January 31, 2021

5 Ways Obesity Affects Your Health

man laying in hospital bed

Obesity impacts your body from head to toe, but partnering with your primary care provider can help you take control of your weight and improve your overall health.

Obesity can slow you down in more ways than one. Below are some of the more serious health risks associated with obesit­­y.

1. Heart Trouble

People with overweight or obesity are more likely to have high blood pressure, high levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol, low levels of high density lipoproteins­­­ (HDL) or good cholesterol, and coronary heart disease. Obesity can also increase your risk of stroke and heart attack.

2. Fatty Liver Disease

This condition occurs when fat builds up in the liver, leading to serious complications. Fatty liver disease can cause cirrhosis, liver damage or even liver failure. While the cause of fatty liver disease is still unknown, it’s most often diagnosed in patients who are middle-aged, overweight or obese. It is similar to alcoholic liver disease, but it is not caused by alcohol.

3. Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body does not respond to the hormone insulin. Insulin helps the cells in your body convert the food you eat into energy. Without insulin, the glucose (sugar) from food stays in your bloodstream rather than reaching your cells. Being overweight or obese can make your body less sensitive to insulin, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes.

4. Emotional Health Concerns

Obesity does not just affect your physical health. People who struggle with their weight are also at a higher risk for depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.

5. Certain Forms of Cancer

While the connection between obesity and cancer is still being studied, research has found a connection between obesity and breast, colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney and liver cancers, among others. Obesity can cause low-level inflammation and decrease insulin sensitivity, both of which the National Cancer Institute states may lead to cancer.

Take Control of Your Health

Changing your health habits can help heal a fatty liver, manage or prevent Type 2 diabetes, improve your emotional health and keep your heart healthy for years to come.

If you are concerned about your weight, discuss your weight-loss options with your primary care provider.

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