Excess weight and obesity can increase the risk of several serious health complications such as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, heart diseases and strokes, kidney disease, fatty liver disease, certain types of cancer and pregnancy problems such as high blood pressure and high blood sugar during pregnancy.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are above normal. As a result, high blood sugar can cause kidney disease, heart disease, blindness, amputation, and stroke. Family history is a strong factor in the developing of type 2 diabetes. Other factors that increase the risk include poor diet, excess fat around the waist circumference and low activity levels.
It is believed that obesity causes cellular changes that increase resistance to the hormone insulin. Insulin is responsible for carrying sugar from the bloodstream to the cells to be used as energy.
An insulin resistance in the body results in the body’s inability to absorb blood sugar in the cells leading to high blood sugar. The insulin-producing cells must also work extra hard to maintain normal blood sugar levels, and over time, this can cause the cells to fail.
High Blood Pressure
As your heart beats, blood is pushed to the rest of your body through the arteries. Blood pressure is a measure of how hard blood pushes against the walls of the arteries. High blood pressure can cause serious health complications such as strokes, heart disease, and kidney failure.
Normal blood pressure is registered as 120/80 mm Hg. One is considered to have high blood pressure when the top figure also called systolic blood pressure measures 140 or over consistently, and the bottom number called diastolic blood pressure measures 90 or greater.
Obesity can give rise to high blood pressure because a large body size can increase blood pressure making your heart pump harder to supply blood to all the cells in the body. Excess fat can damage the kidneys which also help to regulate blood pressure.
Sleep apnea is a condition whereby a person suffers long pauses during breathing when they sleep at night. Normal breathing resumes again usually with a choking sound or a loud snort. The pauses can occur up to 30 times within an hour which prevents an individual from getting a good night sleep.
A person suffering from sleep apnea is at risk of heart disease, stroke, depression, and high blood pressure, daytime sleepiness which can result in automobile accidents, diabetes, difficulty focusing and other ailments.
Obesity is a high-risk factor for developing sleep apnea because an overweight person is more likely to have fat stored around their neck which makes the airway smaller. A lower airway is responsible for shallow breathing and long pauses in breathing for short periods of time, difficulty in breathing and loud breathing such as snoring.
Also, fat stored around the neck and other parts of the body can produce substances that cause inflammation and inflammation around the neck is a high-risk factor for sleep apnea.
Osteoarthritis is a health condition that results in stiffness and pain in the joints. Osteoarthritis is commonly related to age or an injury and mostly affects joints of the knees, hands, hips and lower back.
Obesity is a high-risk factor for osteoarthritis because excess weight puts extra pressure on joints and cartilages making them wear out. High levels of body fat usually contain higher blood levels of substances that can lead to inflammation. Inflamed joints often lead to osteoarthritis.
Heart disease is a condition that takes place when the blood vessels carrying blood to your heart become narrow and hard thus limiting the heart from receiving all the blood it requires. Another type of heart problem is the sub-optimal pumping of your heart. Heart disease leads to heart failure, heart attacks, sudden cardiac death, abnormal heart rhythm and chest pain.
Obesity leads to the development of health problems which increase the risk of heart disease. These health problems include high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure. Excess weight also makes your heart work harder to send blood to all the cells in the body.
A typical stroke occurs when the flow of blood to a particular part of the brain ceases and therefore causes your brain cells to die. The ischemic stroke happens when a blood clot blocks an artery carrying blood to the brain. Another type of stroke known as hemorrhagic stroke takes place when a blood vessel bursts in the brain.
Obesity increases the risk of high blood pressure, and high blood pressure is the leading cause of strokes. Excess weight also increases the risk of developing other health complications related to strokes such as heart disease, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol.