What is Obesity? Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Obesity is a disease that emerges as a health problem all over the world. It has reached a serious level in developed and developing countries.
What is obesity : In general definition, the increase in body weight above the demanded level with the increase in the ratio of body fat to lean mass is called obesity. Obesity has been named as an epidemic by the World Health Organization and has been defined as a health problem that deeply affects societies. Of course, nutrition starts from the mother’s womb and is a necessity that will continue until the last stage of life. However, people have to eat in a healthy way and consume the nutrients they need in a balanced way. The consumption of excessive sugar and carbohydrate foods in the nutrition process and the adoption of fast food style diet reveals obesity.
If the energy taken daily is more than the energy consumed, the energy that cannot be spent is stored as fat. This situation contributes to the formation of obesity. In addition, today’s daily movements are severely limited as the development of technology facilitates human life.
What are the Symptoms of Obesity?
Obesity is a serious condition that can cause diabetes and heart diseases, high blood pressure, metabolic syndromes, high cholesterol, sleep disturbances and cancer. There are some symptoms of obesity that require surgical treatment. These symptoms are:
- Excessive sweating
- Shortness of breath
- Sleep problems
- Fat accumulation in the body
- Skin problems
- Joint and back pain
- Inability to do physical activities
- It can be listed as a decrease in self-esteem.
The most important symptom of obesity is excessive fat accumulating in the body. While the visual problems that occur in the body as a result of fatty invite many health problems, they also bring psychological problems.
Obesity Related Diseases
Apart from obesity symptoms, it is important to know the diseases that may occur due to obesity. These diseases;
- Some types of cancer
- Excessive hair growth
- Hormonal disorders in boys
- Ovarian cysts in women
- Irregular period
- Joint disorders
- Sleep apnea
- Type 2 diabetes
- Fatty liver
- High cholesterol.
In addition to these diseases, conditions such as gallbladder problems, paralysis and asthma may also develop.
Asthma: Asthma, which reduces the quality of life of individuals, has a more severe course in obese. Because asthma attacks in individuals can be seen frequently with weight gain. Therefore, it is difficult to control the disease.
Sleep Apnea: Conditions such as narrowing of the respiratory tract, sagging in the small tongue area, enlargement of the palate and shortness of breath are common in obese individuals. During sleep, the weight of the abdominal region narrows the airways. In this case, breathing may stop completely and a sleep apnea problem may occur.
Paralysis: Paralysis, which is one of the most important risk factors in obesity, is the loss of movement ability of muscles in any part of the body. There is always the risk of paralysis in obese people due to high blood pressure and deterioration in the vessels.
Gallbladder Diseases: Obese individuals have a high blood cholesterol value. For this reason, the cholesterol in the fluid in the gallbladder may exceed its value and cause gallbladder diseases. In general, conditions such as stones in the gallbladder and bile duct obstruction are seen.
Coronary Artery: Coronary artery disease can occur as a result of fat accumulation in the abdominal region and pressure on the heart. In addition, the increase in blood sugar together with insulin resistance may cause deterioration in the vessel walls.
Hypertension: Hypertension, ie high blood pressure, is among the diseases caused by obesity. Studies have revealed that the risk of hypertension is 3 times higher in obese people.
Diabetes: Diabetes, popularly known as diabetes, is one of the most common health problems in obese people. With the insensitivity of blood sugar to insulin, an increase in blood sugar is observed. This condition brings along type 2 diabetes.
Psychological Problems: Obesity patients may experience problems such as social exclusion. As a result of this situation, lack of self-confidence, depression and similar psychological conditions may occur.
As can be seen, obesity always negatively affects people’s daily life and general health. Therefore, it is among the diseases that must be treated.
Causes of Obesity
There are many factors that cause obesity. First of all, it should not be forgotten that unhealthy diet and sedentary life cause obesity. Other reasons are listed as follows;
- Smoking and alcohol consumption
- Metabolic problems
- Hormonal problems
- Level of education
- Income status
- Socio-cultural factors
- Some drugs used
- Frequent preference of low energy diets
- Number of births and frequent births in women
The main cause of obesity is that the energy taken into the body with food is more than the energy consumed by physical activities. In this case, getting more energy than needed brings about obesity. Obesity can be calculated by looking at the body mass index determined by the World Health Organization. In addition, in order to be diagnosed with obesity, a body mass index must be 30 and above. According to this;
- 5 body mass index – underweight
- 5 – 24.9 body mass index – normal weight
- 0 – 29.9 body mass index – overweight
- 0 – 39.9 body mass index – obese
- Body mass index of 40.5 and above – Morbid
- Body mass index of 50 and above – Classified as super obese.
Nutritional Mistakes That Cause Obesity
There are also some nutritional errors that cause obesity. For example, being busy with different activities while consuming food, re-eating late after dinner and eating more than you need are among the causes of obesity. Of course, low daily water consumption may also invite obesity.
Among the causes of eating disorders in our society, dealing with different things while eating, consuming food in front of the TV or computer, eating while working are among the causes of obesity. In addition, eating carbohydrate food after dinner or consuming fatty, sugary products and acidic or carbonated drinks late at night are among the most important nutritional mistakes. Again, preferring fast food style foods, consuming fruit juice after meals and consuming high energy drinks are listed as nutritional errors that cause obesity.
Food and Drinks That Cause Obesity
Foods that cause obesity may also invite developmental disorders in children. It is known that these extremely oily products are generally produced from dough. So, harmful foods and drinks that cause obesity;
- Excessively fatty foods
- Turkish bagel
- Cracker types
- Types of chips
- Fried potatoes
- Snack cakes
- Fat free cookies
- Fast food products
- Fruit juices
- Energy drinks.
How is Obesity Treatment Done?
Morbid obesity is the name given to people who have reached an extreme degree of disease. The number of such individuals has increased especially in developed countries. In these individuals with a body mass index of 40.5 and above, the risk of developing diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, psychological problems, joint problems is very high. In addition, obesity patients do not only increase the fat tissue under the skin. There is an increase in fat in all organs in the body. In order to prevent these situations, which increase the risk of developing cancer, both normal obesity and morbid obesity should be restored by surgical methods.
Surgical applications are standard in the treatment of obesity. First of all, surgical applications should be preferred in Morbid obesities with a high risk of developing complications. Gastric sleeve surgery can be performed in morbidly obese individuals, as weight loss success is very low with exercise and diet programs and the risk of gaining weight is high. As the stomach volume will decrease after the procedure, consumption will be restricted.
Gastric Sleeve Surgery: In obese patients, approximately 80 percent of the stomach is removed after sleeve gastrectomy. This operation, which is called tube stomach surgery, is known as Sleeve Gastrectomy, because the remaining stomach resembles the tube (there are also those that resemble the shape of a banana). Thanks to the operation, Ghrelin, the appetite hormone secreted from the stomach, is significantly reduced and the weight gain of the patients is prevented.
Stomach Bypass: In gastric bypass surgery, the part of the stomach except the small part after the esophagus is bypassed. During the procedure, the small intestine is brought to the stomach and stitched. With gastric bypass, the volume of the stomach decreases and some of the intestines are disabled.
The doctor decides which bariatric surgery will be applied in obese individuals. Since there are no serious differences between the two techniques, the operation is started with the approval of the patient as a result of the examinations and tests. It may be that patients start to gain weight again 3-4 years after the procedures. However, individuals who follow the doctor’s recommendations, eat healthy and exercise regularly do not experience weight problems again.