Dr. Mihai Ionescu, a surgeon of excellence in obesity surgery, explains why it is important to act as quickly as possible when we exceed the threshold of obesity, so that its side effects on health do not become irreversible.
Obesity, as dangerous as smoking
“Apart from tobacco, there may be no greater harm to collective health in the world than obesity. The health effects of obesity are many and varied and have a real and lasting negative impact on people and future generations. In the United States, for example, a study conducted by Harvard University in adults under the age of 70 shows that, after smoking, obesity is the second leading cause of death every year. However, as the number of smokers seems to be declining worldwide and obesity rates continue to rise, the number of deaths caused by obesity may soon exceed the number of deaths caused by smoking.
Obesity causes or is closely linked to a high number of chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, asthma, apnea, gallstones, kidney stones, infertility and up to 11 cancers, including leukemia, breast cancer and colon. No less real are the social and emotional effects of obesity. We are talking here about bullying, discrimination, lower quality of life and predisposition to depression “, adds the surgeon Mihai Ionescu.
How does obesity affect the proper functioning of our body?
“Obesity has serious negative effects on the whole body. That is why it is important to act as quickly as possible when we are obese. Let’s do everything we can to lose weight as soon as possible, diet, sports or quick surgery to reduce the volume of the stomach, which we do so that these negative effects do not become irreversible. Here are some of the effects of obesity on the body:
Risk of stroke
Being overweight or obese greatly increases the risk of stroke, which occurs when blood stops flowing to the brain.
Fat stored around the neck can shrink the airways, which can make breathing difficult, especially at night. This condition is called sleep apnea. Breathing can be stopped even for short periods of time in people with apnea.
Obesity is associated with an increased risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease. This occurs when stomach acid reaches the esophagus, causing serious problems.
In addition, obesity increases the risk of gallstones, which in many cases requires surgery.
Fat can also build up around the liver and lead to liver damage, scar tissue and even liver failure.
In obese people, the heart needs to work harder to pump blood into the body. This leads to high blood pressure. High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke.
High blood pressure can cause the blood vessels that carry blood to the heart to narrow and become harder. Hardened arteries, also called atherosclerosis, can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. High blood pressure can also cause chronic kidney disease.
Obesity can make your body’s cells resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that carries blood sugar to the cells, where it is used for energy. When insulin resistance occurs, the sugar cannot be absorbed by the cells, which leads to an increase in blood sugar. This increases the risk of developing diabetes.
Obesity can lead to infertility. For both women and men. In men, there are even studies linking obesity to lowering testosterone levels, which can make it more difficult to conceive. In addition, obesity can increase the risk of serious complications during pregnancy.
Disorders of the skeletal and muscular system
Obesity can cause damage to bone density and muscle mass. This is called osteosarcopenic obesity. Osteosarcopenic obesity can lead to an increased risk of fractures, physical disability. Excess weight puts too much pressure on the joints, which leads to pain and stiffness.
Rash may occur where there are folds caused by obesity. A condition known as acanthosis nigricans can also occur. It is characterized by discoloration and thickening of the skin in the folds and folds “, explains the surgeon Mihai Ionescu.
How do we get rid of emotional eating?
“Most people use food as a mechanism to deal with the various emotions they face on a daily basis. Some eat when they feel stressed or overwhelmed, others eat in excess simply out of boredom or habit, or use the food as a reward for success. In all these situations, the actual hunger is completely absent. Emotional eating is a problem that many people face nowadays.
After the stomach reduction operation, the amount of food you can eat decreases, but the desire to eat to cope with the emotions is still there. Therefore, psychological support is essential after this type of intervention. For this reason, patients should always go to a clinic that can provide the necessary pre- and postoperative care. A hospital that has a real multidisciplinary team and can provide continuous assistance in the postoperative period. All this contributes to the patient’s safety and to the success of the intervention “, says the surgeon Mihai Ionescu, a surgeon of excellence in obesity surgery.
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