Obesity

Obesity means an excess fat collection in the body. There is always an optimal weight for every age and sex. In obesity, this weight exceeds the upper limit of normal by 30%. The prevalence of obesity has increased sharply especially in the developed countries. Obesity is not just a cosmetic consideration. It is a medical condition associated with illness and disability. It is a metabolic disorder consisting of excessive adiposity (excessive amount of body fat).

Obesity

Obesity is a harmful condition because it can effectively result in rise of blood pressure, excessive burden of weight on your joints, diabetes, fatty liver, etc.

There are many ways in which a person’s health in relation to their weight can be classified, but the most widely used method is body mass index (BMI).

BMI is a measure of whether you’re a healthy weight for your height. You can use the BMI healthy weight calculator to work out your score.

For most adults:

  1. BMI of 25 to 29.9 means you are considered overweight
  2. BMI of 30 to 39.9 means you are considered obese
  3. BMI of 40 or above means you are considered severely obese

BMI is not used to definitively diagnose obesity – as people who are very muscular sometimes have a high BMI, without excess fat – but for most people, it can be a useful indication of whether they may be overweight.

A better measure of excess fat is waist circumference, and can be used as an additional measure in people who are overweight (with a BMI of 25 to 29.9) or moderately obese (with a BMI of 30 to 34.9).

Generally, men with a waist circumference of 94cm or more and women with a waist circumference of 80cm or more are more likely to develop obesity-related health problems.

CAUSES OF OBESITY

Obesity is generally caused by consuming more calories – particularly those in fatty and sugary foods – than you burn off through physical activity. The excess energy is then stored by the body as fat.

Obesity is an increasingly common problem, because many modern lifestyles often promote eating excessive amounts of cheap, high-calorie food and spending a lot of time sitting at desks, on sofas or in cars.

There are many theories explaining what causes obesity.

Genes versus Environment

Identical twins are known to have very identical BMI even when grown apart. However there are many instances where environmental conditions overwhelm the action of genes in obesity..

  1. Race and Socio-economic conditions
  2. Medications

There are four major groups of drugs which can cause obesity: Benzodiazepines, Lithium, Antidepressants, Antipsychotic drugs

  1. Estrogens
  2. Corticosteroids
  3. Insulin
  4. Sulphonyl urea agents (used in treatments of diabetes)
  5. Medical Conditions
  6. Pregnancy
  7. Tumors
  8. Endocrine disorders like PCOD
  9. Underactive thyroid disorder
  10. Cushing’s syndrome

SYMPTOMS OF OBESITY

  1. Body Mass Index exceeds 30
  2. Difficulty in breathing
  3. Increased perspiration
  4. Sleep disturbances
  5. Snoring
  6. Inability to move about quickly; difficulty in coping with day-to-day physical activities
  7. Extreme tiredness and laziness all day
  8. Joint pains and backache
  9. Low self esteem
  10. Loss of self-confidence
  11. Social withdrawal

COMPLICATIONS

  1. Hypertension: It is 3 times more prevalent in persons with BMI over 25.
  2. Dyslipidemia: People with a BMI higher than 25 are twice likely to suffer from excess of bad cholesterol in the blood.
  3. Diabetes Type II: Diabetes is 3 times more likely at a BMI of 25, and 10 times more likely at a BMI of 35. Diabetes carries risk of heart disease, blindness, stroke and kidney failure.
  4. Heart Stroke: Moderately increased risk is associated with high blood pressure and obesity.
  5. Liver Damage: Obesity leads to accumulation of fat in the liver, which may progress to Cirrhosis, a far more serious condition leading to increased risk of primary liver carcinoma.
  6. Reproductive Abnormalities: An obese person poses higher risk of being infertile, whether male or female. Females have an added risk of developing PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).
  7. Cancer: Obesity doubles the risk of colon, prostate and rectum cancers in males and gall bladder, breast, uterine and ovarian cancer in females.

TREATMENT OF OBESITY

Optimal treatment plans for obese people consist of :

  1. Changing diet and behavior
  2. Introducing Exercise
  3. Dietary + Life style changes

HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT

Homeopathic approach to the treatment of Obesity is targeted towards treating the treatable cause, if any. For example, if obesity is due to hormonal disorders such as Hypothyroidism or PCOD, it calls for the treatment for the same. Besides the treatment, diet habit and exercise schedule form important part of the treatment. There are no standard medicines in homeopathy which can reduce weight and constitutional medicine is again the only medicine given to each individual.

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