Serious Health Risks Associated With Obesity

When considering bariatric treatment, many people think about the social or cosmetic benefits of weight loss. While losing weight can certainly boost self-confidence, our top priority at Moore Metabolics is always improving health for our patients. Obesity is a disease that carries many health risks. Patients with obesity may be in danger of developing complications from other diseases, often called obesity comorbidities. Diseases or conditions associated with obesity include:

Cancer in Obesity Patients

The National Cancer Institute reports that there are over a dozen different types of cancer that can be associated with obesity. They include ovarian, kidney, pancreatic, breast, liver, and colorectal cancer.1 Additionally, studies show that the mortality rate of cancer may be up to 62% higher for patients with obesity.2

Heart Disease in Obesity Patients

More than half a million people die of heart disease each year in America, making it a leading cause of death. Obesity is a risk factor for heart disease, and people with obesity may be more likely to suffer from a heart attack or congestive heart failure.3

Diabetes in Obesity Patients

Type 2 Diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes, is a condition characterized by improper blood sugar processing. This condition can have serious health effects, including hypoglycemia, retinopathy (eye disease), kidney disease, neuropathy. Some studies estimate that up to 90% of patients with Type 2 Diabetes are overweight or have obesity.

High Blood Pressure in Obesity Patients

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a condition that can have serious health effects, such as stroke or heart attack. Obesity increases the likelihood of developing high blood pressure. While various prescription medicines are available to treat high blood pressure, studies show that weight loss is the most effective therapy to minimize the risk of hypertension.4

High Cholesterol in Obesity Patients

High cholesterol, sometimes referred to as dyslipidemia, occurs when certain types of fats build up in the bloodstream, an imbalance which can lead to stroke or heart disease. Obesity can be a risk factor for high cholesterol.

Gout in Obesity Patients

Gout is an inflammatory condition that affects the joints, especially the joints in the feet, causing severe pain and swelling. Gout is actually a type of arthritis and it is directly related to fatty diets. Patients who are overweight or have obesity are more susceptible to gout attacks.

Osteoarthritis and Joint Pain in Obesity Patients

Excess weight carried by people with obesity can put pressure on the musculoskeletal system, and can be especially damaging for the knees. Obesity can also put patients at risk of a more serious condition called osteoarthritis, which is a debilitating disease that can degenerate joints, cause severe pain, and limit mobility.

Acid Reflux and GERD in Obesity Patients

Frequent heartburn and chronic acid reflux are symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition can cause significant discomfort, make eating and sleeping difficult, and can lead to esophageal cancer if left untreated. Patients with obesity are 6 times more likely to have GERD than patients at a healthy weight.5

Sleep Apnea & Breathing Problems in Obesity Patients

Patients with obesity may experience shortness of breath that makes day-to-day activities more difficult. Sleep can also be an issue, as patients with obesity are twice as likely to have a condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) which causes interrupted breathing during sleep, leading to fatigue and further health issues.6

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Obesity Patients

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that affects the nerves in the hand, wrist, and arm, causing pain, discomfort, or numbness that can be debilitating. Studies have found that this condition is more prevalent in people with obesity and risk increases as weight increases.7

Can Obesity-Related Health Risks Be Prevented or Cured?

It can be shocking to realize how many serious health conditions are tied to obesity. The good news is that many diseases can be prevented or treated with lifestyle changes and sustained weight loss. Diet and exercise programs can be difficult to stick with, and they can be ineffective due to factors out of your control. Even if diets have failed you, you still deserve better health. Fortunately, bariatric surgery can drastically improve health outcomes for patients who are at risk of obesity comorbidities. In fact, many health organizations such as the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association recognize that weight loss surgery can be an effective health solution. For example, studies show that gastric sleeve surgery can put Type 2 Diabetes into complete remission.8

Take The First Step To Better Health

At Moore Metabolics, Dr. Rachel L. Moore and Dr. Michael J. Thomas offer weight loss solutions to help patients in New Orleans live healthier and more active lives. Learn more about bariatric surgery options and contact us for a free insurance check or to schedule a consultation appointment.

2 Overweight, Obesity, and Mortality from Cancer in a Prospectively Studied Cohort of U.S. Adults
April 24, 2003 N Engl J Med 2003; 348:1625-1638 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa021423

3 Obesity and Heart DiseaseA Statement for Healthcare Professionals From the Nutrition Committee, American Heart Association, Robert H. Eckel and For the Nutrition Committee Circulation. 1997;96:3248–3250
4 Ochsner J. 2009 Fall; 9(3): 133–136. Obesity-Related Hypertension. Richard N. Re, MD
5 Body mass index in relation to oesophageal and oesophagogastric junction adenocarcinomas: a pooled analysis from the International BEACON Consortium. Int J Epidemiol. 2012 Dec; 41(6):1706-18.
6 Interactions Between Obesity and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Implications for Treatment Abel Romero-Corral, MD, MSc, Sean M. Caples, DO, Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, MD, MSc, and Virend K. Somers, MD, PhD, FCCP doi: 10.1378/chest.09-0360
7 Shiri R, Pourmemari MH, Falah-Hassani K, Viikari-Juntura E. The effect of excess body mass on the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome: a meta-analysis of 58 studies. Obes Rev. doi: 10.1111/obr.12324
8 Journal of Diabetes Research 2015; 2015: 674268. Published online 2015 Apr 14.

The Doctors at Moore Metabolics have either authored or reviewed and approved this content.