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Obesity is a Life Threatening Disease

Obesity is a global health challenge affecting millions of people worldwide. Many individuals struggle with the physical, emotional, and social consequences of obesity, which can significantly affect their quality of life. However, there is hope in the form of bariatric surgery. Weight loss surgery has emerged as an effective solution for those with severe obesity who have struggled in their attempts to lose weight through traditional methods.
Obesity is a complex condition that can have profound effects on various organs and systems in the body, leading to a range of medical complications. Here are some ways obesity can impact health.

Abdominal Fat Accumulation:

Obesity leads to the accumulation of excess fat in the abdomen. When fat accumulates within an organ, it can cause significant tissue damage and scarring. It can disrupt its structure and interfere with its normal cellular functions. Over time, this can lead to the organ losing its normal function and impairing its ability to perform its essential tasks.

1 Fat in the Heart

Excessive fat deposition in the heart can strain the organ, leading to conditions like coronary artery disease (CAD), heart failure, and increased risk of heart attacks.

2 Fat in the Liver

Fat accumulation in the liver, known as fatty liver disease, can cause inflammation and scarring. If left untreated, it can progress to more severe conditions like non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and cirrhosis.

3 Fat in the Pancreas

Fat accumulation in the pancreas affects its ability to produce and regulate insulin properly. This can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.

4 Fat in the Lungs

Excess fat in the lungs can lead to reduced lung capacity and breathing difficulties. Conditions such as obesity hypoventilation syndrome and sleep apnea are common in obese individuals, further exacerbating respiratory problems.

Obesity’s Impact on
Overall Health and Well-being

Reduced Mobility

Obesity can lead to physical limitations and disabilities, resulting in a handicap that restricts mobility and hampers daily activities. The excess weight can impede movements, making tasks like walking, bending, and performing routine actions more challenging, significantly impacting overall physical functioning and quality of life.

Emotional and Psychological Effects:

Living with obesity can lead to emotional distress, low self-esteem, isolation, depression, and anxiety. Society’s stigmatization of obesity can further contribute to these psychological challenges. However, bariatric surgery offers individuals a chance to regain control over their weight, improve their self-esteem, and enhance their overall well-being.

Medication Dependence:

Obesity-related conditions often require long-term management with medications, increasing the number of drugs one needs to take regularly.

Metabolic Imbalances:

Obesity disrupts the body’s metabolic balance, affecting hormone regulation and increasing the risk of hormonal disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hormonal imbalances.

Reasons of Obesity

Obesity can be influenced by various factors such as lifestyle, environment, genes, and eating habits, etc. which are widely recognized. However, it is essential to understand how our own bodies can contribute to weight gain and make weight loss seemingly impossible. To shed light on this, let’s explore the weight control center in our brain and a few examples of obesogenic signals that hinder weight loss efforts.

1 Weight control centre in brain

The weight control center in the brain, called the hypothalamus, is like a command center that helps regulate our body weight. It receives signals from different parts of our body and decides when we feel hungry or full. It also helps control our metabolism, which is how our body uses energy.

When things go wrong in this control center, it can make it harder to control weight. The signals that tell us when to stop eating or when we are full may become disrupted, leading to overeating or difficulty in recognizing feelings of satisfaction. Additionally, the metabolism-regulating functions of the hypothalamus may be affected, resulting in decreased energy expenditure and a tendency to store excess calories as fat. These alterations in the weight control center contribute to the development and maintenance of obesity, making it harder for individuals to manage their weight effectively. However, bariatric surgery can help combat obesity and attain weight loss goals.

2 Energy imbalance

Energy imbalance occurs when there is inequality in the calories consumed through food and calories burned through physical activity. When there is an energy imbalance, either an excess or deficit of calories occurs. If a person consumes more calories than they burn, they gain weight and may become obese. On the other hand, if a person burns more calories than consumes, it results in weight loss. Obesity leads to an abnormal increase in obesogenic signals, which contributes to energy imbalance, weight gain and difficulty in weight management. Mechanism of some of these signals are as following;

Melanocortin receptor: Activation of MC4R leads to reduced food intake and increased energy expenditure. Changes in its pathway have been associated with obesity. Its Impaired signaling can disrupt appetite regulation and contribute to energy imbalance and obesity.

