Obesity is a health issue that many people struggle to overcome. And you probably know it is much more than just a cosmetic issue. Carrying around excess body weight brings a lot of health risks such as stroke and heart disease. So what exactly is obesity? Generally, a person is classified as obese when their body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher. BMI is not a perfect measurement since it doesn’t take into account how much of your weight is body fat and how much is muscle. However, it does provide a good estimate to start with when it comes to weight management.
Obesity - Causes, Symptoms
As you might expect, the main contributors to obesity are having an unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity. Simply put, if you’re taking in more calories than you’re burning off, you are going to gain weight.
However, there are some other factors that come into play. They include your genetics, your metabolism, and hormone levels. For example, your hormone levels can be affected by changes in your lifestyle and can boost your appetite as a result.
Some examples of factors that contribute to obesity are:
- Lack of sleep
- Quitting smoking (can cause weight gain when you use food to handle withdrawal symptoms)
If you are dealing with obesity, there are a number of associated symptoms you might have. Some of them include:
- Being out of breath, even when at rest
- Increased sweating
- Sleep apnea
- Joint pains
- Sexual issues
A variety of treatments are available to help you overcome obesity and achieve a healthier weight.
- Physiotherapy: Can provide exercise programs and recommendations to help you reach a healthy weight.
- Mental health therapy: Can help with the mental issues behind weight gain like emotional eating.
- Acupuncture: Can be used to boost your metabolism and decrease your appetite.
- Surgery: When other treatments fail, or you have serious health issues related to obesity, bariatric surgery can make changes to your digestive system to help you lose weight.
At Activa Clinics, our physiotherapists can create custom treatment plans that incorporate a wide range of therapies. In addition to providing exercise programs, they can also address your body’s internal imbalances (such as hormonal issues) to make it easier to lose weight. Some of the therapies they may use include:
Here are some simple strategies you can use to help prevent weight gain and obesity:
- Drink more water. Sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice can be major contributors to weight gain.
- Don’t skip breakfast. Attempting to fast until lunchtime can often backfire and lead to overeating.
- Try keeping a food journal. Note what you eat and what you were feeling and doing before you started eating. This can help you identify your triggers for emotional eating.
- Come up with alternative ways to deal with your emotional eating triggers. For example, consider taking a relaxation break or calling a friend.
Research shows that even a modest amount of weight loss can make significant improvements to your health. So let us help you reach a healthier weight. At Activa Clinics, we take a whole-body approach. Using a variety of therapies and treatments, we can make it easier to lose weight, solve the associated conditions, and improve your overall health.
We are all at risk of obesity. Every one of us can end up eating too much and putting on weight until we reach the point where we are clinically obese. However, there are also medical conditions that make some people put on weight much faster than normal. These include an underactive thyroid, Cushing’s syndrome, and polycystic ovary syndrome. Some prescription drugs such as steroids and insulin can cause weight gain that has nothing to do with eating too much.
Obesity can be cured. For most people following a healthy eating regime that provides their body with slightly fewer calories than it needs leads to gradual weight loss. Usually, eating between1000 to 1200 calories a day and exercising invariably leads to weight loss that takes you out of the obesity zone. If the underlying cause is a medical condition or drug, a total cure may not be possible. However, with help, the weight gain can be slowed, sometimes reversed.
The primary warning sign of obesity is weight gain. If this happens even when you are not eating more than your body needs your obesity may be caused by an underlying medical condition. If your clothes are getting tighter and you are getting fatter, especially around the belly you could be becoming obese. You may also start to crave unhealthy foods more and often feel hungry not long after you have eaten.
For persons with severe obesity, life expectancy is reduced by as much as 20 years in men and by about 5 years in women. The risk of dying young is also higher for severely obese people with a BMI of 35 to 39. People in this weight category had nearly double the chances of dying during the 24-year study period compared to people with a normal weight.
Yes, obesity can cause sexual dysfunction in men and women, which can stem from emotional distress and hormonal imbalances. In fact, severely obese people are 25 times more likely to report problems in their sex lives, compared with normal-weight people. Moreover, many men suffering from obesity also suffer from erectile dysfunction.
Central obesity, where fat is found around the midriff and chest, also worsens snoring and sleep apnea. Belly fat pushes your diaphragm up, and fat on your chest compresses the ribcage. Both of these shrink the volume of a person’s lungs, which can lead to snoring.