About 160 million Americans are overweight or obese. It’s a common health concern for the population, and most people know that carrying extra weight can be harmful to your health.
Extra weight puts increased strain on your body, and many chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes are more common in people who are overweight or obese. But even if you know the risks of excess weight, losing weight isn’t always easy.
The good news is that you can see significantly lowered risk of a variety of health conditions just by losing 5%-10% of your body weight. For a 200-pound person, that’s just 10 pounds.
The providers at High Rock Internal Medicine in Lexington, North Carolina, are experts in medical weight loss and are here to help you achieve a healthy weight. Read on to learn more about the risk factors associated with being overweight or obese and how losing weight can help protect your health.
1. Heart disease
Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is the No. 1 cause of death for men and women in the United States. Heart disease is a term used to describe a number of conditions that affect heart health, from narrowed or blocked blood vessels to irregular heartbeat.
You may be at increased risk for heart disease if you’re overweight or obese. Carrying extra weight puts increased strain on your heart. Having heart disease puts you at increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and even death. Losing weight helps take some strain off your heart and may prevent the onset of heart disease.
2. Type 2 diabetes
Carrying extra weight is a leading risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, a common metabolic condition. If you have diabetes, your body can’t effectively convert sugar from the food you eat into energy for your body to use. This often causes high blood sugar levels and leads to a number of other health issues, like diabetic nerve damage and heart disease.
Obesity interferes with your body’s ability to process sugar, and being obese makes it more likely that you’ll develop diabetes during your lifetime. Other risk factors include being over 45 and having a family history of diabetes. Losing weight can help lower your risk of diabetes, even if you have other risk factors.
3. High blood pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a condition that often develops over time. Your blood exerts a certain amount of pressure against the walls of your arteries as it flows through your body. High blood pressure puts strain on the arteries and can cause health complications like heart disease.
If you’re obese, your body needs to work harder and send more blood to your tissues and organs. More blood pumping through your veins increases the pressure on the artery walls. Losing weight can help lower your resting heart rate and decrease the amount of blood your tissues need to function, effectively lowering blood pressure.
4. Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea occurs when you repeatedly stop breathing while you sleep. It often causes loud snoring, but can also put you at risk for heart problems, high blood pressure, and chronic fatigue.
Obesity can significantly increase your risk of having sleep apnea. Having excess weight or a larger neck circumference makes it more likely that your airways can be obstructed as you sleep. Losing weight can reduce fat deposits around your upper airway to help you breathe normally during sleep.
Trying to lose weight can be overwhelming, but we’re here to help. Losing just 5%-10% of your body weight has been proven to lower your risk for certain chronic conditions like these.
To start your weight loss journey at High Rock Internal Medicine, call or book an appointment online today.