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Coping up Obesity

Updated on July 13, 2009


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OBESITY


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Overview

Obesity is the accumulation of excessive body fat. An individual is considered obese when his weight is 20% (25%i in women) or more over the maximum standard for his height.

The most common statistical esti­mate of obesity is the hod) mass in dex (BMI). calculated by dividing the weight by the height squared. A person with a BMI over 25.0 kg/m2 is considered overweight. A BMI over 300 kg/m2 denotes obesity. At 35.0 kg/m2 a person is said to have morbid obesity. Obesity increases a person's risk of illness and death due to diabetes, stroke, coronary artery disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, kidney and gallbladder disorders, development of osteoarthritis and sleep apnea, it may also increase the risk for some types of cancer.

Causes

Genes. Obesity tends to run in fa­milies. This is caused both by genes and by shared diet and life style habits

Emotions. Some people overeat because of depression, hopeless­ness, anger, boredom, and many other reasons that have nothing to do with hunger.

Environmental factors. Over­eating and sedentary habits (inactivity) are  the most important risk factors for obesity. Sex. On average, men have more muscle than women. Because muscle burns more calories than other types of tissue, men use more calories than women, even at rest. Thus, women are more likely than men to gain weight with the same calorie intake.

•   Pregnancy. Women lend to weigh an average of 4-6 pounds more alter a pregnane; than they did before the pregnancy. This can compound with each pregnancy. This weight gain may contribute to obesity in women.

•   Certain medical conditions (hy­pothyroidism. Gushing syndrome, depression, Prader-Willi syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome) and medications (steroids. antidepressants, birth control pills) can cause or promote obesity.

Prevention

•   Regulate caloric intake. Good eating habits should be encouraged. Reduce the amount of calories from fat and sugars, and cat more fruit and vegetables.

•   Regular exercise should be con­sistent with the patient's lifestyle. Every successful weight reduction program should incorporate some farm of physical activity, designed to promote a leaner body mass.

•   Behavior modification is useful with regards to habits that promote overeating. Positive feed back reinforces and maintains an optimal attitude towards weight reduction.


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Home Remedies

•   Fiber helps regulate blood sugar levels, and adds hulk to the diet, which results in a feeling of "full ness" and reduces hunger pangs.

•   Chromium picolinate reduces sugar cravings and stabilizes the metabolism of simple carbohydrates.

•   Kelp helps maintain iodine levels and aids weight loss.

•   Lecithin helps break down body fat so it can be removed from the body.

•   Spirulina is an excellent source of protein and contains the needed nutrients to stabilize blood sugar levels

Who to consult

•   General physician

•   Endocrinologist

Commonly used medicines

•   Sibutramine suppresses the appetite by keeping the nerve endings from taking up the substances nor epinephrine and serotonin. Side effects may include dry mouth, inability to sleep, and constipation. Sibutramine is not given to patients who have a history of heart disease or stoke.

•   Orlistat alters the way the body responds to fat intake. It prevents the action of lipases (enzymes that break down fat). The result, particularly in individuals who eat a high fat meal, are some gastrointestinal side effects, including to much cramps and an inability to control the bowels.

•   Appetite suppressants or anorectics are indicated for short-term use (few weeks) along with a weight-loss regimen. Side effects include: Addictive potential, irritability, nervousness, insomnia and false sense of well-being. Do not use with antihypertensives, MAO inhibitors, phenothiazines and other appetite suppressants.

Preparations

Frequently asked questions

Q: What are the different surgical procedures available/or the manage ment of obesity?

A: Surgical procedures result in weight loss by restricting the size pf the stomach or by bypassing a portion of the intestines. Malabsorptive (bypass) procedures decrease the pro-portion of nutrients that are absorbed from a meal. Vertical banded gastro­plasty (VBG) and other gastroplasty procedures use the strategy of mecha nical restriction to cause weight loss.


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