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Obesity is not simply the cosmetic condition it used to be viewed as. Instead, it is a dangerous epidemic that is linked to many diseases that cause lower quality of life and earlier death. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Medical Association (AMA) recognize obesity itself as a disease.
Here are some of the most common conditions and diseases linked to obesity.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Obesity is strongly linked with high blood pressure, which is also known as hypertension. It is estimated that 75% of the cases of high blood pressure are tied to excess weight. High blood pressure is not only common, but is dangerous. It increases the risk of other diseases including coronary heart disease (CHD), congestive heart failure (CHF), stroke, and kidney disease. Learn more about high blood pressure here.
Sleep apnea is a condition where someone stops breathing multiple times throughout the night. They may stop breathing for 10 seconds or more, and then snore very loudly. It is a dangerous condition which can lead to daytime sleepiness, which raises the risk of work-related and driving accidents. Learn more about sleep apnea here.
High cholesterol, or dyslipidemia, is dangerous because it has no symptoms, but is responsible for many deaths each year. Having high cholesterol makes you more likely to have heart disease – which is the leading cause of death in the United States.
People who are obese are said to have a ten times greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared to people who are not obese. Having type 2 diabetes not only almost doubles your chances of early death, but the disease can lead to stroke, amputations, blindness, impotence, and nerve damage. Bariatric surgery can be particularly beneficial for people with diabetes, and recent data shows that bariatric surgery can treat type 2 diabetes in nearly 90% of patients. More than 3/4ths of people studied with type 2 diabetes went into remission after their bariatric surgery. Learn more about type 2 diabetes here.
Arthritis is a painful condition that affects approximately 1 out of every 3 people with obesity. When cartilage in the joints breaks down, walking becomes painful. Arthritis quickly becomes worse for people with obesity since the extra weight puts more pressure on their joints. Losing weight is recommended to improve arthritis symptoms and prevent further joint damage. Learn more about arthritis here.
Prediabetes means your blood glucose (sugar) is higher than normal, but not yet diabetes. Diabetes is a serious disease that can cause heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, or loss of feet or legs. Type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented in people with prediabetes through effective lifestyle programs. Take the first step. Find out your risk for prediabetes.
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