Frequently Asked Questions
Obesity is defined as having an excess weight from over-accumulation of fat stores in the body. The excess fat will lead to many diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, blood pressure, sleep apnea, and cause disabilities like joint pains, shortness of breath, and infertility.
The severity of obesity is measured by the body mass index or BMI. The units of BMI are kg/m2. A BMI of 25 to 29 is considered being overweight a BMI 30-34 is call stage 1 obesity, BMI 35-39 is stage 2 and a BMI of 40
or above is considered stage 3 or morbid obesity. Studies have shown that
many diseases are associated with stage 2 and stage 3 obesity.
There are many methods for treating obesity. These include diets, lifestyle changes, medications, and possible bariatric surgery. Treatment should start with proper analyses of the patient’s lifestyle, eating habits, physical activity, and medical conditions or disabilities. The treatment plan is based on the severity of obesity and other disabilities.
Obesity is a complex disease that occurs as a result of disturbed homeostatic systems controlling the body weight. Such systems may be disturbed as a result of stresses, lifestyle, medical conditions, genetics, or environmental factors. As a result of these disturbing systems, there is over-accumulation of fats.
Body fat is mainly of two types: subcutaneous or under the skin and visceral fat which is surrounding the body organs. Visceral fat has been implicated to cause a lot of diseases that are associated with obesity. Subcutaneous fat produces estrogen which can affect the ovarian cycles and lead to infertility.
Visceral fat is the fat surrounding or deposited within body organs such as the heart, lungs, liver, and pancreas. They are directly linked to the development of disease conditions such as high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes, and even shortness of breath.
Pancreatic fat is the fat deposited in the pancreatic cells. Recent studies have linked this fact to the development of diabetes. This fat is measured by MRI scans and using special software to calculate the amount of fat. The levels of fat associated with diseases are still yet to be established.
Excess fat deposition in the liver can lead to liver disease. This condition is called Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease or NAFLD. The fat deposited in the liver will lead to inflammation of the liver called Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis or NASH. This will progressively lead to fibrosis of the liver called cirrhosis where the liver gradually starts losing its function
The way the fat is deposited in our body determines the shape of the body and hence the body type. A predominant upper body and centripetal distribution is referred to as Android type and has higher levels of visceral fat, hence associated with cardiovascular diseases. A predominant lower body and deposition of subcutaneous fat in the thighs and hips is called Gynecoid distribution and is more commonly seen in females.
Yes, there are a number of treatments that have shown some benefit in losing weight. To avoid getting any complications, these medications should only be used under the supervision of an experienced physician. Some of these medications are novel and have shown promising results to reduce 10-15% of total body weight. However, they need to be taken for almost 6 months or more to have tangible results. Stopping these medications may lead to the weight coming back.
A number of herbal, homeopathic, alternative medicine, and home remedies have been proposed to help lose weight. These medications may have short term or temporary results, but none of them have proven medical benefits or sustainable weight loss. These remedies should be used with caution as some of them may have serious side effects such as high doses of green tea extracts that have caused toxic liver failure.
A number of diets have become popular ways to lose weight. These include the DASH diet, Mediterranean diet, Keto-Diet, Atkins, and South Beach diets. These diets vary in their macro composition. Most of them focus on reducing carbohydrates and replacing them with proteins or even fats. When clinically studied, all diets were equally effective if they incorporated caloric restriction. None of the studies have proven any diet to be superior over the others in losing weight. So the most important element in losing weight is caloric restriction.
These are meal replacement diets. The meals are replaced by shakes, soups, desserts, or bars that are mostly made of protein powder. They come as sachets or wafers that are ready to eat or need minimal preparation. These products are made to provide restricted caloric portions. The portions usually contain all the necessary daily vitamin and fiber requirements. LCD stands for a low-calorie diet and provides 1000-1200 calories per day, while VLCD stands for a very low-calorie diet and has 800-1000 calories per day. Both VLCD and LCD have been shown to provide quick sustainable weight loss
if followed by lifestyle changes.
Once you start a calorie-restricted diet to lose weight, the weight loss
will plateau after a few weeks despite the caloric restriction this is
referred to as weight loss plateau.
Exercise is necessary to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular health. Exercise doesn’t help with weight loss if not combined with caloric restriction. Exercise is necessary to maintain weight loss that is achieved after caloric restriction diets. Without a regular exercise schedule, weight regain occurs. Exercise is also helpful to break the weight loss plateau.
One should start with walking exercise and aim to achieve 40 minutes of moderately brisk walking. This may be done as two 20 minute sessions or even three 15 minute sessions during a day. Easy ways to incorporate walking in your schedule is to park your car away from your home or work-place. Walking to a far masjid, or even connecting it with your daily
prayers. Once a routine is established then you can add some cardio training with a treadmill, bicycle, and lightweights. Swimming is considered an excellent way to exercise all muscle groups. Walking in the swimming pool is helpful for people with arthritis as it relieves the pressure from joints.
Obesity can be inherited by some jeans however genetic causes only contribute to 40% of obesity whereas the environment plays a major role.
Obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, immune disorders, inflammatory conditions, and even cancer. It also makes a person prone to different infections such as skin infections and urinary tract infections. Obesity also leads to bad outcomes with viral infections such as coronavirus pandemic.
Obesity leads to joint pains and progressive inflammation of the joints that could develop osteoarthritis. The increased weight on the cartilages of the weight-bearing joints causes cartilage erosion and early onset of osteoarthritis.
Obesity is the main cause of type two diabetes. 80% of type two diabetes patients have insulin resistance. Obesity causes the development of insulin resistance. Due to the high-fat storage in the body the cells become packed with energy and are unable to accommodate any further glucose and so insulin receptors are turned off. Hence despite insulin circulating in the
blood, it is unable to work on the receptors to admit glucose into the cells leading to high glucose levels in the blood.
Obesity causes migraine attacks, sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, urinary stress incontinence, high levels of estrogen hormones that need to polycystic ovarian syndrome and irregular menstrual periods, varicose veins, joint pains.
Obviously has been proven to increase the risk of developing cancers of the liver, kidney, breast, colon, and prostate.
Obesity leads to generalized pain’s across the body and especially in areas where most of the weight is being sustained such as in the lower legs and joints.
Laparoscopic hernia surgery offers early recovery from surgery with reducing pain and early return to work and activities.
Laparoscopic hernia surgery is much less painful than open hernia surgery and can be well-controlled with over-the-counter pain medications.
Laparoscopic hernia surgery offers a lesser chance of developing surgical infections because the skin barrier is not interrupted. Many studies have proven laparoscopic surgery hernia surgery is as good as or even better than open hernia surgery.
Different types of hernias require different types of procedures. In general laparoscopic techniques have now been widely adopted due to their overall success rate and improved patient outcomes.
Laparoscopic surgery involves performing surgery using small holes in the abdomen and inserting a camera with different tools to complete the surgery without making a large cut. This offers a lesser chance of developing infections, much fewer scars and post-surgical pain, early return to work and normal activities