Obesity – Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Obesity is a very high fat accumulation in the body so that it makes the body weight outside the ideal limit. A number of complications can arise due to obesity, even some of them endanger lives. Some examples of quite serious complications include stroke, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, and breast cancer.

Besides leading to a number of physical health problems, obesity can also cause psychological problems, such as stress, and depression. This psychological problem arises because it usually begins with an insecure feeling of obese sufferers who experience changes in body shape.

Causes of Obesity

Obesity can occur when we often consume high calorie foods without proper physical activity. When the energy produced from burning calories is not used, the body will store it in the form of fat. Over time, this fat will continue to accumulate and obesity occurs. In addition to unhealthy eating patterns and lack of physical activity, obesity can also be caused by other factors, such as:

  • Heredity or genetic factors inherited from parents.
  • Diet and lifestyle.
  • Age. The older we are, the greater the risk of weight gain. This is caused by decreased body metabolism and reduced muscle mass.
  • Lack of sleep. Hormonal changes that occur when we lack sleep can increase appetite. This can lead to obesity.
  • Pregnancy. When pregnant, women will need lots of nutrients from food. But not a few of them have difficulty in slimming back their bodies after giving birth.
  • Side effects of drugs. Some types of drugs that can cause weight gain are antidepressants, antipsychotics, antiepileptics, steroids, diabetes medications, and beta blockers.

Diagnosis of Obesity

The main way to find out whether someone is obese or not is by measuring body mass index (BMI) by comparing body weight and height. Figures or calculation results that are usually used as doctors as a standard for obesity are 30 and above. In addition to calculating BMI, doctors may also calculate the ratio of hip and waist circumference, measuring skin fold thickness, and scanning with ultrasound, CT scans and MRI to determine fat content and distribution in the body.

The results of calculating waist circumference can be used as a doctor’s reference whether the patient is at risk of developing obesity-related diseases, such as heart problems and diabetes. The risk of getting the disease will increase if the patient is male and has an abdominal circumference of more than 102 cm or a woman with an abdominal circumference of more than 80 cm.

Your doctor may offer other follow-up examinations, such as blood tests (including checking sugar levels, cholesterol levels, thyroid function, and liver function) and an examination of the heart through an electrocardiogram to determine the level of risk of obesity-related diseases.

Treatment of Obesity

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Losing weight to ideal size is the main goal of obesity treatment. Avoid foods and drinks that contain high fat and sugar. In addition, avoid consuming alcoholic beverages. It is recommended to increase consumption of high-fiber foods, such as vegetables and fruits. Other types of healthy foods are brown rice, eggs, low-fat meats, nuts, fish, potatoes, and whole-grain bread.

If you want to buy food products or packaging drinks that are sold on the market, always pay attention to the calorie levels listed on the product label. Avoid eating foods that contain too much salt because they can cause hypertension.

In addition to applying healthy eating habits, other things you must also apply to overcome obesity is to exercise regularly. It is recommended to exercise for two and a half hours to five hours per week. Examples of sports that are easy to do are take a leisurely walk in the morning or evening, jogging in the morning, swimming, playing badminton, or relaxing biking.

Obesity Treatment using Drugs

Treatment of obesity with drugs is usually recommended by doctors if weight is not successfully reduced by the application of a healthy lifestyle. Medication is usually only done by a doctor if your BMI reaches 28 or more, and you have diabetes or hypertension.

Drugs that are often prescribed by doctors to treat obesity are drugs that contain orlistat. This drug works in the digestive tract by blocking the absorption of fat by the body. Side effects of using orlistat are mild, namely dizziness, abdominal pain, flatulence, and defecation frequently. The stool of someone who takes this drug looks like oily. This is caused by the removal of fat that is not absorbed by the body.

If orlistat manages to lose five percent of body weight within three months, the use of this drug should be continued. But if there is no significant weight loss in this period of time, then this drug is not effective for you and you should see a doctor again to find an alternative solution.

Obesity Treatment using Surgical Procedures

Surgery procedures are usually only recommended if the obesity suffered by the patient has reached a very dangerous level. Although surgical procedures promise fast results, they do not guarantee that weight loss can be maintained in the long run. The patient’s surgery can be maintained if he wants to change his unhealthy lifestyle habits to a healthy lifestyle.

If obesity is a symptom or complication of the disease you are suffering from, such as diabetes, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, or polycystic ovary syndrome, then the doctor will adjust the treatment to the underlying conditions. In cases like this, the patient is usually referred to the relevant specialist.

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