10 Dangerous Health Effects of Being Overweight
Dr. Philip Rodger
Owner and Clinic Director
Currently, more than 1 in 3 adults in the US is obese. Being obese means you weight at least 20% more than what is ideal for your height.
And being obese or overweight is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States – second only to tobacco use.
But it’s not just mortality. Being overweight can lead to a whole mess of health problems and effects.
Read on to learn about 10 of the most dangerous health problems that come with being overweight.
1. Trouble Breathing
Being overweight means that you have a larger body and having that larger body can prevent your lungs from working properly.
By making it hard or impossible for your lungs to expand fully. This means that your breathing muscles may not work as well – which prevents you from being able to inhale enough air.
This means you may get easily winded or find yourself out of breath when doing simple things like climbing stairs.
Being overweight can also make asthma symptoms and COPD worse.
2. Fatty Liver Disease
Obesity leads to insulin resistance which is believed to be linked to all stages of Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Basically, when you’re overweight fat builds up everywhere in your body. Fat can even – and does – build up in your liver. This can lead to any of the following:
- Fatty Liver: Also known as steatosis, this is the accumulation of fat in the liver.
- Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis: When fat in the liver causes liver inflammation.
- Cirrhosis: This is irreversible and advanced scarring of the liver that results from chronic inflammation of the liver.
It has been found that your BMI correlates with the amount of liver damage you will suffer. The higher your BMI, the greater the liver damage.
Obesity is the number one risk factor leading to osteoarthritis. Being overweight puts more strain on your joints and on the cartilage that protects the ends of your bones. This strain can cause pain and stiffness.
Reducing your body fat by even a little bit can take pressure off your hips, lower back, and knees – leading to a decrease in that strain on your joints.
4. High Cholesterol
Yes, your genes have a role in your cholesterol – but so does your environment. What you eat and how much you exercise can play a huge role in your cholesterol levels. If you eat foods with soluble fiber they’ll help fill you up so you eat fewer calories and help get your cholesterol down.
If you eat a diet that is high in fat you are increasing your risk of both obesity and high cholesterol. And being overweight tends to increase bad cholesterol.
Gallstones happen when bile (a digestive fluid) doesn’t move through your gallbladder when it should and, instead, hardens into gallstones. The most common type of gallstone is made up of cholesterol.
This means that your high cholesterol, which can be caused by being overweight, puts you at risk for gallstones.
Additionally, the distribution of fat in the body can also lead to gallstones. Men and women with more fat in their bellies tend to have a greater chance of developing gallstones than those who don’t.
The risk of gallstones can be lowered with weight loss.
6. Type 2 Diabetes
As mentioned earlier, being overweight leads to insulin resistance. Basically, your body can still make insulin but your cells can’t use it properly to get glucose out of your blood. These higher-than-normal glucose levels lead to type 2 diabetes.
This can also lead to problems with your heart, nerves, and eyes as complications from diabetes and insulin resistance.
More than 90% of type 2 diabetics are overweight or obese.
Gout is when built-up uric acid forms needle-like crystals that make joints hurt. The likelihood of a gout flare goes up correspondingly to the number on the scale. This is especially true when you have high cholesterol or high blood sugar.
The reason this happens is that the more you way the less your body is able to efficiently remove the uric acid through the kidneys.
8. Being Overweight Means High Blood Pressure
Being overweight means that your heart has to work harder – pump harder – to get blood to all of your cells. And that extra work can be damaging to your artery walls.
This happens because the extra fat in your body needs more oxygen and nutrients in order to live, which is what increases the workload to your heart – circulating more blood to the fat tissue.
Additionally, being overweight can raise your heart rate and reduce your body’s ability to move blood through your vessels – which can also contribute to high blood pressure.
9. Kidney Disease
Your kidneys’ job is to filter blood and help control your blood pressure. But when fat builds up inside them it presses on the blood vessels and prevents them from doing their job. Fat can also clog the vessels that bring blood to them.
This inability of your kidneys to do their job leads to a dangerous buildup of waste in your body, which can lead to kidney disease.
10. Sleep Apnea
If you have a chubby neck it can narrow your airway. This makes it harder to breathe at night and can lead to loud snoring or even cause you to stop breathing for several seconds over and over.
This means that you aren’t getting the peaceful sleep your body needs to function. And that can lead to mood, memory, and heart problems.
Now that you know the perils of being overweight it’s time to do something about it! Shedding pounds can help prevent, slow, or even reverse many of these health problems.
Click here to learn more about the ChiroThin Program and how RiverTown Chiropractic can help you with your weight loss today.