The World Health Organization has already declared obesity a disease and not a behavioral failure, so it should be treated like any other disease. Obesity has significant consequences for all organs of the body, from the heart, through the blood, to the internal organs that can suffer irreversible damage. Thousands of people die each year, most of them from diseases and related injuries caused by obesity. Heart disease, heart failure, diabetes, stroke and more.
The effects on all organs of the body go far, putting our body in danger. For example, excess carbohydrates and sugars that have not been used to create energy produce high levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood – beyond the desired level, thus creating excess fat in the blood.
Excess fat can also accumulate in liver cells and lead to fatty liver disease, which can worsen an inflammatory process leading to cirrhosis of the liver and the need for transplantation. We must remember that these are not extreme cases but possible complications due to obesity.
Obesity is also a heavy burden on the joints, especially on the pelvic girdle, hips and knees, which encourages cartilage erosion, damage to the bone, muscle and ligaments that connect the muscles to the bone. And leads to a chronic disease called osteoarthritis. In addition, adipose tissue is an active biological tissue that secretes hormones and inflammatory factors.
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Fat hidden from the eye
Fat also accumulates around all the internal organs of our body. And is the most dangerous fat even though it is hidden from the eye. There is also thin adipose tissue around the heart muscle that helps the heart function properly, as the adipose tissue around the heart grows the heart has difficulty contracting effectively and heart failure occurs. In addition to disrupting the proper functioning of the internal organs due to fat accumulations, the adipose tissue secretes pro-inflammatory substances which accelerate the formation of atherosclerosis throughout the body and also in the heart which can eventually lead to a heart attack.
And as in the heart so too in health. Accumulation of adipose tissue overloads the normative lung capacity and can lead to conditions of shortness of breath, which is why overweight people have difficulty breathing quickly after exercise. The phenomenon of “sleep apnea” also occurs due to excessive accumulation of fat in the neck area, which narrows the airways especially at night and causes great difficulty in breathing sometimes until stopping breathing! This apnea is a significant risk factor for high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease.
Long-term damage and diabetes
Obesity impairs the secretion of insulin from the pancreas in many ways, including the deposition of pancreatic fat that damages beta cells – the cells that secrete insulin – and prevents its secretion in response to increased glucose, inflammatory processes in the pancreas and increased insulin resistance in various tissues (especially liver). All of these processes together lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Also, one of the significant causes of gallstones formation is obesity and overweight. People who are overweight suffer more from gallbladder diseases, including gallstones and gallbladder inflammation.
Obesity causes an increase in the rate of blood filtration in the kidneys and even leads to an increased risk of kidney failure.
Apart from all these, many cancers can also come as additional complications from obesity.
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The treatments for obesity
The best suggestion for dealing with obesity is to approach a dedicated clinic for treatment. As it is a complex chronic disease, its treatment requires a comprehensive set of treatments that contain a multidisciplinary approach in order to achieve significant achievements over time. Therefore the patient will need teamwork that combines medical care, nutritional counseling, psychologist or mental trainer, fitness trainer, complementary medicine and more. Especially when treating several medications together, there is a need for an accompanying doctor, a balance and all the other factors that will accompany the patient in the new space and full of changes in his life.
It is a process of profound and significant perceptual change that occurs in a variety of aspects of the patient’s life, and therefore professional guidance along the way and especially in its beginning significantly increases the chances of the process to succeed, stabilize and adopt the new approach to life.
* Prof. Julio Weinstein, Director of the Diabetes Unit at Wolfson Medical Center and Senior Diabetes Center DMC For the treatment of diabetes