Being overweight is harmful to our health

Being overweight is harmful to our health

As people exceed their normal weight, they will also be increasing their risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases.

If we have 10% of excess weight, we’ll be doubling our risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes. Excess fat accumulated in our body, causes cells to become insulin resistant, which can lead to a condition known as Metabolic Syndrome or Insulin Resistance Syndrome. Excess fat cells (adipocytes) in the abdominal adipose tissue, increase the size of our waist circumference which causes Endothelial Dysfunction. The endothelium is the tissue that lines the inner arterial walls and when it stops producing nitric oxide in normal amounts it makes them become sticky and stiff increasing the risk of forming atherosclerotic plaques or Atherosclerosis.

Metabolic Syndrome is a condition characterized by the cell resistance to insulin, which is accompanied by high levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and Arterial Hypertension, which increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Being overweight can also lead to kidney and liver diseases, nephritis, joint disorders and colon cancer, among other health problems.

Type 2 Diabetes is one of the main diseases caused by overweight or obesity. Unfortunately, millions of people have Diabetes and don’t know it, as this disease can go undetected for years, and in several cases people realize they have Diabetes when high blood glucose levels which have lasted for a long time have already caused irreversible damage to the body. When Diabetes goes unnoticed for many years, usually those affected notice it when they visit a doctor because they went blind, have kidney problems or severe vascular problems that may require amputation. Therefore it’s vital for everyone to get complete laboratory tests including blood glucose regularly and Hemoglobin A1C at least once a year. This will tell them if they have Diabetes or any risk factors that may lead to it, and if you do have Diabetes, early diagnosis will allow your doctor and you to take timely steps to control it properly, preventing any possible damage.

Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for developing Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, Atherosclerosis as well as other cardiovascular diseases, whose incidence tends to grow rapidly.

Fortunately all health problems related to overweight and obesity are preventable, if we acquire the knowledge that will help us make all the lifestyle changes we need. We should maintain healthy eating habits that include, reducing consumption of foods high in saturated or trans fats, foods high in simple or fast absorption carbohydrates and increase consumption of foods which have a low glycemic index, complex or slow absorption carbohydrates, and are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber, and to control the portions we eat; this along with increasing our regular physical activity, are our main allies for maintaining an ideal weight and thus have a better quality of life.

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Excess weight and Obesity