NPY/PYY receptor: NPY hormone stimulates hunger and food intake, while PYY hormone acts as a satiety signal, reducing appetite. Receptors for NPY and PYY are present in the brain and the gastrointestinal tract, respectively. Imbalances in the signaling can lead to increased food intake, eventually leading to obesity.

Increased levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin: It is the hormone responsible for stimulating appetite. The excessive production of ghrelin can intensify feelings of hunger, making it more challenging to control food intake and contributing to continued weight gain.

Imbalances in gut microbiota: Alterations in the composition and diversity of gut bacteria may contribute to obesogenic signals, potentially impacting weight regulation.

Reduced sensitivity of stretch receptors in the stomach: The resistance to the signals of fullness can result in a diminished feeling of fullness, increasing the size of stomach and thus leading to larger food intake and a higher likelihood of overeating.

Leptin Deficiency: This hormone helps regulate food intake, promoting satiety and increasing energy expenditure. Leptin resistance or deficiency can occur in obesity, which impairs the signaling pathway. This disruption can lead to reduced satiety, increased food intake, and decreased energy expenditure, contributing to energy imbalance and obesity.



Understanding the roles of these receptors provides insight into the intricate mechanisms involved in appetite regulation and energy balance. Dysfunctions or imbalances in these receptor systems can disrupt the body’s proper regulation of food intake, satiety, and energy expenditure, potentially leading to obesity.
Medical and surgical treatments for obesity are designed to target the biology of these obesogenic signals. The main objectives include regulating appetite, balancing hormones involved in hunger and satiety. Medical treatments aim to control appetite and promote feelings of fullness through medications that target hormonal imbalances and restore the normal signaling pathways. However, it is also true that the beneficial effects of these medicines are lost once a person stops taking them. Whereas bariatric surgery can physically alter the stomach’s structure to modify hormone release and obesogenic signals, leading to significant weight loss. These treatments are typically part of a comprehensive approach that also includes lifestyle modifications and ongoing support for successful long-term weight management.

Weight Loss Surgery

When a person’s body mass index (BMI) exceeds a certain threshold, usually around 35 to 40 or higher, and lifestyle interventions have not been effective, more invasive options may be considered. Weight loss surgery is endorsed by more than 54 medical societies worldwide, including the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the Pakistan Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
Following procedures are endorsed as the standard procedures for weight loss surgery

  • Sleeve Gastrectomy
  • Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB)
  • Mini Gastric Bypass (OAGB-MGB)
  • Single Anastomosis Duodenal Switch (SADI)

One remarkable aspect of weight loss surgery is that it has the potential to break the chain of generational obesity. After undergoing weight loss surgery and successfully losing weight, the genetic makeup for obesity is not passed on to the next generation. This means that your children are less likely to inherit the same obesity-related genetic factors, reducing their risk of developing obesity in the future.
The benefits of weight loss surgery includes;

  • Significant and sustained weight loss
  • Improvement or resolution of obesity-related health conditions
    (such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea)
  • Enhanced mobility and physical functioning
  • Improved overall quality of life and psychological well-being
  • Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Decreased joint pain and improved mobility
  • Increased fertility and improved reproductive health
  • Potential reduction in certain types of cancer risk
    (such as breast and colon cancer)
  • Enhanced self-esteem and body image
  • Long-term maintenance of weight loss with adherence to lifestyle

Losing weight can have a profoundly positive impact on your life. It has the potential to solve many problems and alleviate weight-related concerns. At ALSA Pakistan, we offer top-quality and highly successful bariatric surgery procedures. Our team is dedicated to providing assistance and support throughout your weight loss journey. We are here to help you achieve your goals and improve your overall well-being.