Being overweight can lead to these 12 health problems

Those excess kilos can open you up to developing a number of related medical issues. While some of the problems are visible soon enough, some might show up only in the long term. We spoke to experts about 12 conditions you could be facing if you are on the heavier side.

Heart disease

Cholesterol is a fatty substance in our blood, which is produced naturally in the liver. Everyone has cholesterol. We need it to stay healthy because every cell in our body uses it. Some of this cholesterol comes from the food that we eat. “Research shows that being overweight or obese can raise your blood cholesterol levels and increase your blood pressure. Because these are risk factors for coronary heart disease, your weight can have a big impact on your long-term health,” says Payal Jain, clinical dietician, Apollo Hospitals International, Ahmedabad.

Osteoarthritis

Excessive body fat is responsible for osteoarthritis. “In many cases, a lot of pressure is utilized on these joints of knees, elbows and ankles due to too much body weight,” says Shabana Mohamed Sameer, senior dietician, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai.

Diabetes

Insulin is a hormone that transports glucose out of the bloodstream. “In obese people, these signals are sometimes lost, which can cause glucose to build up in the blood and can lead to a range of health problems, including type-2 diabetes,” says Payal.

Prostate cancer

More body fat can cause the prostate glands to enlarge. “This may trigger the growth of cancerous cells in that area, hence causing a deadly type of cancer,” says Shabana.

Endocrine disorder

Endocrine glands bring in various functional hormones into the blood. “Excess body fat can prevent the production of endocrine hormones and it may induce a number of hormonal imbalances,” says Shabana.

Accelerated aging

Excess fat in the body puts undue pressure on organs and joints, putting them at an overdrive in order to support the extra weight. “Because of the undue stress and pressure put on the body, there is more internal wear and tear than usual, leading to accelerated aging,” says Payal.

Migraines

Migraine, intense headaches and other similar symptoms occur due to inflammation of the nerves. “This is also associated with excess fat content in the body, which prevents the flow of oxygenated blood to the head,” says Shabana.

Memory loss

Excess body fat increases the cholesterol levels. “It can degenerate the brain cells, cause memory loss, and even dementia and Alzheimer’s disease,” says Shabana.

Constipation

Excessive body fat indicates poor diet in an individual. “Some amount of fat is good and necessary for smooth functioning of the body however too much fat cannot be processed by the intestine and leads to a hardening of the stools,” says Payal.

Gout

Gout is caused by excessive uric acid that comes from the breakdown of tissues. “Obese people have more tissues in their body to break up. So, overweight people are prone to gout at younger ages,” says Shabana.

Pregnancy complications

“Pregnant women who are obese are at a higher risk of toxaemia, high blood pressure, prolonged labour and risk of C section,” says Shabana.

Fungal infections

“Due to excess body fat, there is excess perspiration and the buildup of sweat can cause fungal infection in various parts of the body,” says Shabana.

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