Losing weight is one of the best things you can do for your health and longevity. This is because being overweight or obese puts you at a higher risk for serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and cancer. If you’re struggling to lose weight, Dr. Nathan Conroy and our caring staff at Genesis Integrative Medicine in Geneva, Illinois can help. We know that losing as little as 5-10% of your body weight can help you feel better and even lower your risk of developing heart disease, for example. So, here’s a look at how excess weight can lead to certain health issues—and what you can start doing about it today.
Heart disease or stroke
Being overweight can cause high blood pressure and make it harder for the heart to pump blood throughout your body. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. You may also have high cholesterol, which could lead to blocked arteries. Either of these can lead to a weakened heart muscle, a heart attack, stroke, or even death. Lower your risk by eating more fruits and vegetables and walking for exercise.
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by having high blood sugar levels, and high blood sugar can lead to heart disease, stroke, blindness, or other health problems. Being overweight may lead to insulin resistance, making it harder for cells to use sugar for energy. As a result, the blood sugar level remains high. Sometimes, your family health history will make you more susceptible to diabetes. Lower your risk by eating less simple carbohydrates like bread and cakes, and by drinking less sugary drinks like soda and sweetened tea.
People who are overweight or obese may stop breathing for short periods of time throughout the night. This is because their airway may become smaller if it’s blocked by extra fat around the neck. They may also snore very loudly. If you have sleep apnea, you may need a machine that regulates your breathing while you sleep. Lose weight to lower your risk of sleep apnea.
Carrying extra weight puts extra stress on your joints and causes more wear-and-tear on your knees and hips. You may have painful, stiff, achy joints, and walking may become difficult. Your quality of life may be affected too, because you’ll have a hard time doing the things you love to do. Walking and gentle stretching may help increase your mobility so you can lose weight.
Some cancers are linked to obesity. If you’re obese, it doesn’t mean you’ll get cancer; it just means you have a higher risk of developing cancer in the colon, breast (after menopause), esophagus, or kidneys.
By changing your diet, exercising, drinking more water, and getting enough sleep, you can help your body heal. If you need help losing weight, and are worried about your health, make an appointment with us today. We take a comprehensive approach to weight loss and your health to help lower your risk of many common health conditions. Book an appointment online or call 630-283-6563.