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obesity related diseases



Understanding Obesity Related Diseases: High Cholesterol

As more of our population become obese and overweight, obesity diseases become much more prevalent. High Cholesterol is one such disease, and here I explain what it is, why it affects the overweight, symptoms and prevention.doctor

What is it?
Cholesterol is in every cell in your body and is important for proper functioning of your body (i.e. used to build healthy cells and some vital hormones).  With high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia), fatty deposits may develop in your blood vessels, making it difficult for blood to properly flow through the arteries.  With this restricted flow your heart may not get the oxygen-rich blood that it needs, possibly causing a heart attack or stroke, if blood flow is restricted to your brain.

Why is it affected by obesity/overweight?
Obesity is mainly caused by taking in more calories than are expended through physical activity and daily life. Taking in too many calories, or too much saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol will increase blood cholesterol levels.  High cholesterol is an obesity-associated disease due to the increased amount of fat, especially when that fat is found in the abdominal region (“apple”-shaped individuals).  Obesity raises blood LDL “bad” cholesterol and lowers HDL “good” cholesterol.
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Understanding Obesity Related Diseases: Metabolic Syndrome

obesityAs more of our population become obese and overweight, obesity diseases become much more prevalent. Metabolic Syndrome is one such disease, and here I explain what it is, why it affects the overweight, symptoms and prevention.

What is it?

Metabolic syndrome is characterized by several disorders related to your metabolism simultaneously. These disorders/components include obesity (particularly abdominal/waist fat), elevated blood pressure, increased triglyceride level, low HDL “good” cholesterol level, and insulin resistance. Having one of these components means you are more likely to have others; the more components you have the greater risk to your health.

Metabolic Syndrome has had a few names including syndrome X and insulin resistance syndrome. Not all experts agree on the definition of metabolic syndrome or whether it exists as a medical condition. Despite the discrepancies, the severity of possessing this collection of risk factors can lead to serious health complications.

Why is it affected by obesity/overweight?

Obesity is one of the components to this syndrome, therefore it has a huge impact on it. A body mass index (BMI) of greater than 25 increases your risk. BMI is a measure of your percent body fat based on height. Abdominal obesity (fat accumulation in the stomach area), or being “apple-shaped” rather than “pear-shaped,” is another factor increasing your risk of metabolic syndrome.
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Understanding Obesity Related Diseases: Heart Disease

As more of our population become obese and overweight, obesity diseases become much more prevalent. Heart disease is one such disease, and here I explain what it is, why it affects the overweight, symptoms and prevention.cardiologist

What is it?
Heart disease is an umbrella term used to describe a range of diseases affecting the heart and, in some cases, blood vessels.  The diseases that fall under this broad term include: cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems, congenital heart defects, etc.

The damaging effect of heart disease is severe, it’s the number one killer of men and women.  According to the Mayo Clinic website, it’s responsible for 40% of all the deaths in the U.S., which is more than all forms of cancer combined.

Why is it affected by obesity/overweight?
Abdominal fat is a predictor of risk for obesity-related diseases.  Overeating and physical inactivity is a deadly combination when it comes to your health.  A poor diet high in fat, salt, and cholesterol (which is a common diet in obese/overweight individuals) can and does contribute to the development of heart disease.  The rate of obesity is significantly high in the U.S., thus is of concern to health professionals because of its implications on American’s health.
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Understanding Obesity Related Diseases: Sleep Apnea

As more of our population become obese and overweight, obesity diseases become much more prevalent. Diabetes is one such disease, and here I explain what it is, why it affects the overweight, symptoms and prevention.sleep-apnea

What is it?
Sleep apnea is a sleeping and breathing disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts, which has the potential to be fatal.  There are two main types of sleep apnea: 1) obstructive and 2) central (or you could have a combo of the two, which is known as complex sleep apnea).  Obstructive sleep apnea is the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax, whereas central sleep apnea occurs when your brain does not send the proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing.

Why is it affected by obesity/overweight?
Excessive weight and fat deposits around your upper airway seen with obesity may obstruct your breathing and lead to sleep apnea.  It is important to keep in mind that not everyone who has sleep apnea is overweight.
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Understanding Obesity Related Diseases: Type 2 Diabetes

As more of our population become obese and overweight, obesity diseases become much more prevalent. Diabetes is one such disease, and here I explain what it is, why it affects the overweight, symptoms and prevention.diabetes

What is it?
Obesity can lead to diabetes, specifically type 2 diabetes.  Type 2 diabetes, once called adult-onset and non-insulin dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition affecting the way your body metabolizes glucose/sugar.  With type 2 diabetes, your body still produces insulin (a hormone that regulates the absorption of sugar into your cells), but your body has either become resistant to its effects or you can not produce enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level.  Left uncontrolled, the consequences of type 2 diabetes can be life threatening.

Why is it affected by obesity/overweight?
Obesity is a culprit to type 2 diabetes.  With obesity, you are consuming calories beyond your caloric needs, therefore having more glucose in your body that your insulin is incapable of moving it into your cells.  There is plenty of evidence showing that excessive abdominal fat and physical inactivity (both seen in obesity) is a major precursor to type 2 diabetes.
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