Obesity increases the risk of several health problems like high blood pressure, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, gout, gallstones, colon cancer, sleep apnea and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
High blood pressure:
Blood vessels carry blood from heart to different organs of the body and back to heart. The blood vessels have thick but elastic walls for proper flow of blood. Decrease in elasticity of blood vessel wall increases pressure on blood passing through these vessels. Obesity decreases elasticity of blood vessels causing increase in blood pressure.
Diabetes in obesity:
Insulin is required for entry of carbohydrate into cells from the blood. The carbohydrate in cell is utilized for energy production by the cells. Excess deposition of fat in the body causes insulin resistance, because of which, insulin cannot perform its function and sugar cannot enter into cells and remain in blood. This leads to diabetes or high blood sugar. High sugar in blood leads to complications in various organs like kidney, eyes, blood vessel, and heart.
Atherosclerosis or fatty deposits in blood vessels:
Obesity is associated with increase in levels of bad cholesterol in blood. Increase cholesterol in blood causes atherosclerosis or deposition of cholesterol on the walls of blood vessels. Atherosclerosis reduces the elasticity of blood vessels, narrows blood vessels and decreases blood flow through these vessels. All these changes lead to increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Coronary arteries are the blood vessels that supply blood to heart muscles. Atherosclerosis or fatty deposits in coronary arteries in obesity decreases blood supply to heart muscles. Decreased oxygen supply and blood flow to heart can cause angina (chest pain) and complete blockage of blood flow to heart can cause heart attack.
Stroke or paralysis:
Atherosclerosis in arteries of brain can reduce blood supply to the brain. This decrease in blood flow can result in stroke or paralysis.
Obesity and overweight increases the load on the joints such as the knee, hip and lower back, which can cause the breakdown of cartilage in the joint. Cartilage is a cushion like structure in a joint required for smooth movement of joints. Breakdown of cartilage in obesity results in joint pain and stiffness and other features of osteoarthritis.
A type of arthritis caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in joints. Obesity is associated with increased accumulation of these solid crystal-like masses in joints, which causes inflammation and pain.
Overweight and excess fat around neck causes narrowing of airways and leads to sleep apnea. In sleep apnea, person snores heavily and stops breathing for short periods, which results in frequent awakening at night.
Fatty liver disease:
Obesity increases the risk of developing liver disease called fatty liver disease due to accumulation of fat in liver.
Gallbladder disease and gallstones:
Obesity increases cholesterol deposition in gall bladder, which can lead to formation of gallstones.
So, obesity can lead to a lot of health problems and other complications. More information is available at dietfordisease.com on role of nutrition in various diseases.
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For details on role of nutrients in various diseases, please visit Diet for Disease and for information on management of obesity by blocking carbohydrate absorption, please visit Carbohydrate in Obesity website.