Weight is something that affects huge portions of the population. It’s rare to hear someone doesn’t struggle with their weight in some capacity. More than one-third of Americans are considered obese. Numbers are climbing all over the globe. Weight issues have become a global epidemic.
What everyone needs to understand is that weight isn’t an issue for cosmetic reasons. Certainly, people feel self-conscious about their weight. But, when your doctor advises you to lose weight, it’s not so that you can look like a celebrity on a magazine cover. You need to lose weight because your life could depend on it. Being overweight is tied to so many health conditions that it may be considered the single most dangerous risk factor alongside smoking for the world’s most common and serious illnesses. You need to talk to your doctor about weight loss. Losing weight affects your health across the board and here is how.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the major risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and cardiac arrest. While a variety of lifestyle habits and dietary choices can lead to hypertension, being overweight is one of the major ones. Many people who lose weight, even if it’s 10 or 20 pounds, find that their blood pressure begins to drop as their weight goes down. If you have a history of high blood pressure, losing weight along with some other modifications to your lifestyle can be what brings it down.
High cholesterol is the other major risk factor for heart disease and major cardiac events. It’s why your doctor checks both your cholesterol and your blood pressure at every physical. You don’t have to be overweight to have high cholesterol (or high blood pressure, for that matter) but the two conditions are often tied to those who are overweight. If you are overweight and have high cholesterol, losing a substantial amount of weight can bring your cholesterol down considerably.
As obesity has risen, so has diabetes. The two combined are the major health challenge we currently face. Type 2 diabetes, which is when it develops rather than being present at birth, is almost entirely intertwined with weight and diet. Losing weight now reduces your risk of developing diabetes in the future. Additionally, if you’re already diabetic, losing weight can help you control it. It can mean the difference between living a relatively normal life that is diet maintained rather than having to inject insulin.
While cancer is a complicated condition, we do know that some types of cancers are associated with being overweight. Being overweight can greatly increase the risk of developing colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and several other kinds. While research has been limited, it’s believed that losing weight can, in fact, reduce your chances of developing these conditions. Many different factors can contribute to the development of cancer, however. It’s believed that about 20% of cancers are linked to dietary and weight issues, therefore they are avoidable.
You may not think about it, but carrying around excess weight day in and day outputs a great deal of stress on your body. Being overweight can cause arthritis or make existing arthritis worse. The joints suffer a great deal from the strain. Your circulation also suffers as blood can’t travel as efficiently due to the excess weight. Slimming down can improve the stress placed on your joints and circulatory system.
Do you find yourself snoring a lot and waking up frequently at night? It could be sleep apnea. Sleep apnea, which is the obstruction of breathing while asleep, is closely associated with being overweight because the airway gets constricted. Sleep apnea, beyond leaving you tired, can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.
Finally, being overweight has been associated with depression. Many things can cause depression, but physical health plays a large role in the maintenance of the condition. Losing weight, exercising more, and eating healthy can all reduce your feelings of depression and help you better manage it.
Losing weight if you’re overweight or obese is the single most important thing you can do for your health. Not only may you feel more comfortable at a lower weight, but your weight loss will have far-reaching consequences when it comes to chronic illnesses and your longevity. Many of the risk factors for the deadliest conditions are directly tied to your body weight. If you’ve been struggling to lose weight or you don’t know where to begin, book an appointment online with us today. The team at Pure Medicine is dedicated to providing you with the quality care you need so you can live a long and healthy life.