted that prove being obese or overweight can increase one’s risk for many health problems. In this article we will discuss some of the health issues caused by being overweight.
Coronary Heart Disease
This is a health condition where plaque, or plak (a waxy substance), builds up in your coronary arteries. Arteries supply oxygen rich hemoglobin in your heart. This build up narrows or blocks these arteries causing a reduction in blood flow to your heart muscle. This could lead to heart attack, abnormal heart rhythm, angina, sudden cardiac arrest, heart failure, or death.
High Blood Pressure
This is also called hypertension. It is described as how hard one’s blood pushes against his or her arteries walls. Though it doesn’t have symptoms, it can cause stroke, heart diseases, or kidney failure. If you are overweight, then your heart has to pump extra in order to supply blood in all of the extra tissues. This extra force causes blood pressure. Excess fat can also damage the kidneys, which help to regulate blood pressure.
Type 2 Diabetes
Obesity may cause your body to either resist the production of insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar level) or limit the amounts produced. Insulin resistance elevates your blood sugar levels, which can lead to Type 2 Diabetes. If this condition is not treated well or regulated, then you are at risk of blindness, foot or leg amputations, and kidney failure.
Fatal breathing conditions such as sleep apnea and asthma are sometimes caused or aggravated by being overweight. Being overweight impairs your respiratory function via metabolic or mechanical pathways. For example, having more abdominal fat may greatly limit the descent of the diaphragm and later cause lung expansion. Also, more visceral fat can cause narrow airways leading into your lungs and sap respiratory muscle strength, as well as reduce the flexibility of your chest wall. This entire situation causes the above breathing conditions.
Obesity affects one’s sexual activity and conception especially in women. Ovulatory infertility in many cases is associated to obesity. Also, in pregnancy, obesity puts you at the risk of gestational diabetes, late and early miscarriage, complications during labor or delivery, and preeclampsia. In some instances, the new born in this case may have congenital anomalies.
In men, being overweight can cause erectile dysfunction, oligospermia (low sperm count), and asthenospermia (poor sperm motility).
Obesity places metabolic and mechanical strains on your muscles, joints and bones. It’s this situation that will cause arthritis. Also, if you are overweight, back pain and lower limb pain are increased, as well as an increased risk of having a disability caused by musculoskeletal conditions.
As an obese woman, you risk having uterus, ovarian, colon, cervical, gallbladder and breast cancers. On the other hand, overweight men have a risk for prostate and colon cancers.
Depression and Quality of Life
If you are obese, you can easily feel depressed. Depressed individuals may tend to eat more and further complicate the issue. Irrespective of the direction it may take, depression greatly affects the quality of life one can have. Obese individuals are considered lazy, weak willed and tend to lack confidence and good self-esteem. This can have a negative effect on their ability to keep romantic relationships and make friends, among other life related adventures.
Being overweight has a direct effect on your overall health and lifespan. It is likely to cause premature mortality or stroke. It’s advisable to always ensure that you keep your weight under check.