There are thousands of health problems that occur as a result of obesity. The stress that your body is subjected to day after day because of the excess weight it has to deal with is bound to result in some illness or the other. If you are obese but not yet sick, it only means that the complications have not manifested yet. Your risk for several medical conditions increases as you gain weight. One of the major repercussions of obesity is its link to heart disease.
Yes, indeed. Obesity and heart disease are very closely related. In fact, obesity itself is a major risk factor for heart disease. However, the two conditions are linked more intricately than that. Obesity inevitably increases your risk for several other health conditions which are themselves risk factors for heart disease.
- Obesity increases your risk of high blood pressure. And high blood pressure is the number one cause of heart disease and stroke.
- You are very likely to have a high level of bad cholesterol and low levels of good cholesterol in your blood if you are obese. These are both risk factors for heart problems.
- A high fat diet, which is often one of the causes of obesity, also leads to a thickening of the walls of your arteries. In time, fat and cholesterol form a thick structure along the arterial wall which is known as plaque. The medical term for this condition is atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis can cause several types of cardiovascular diseases.
- If you are obese, you are at high risk for sleep-related disorders such as sleep apnea. This in turn increases your risk of high blood pressure and stroke, both of which have known links to heart disease.
- Obesity tends to lead to fatigue and lethargy, which results in lower levels of activity and a highly sedentary lifestyle. Even this increases the risk for heart problems, especially in women.
- Although you have gained weight evenly over your whole body, there may be a portion of your body where there is more of a protuberance than the elsewhere. For some people, it’s the thighs, for others the belly. Those who fall into the latter category have a higher risk of developing heart disease.
- Diabetes is another health condition that tends to go hand-in-hand with obesity. Not surprisingly, it is another risk factor for heart disease.
Thankfully, obesity is one of the risk factors of heart disease that you can control. By reducing your weight by just 10%, you can begin to reduce your risk of the risk factors and thus begin the journey back to good health. Just make sure that you lose weight the right way, gradually, with medical guidance. Losing weight too quickly can trigger health issues, plus the weight is more likely to come back and bring the related risk factors with it. Regular exercise – which is about 30 minutes a day, 5 or more days a week – coupled with a balanced diet is the only way to get it right for the long haul.