Obesity means that a person has a BMI—body mass index—of 30 or higher. To find your BMI, you need to know your height and weight to use the chart. Another way of measuring it is to measure the waistline. It’s called abdominal obesity. Women with a waistline of 35 or more and men with a waistline of 40 or larger are considered to be abdominally obese. Obesity can cause many changes in your body and create health issues. It can change your metabolism, hormones and increase inflammation. Just being obese doesn’t mean you’ll have all the health conditions listed, or any for that matter, but it does increase the probability.
The potential for heart disease and stroke increases when you’re obese.
Not only does obesity increase blood pressure by increasing extra pressure on artery walls to ensure it gets to all parts of the body, it also increases the effort your heart has to make to pump it through the extra fat tissue. That can cause damage to the heart. People who are obese have more LDL(bad cholesterol), triglycerides, blood sugar and cholesterol in the blood. That can cause fat deposits to accumulate in arteries to the heart and cause disease. Obesity can cause arteries to narrow from built up plaque, which can cause clotting, heart attack and stroke that can damage brain tissue and heart tissue.
The potential for type 2 diabetes can increase if you’re obese.
If your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, you’ll increase your potential for insulin resistance, the precursor of type 2 diabetes. While the body produces enough insulin, the cells don’t react as they should to it because of constantly higher amounts of blood glucose levels. It occurs due to overconsumption of food that puts stress on the ER—endoplasmic reticulum—the membranous network that occurs inside cells. That causes the ER to send out a signal to turn off the insulin receptors or dampen them down. That makes sugar levels higher, so more insulin is made, creating a vicious circle that ends in diabetes.
Obesity can cause a lot of pregnancy complications.
Whether it’s developing gestational diabetes, insulin resistance or high blood pressure, obesity causes many risks during pregnancy. It can cause pre-eclampsia, blood clots, premature birth, miscarriage and excessive bleeding after delivery. It may cause the need to do a C-section, result in a miscarriage, still birth or cause fetal defects of the brain and spinal cord. Women who became pregnant when they had a BMI of 40 or more had at least one of those complications.
- Sleep apnea causes people to quit breathing for a short time when they sleep. Obese people are at a higher risk because the fat on their neck narrows the airway. That causes snoring and difficulty breathing when sleeping.
- Obese people can develop a non-alcoholic liver disease called fatty liver disease. Fat builds up in the liver and damages it, causing scar tissue—cirrhosis. It has no symptoms, but can lead to liver failure.
- You’re at a higher risk of developing gall stones if you’re obese. The gall bladder stores bile that goes to the small intestines for digestion. It aids in digesting fat. Obese individuals have higher cholesterol levels in their bile, or larger gallbladders that work inefficiently and can lead to painful gallstones.
- The potential for some types of cancer increases in obese people. Those cancers include breast cancer, gallbladder, pancreatic, colon, kidney, cervix, uterus, endometrium, ovaries and prostate.
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