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Other Effects of Obesity

More Than Just Cardiovascular Disease


Whenever there is talk about obesity, it is generally discussed alongside the risks for heart attack and stroke. In reality, there is a long list of conditions that obesity is associated with an increased risk for. While this article will not cover every single one, it will highlight some of the effects of obesity that people may be less aware of.

obesity

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is when you stop breathing momentarily in your sleep. It could be a central sleep apnea from neurological impairment or obstructive sleep apnea from your airway closing off. Obesity is a cause of obstructive sleep apnea because excess fat tissue around the airway and in your neck can make the airway easier to collapse. What ultimately happens is that you would be excessively sleepy in the daytime, enough to impair concentration and put you at risk for accidents.

Keep in mind that you do not need to be obese to have obstructive sleep apnea. Upper airway obstruction has other causes, including substances relaxing the throat muscles such as alcohol and anatomical causes like enlarged tonsils. Even thin people can have sleep apnea.

Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome

Another breathing problem could occur with obesity. If you were to be massively obese, the heavy weight of fat tissue in your belly could actually make it hard to take a deep breath. Over time, you would build up carbon dioxide in your system and also have a low oxygen level, which would lead to daytime sleepiness and fatigue. This is called obesity hypoventilation syndrome, also called Pickwickian syndrome. Though it has similarities with sleep apnea, do not confuse the two because they are not one and the same.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

GERD, commonly known as acid reflux, can occur with obesity for the same reason as obesity hypoventilation syndrome. Weight from abdominal fat tissue can push the stomach upward, which then pushes its acidic contents upward into the esophagus. While medications for acid reflux can be used, they do not address the root of the problem.

Osteoarthritis

With obesity, there is an increased risk for osteoarthritis in the knees. This is because of the amount of stress put on the knees when one is obese, and there is evidence that shows this. Surprisingly, obesity is also associated with an increased risk for osteoarthritis in other joints, like the hands. This may suggest a metabolic process with obesity and osteoarthritis, not just a mechanical process.

Intertriginous Dermatitis

There are certain areas of skin that fold, allowing moisture to collect if there is a lack of hygiene. They include the groin and the skin under the breasts in women. With obesity, another place would be the skin under the protruding belly. If moisture is trapped in these tight spaces long enough, skin inflammation takes place. This is called intertriginous dermatitis.

Final Words

Obesity is associated with a long list of health risks, more than what is described here. While there are treatment options for each of the individual conditions, the best way to treat them is to lose weight and eliminate the root of the problem. Maintaining a healthy weight is more than preventing cardiovascular disease and other conditions. It is about living a long healthy life.

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Slipped Femoral Epiphysis

There is a wide range of different effects resulting from obesity which can affect the physical well-being of both adults and children. Key examples of obesity-related health conditions include gallbladder disease, heart disease, type2 diabetes and slipped femoral epiphysis. The latter condition is associated with the position of the ball in the hip joint moving and thus causing significant pain for those affected.

slipped femoral epiphysis

Understanding Slipped Femoral Epiphysis

Slipped femoral epiphysis is a health condition arising from carrying excessive amounts of weight, with boys between the ages of ten and 16 being the most likely to be affected. The condition is caused by weakness of the joint between the thigh bone and ball joint, allowing the ball to slip and resulting in the child's leg appearing bowed. Chronic femoral epiphysis may also occur when the slip develops at a slower rate. This typically results in children suffering from post-exercise pain in the groin area (which dissipates following a period of rest) and may even cause a limp or result in one leg becoming shorter than the other.

A sudden acute slip is far more rare and usually results in the child suffering from a high level of pain and finding it rather difficult to even walk. This is normally caused by a gradual weakening of the ball joint and children may also complain of having knee pain due to the nerves supplying the knee being the same as those supplying the hip joint.

How Childhood Obesity Affects Femoral Epiphysis

Obesity is directly linked to the condition of slipped femoral epiphysis because these slips or weakening within the ball of the hip joint stem from too much stress being placed upon them. This high level of stress on the joint is identified as being caused by the excessive amount of weight children who are suffering from obesity have on their small frame. In addition, as the joint is not designed to bear such a heavy load, the growth plate eventually becomes considerably weakened and typically requiring specialist treatment.

As a result of this direct link to obesity, it is crucial for parents to encourage overweight children to become more active and alter their dietary intake in order to avoid the likelihood of them suffering from this painful condition or indeed many other forms of obesity-related illness.

Treatment for Slipped Femoral Epiphysis

Slipped femoral epiphysis usually requires children to be admitted into hospital for treatment, which involves being in traction, weights and normally surgical procedures. As any form of surgery is more dangerous when performed on an obese person, there are added risks involved which must be understood. Surgery is often minor and involves the epiphysis being pinned whilst under general anaesthetic with a few small incisions. However, in more severe cases where the joint and plate has become greatly deformed the surgery may take considerably longer and involve a larger incision thus increasing any risks.

Children will usually remain in hospital for around one week post-surgery and then spend up to six weeks on crutches. Following discharge, regular appointments including X-rays will typically be necessary whilst the child is still growing.

As highlighted above, slipped femoral epiphysis involves the ball of the hip joint moving out of place causing significant pain as a result of the body struggling to carry the stress of excess weight, The condition usually requires surgery and is most common in boys of secondary school age.

Source

:
Heaton-Harris, N. (2009) Childrens Health - Combating Obesity Brighton: Emerald Publishing

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Are Chilli Peppers Good For You?

chilli peppers
The humble chilli pepper has quite a reputation: from the humble jalapeño to the ferocity of the scotch bonnet there is a variety for all capsaicin hot heads. Chillis and chilli sauces have been popular for some time, many people claiming for the “endorphin rush” that eating them is thought to produce, and several varieties of different strengths and flavours have been grown. The Dorset Naga is reportedly the hottest of them all, measuring up to and over one million Scoville Heat Units, the scale used to measure pepper heat. To get an idea of scale a pimento pepper measures a paltry 100-500 units, so if you find these too hot to eat it's a safe bet that the Naga would be inedible.

Chillis Affect Appetite and Metabolism

The chemical in chillis that give them their heat is capsaicin, a waxy compound that has very little taste or odour in its own right but interacts with a family of ion channels known as the vanilloid receptors. The major channel, known as TRPV1, is located on many sensory nerve endings and plays an important role in sensing noxious stimuli such as heat, and once activated the receptor causes the release of several neurotransmitters which signal a pain response. Interestingly the same neurotransmitters have been found to increase metabolic rate and reduce appetite, according to a study by Motter and Aherne in FEBS letters (2008). Interestingly, mice given capsaicin or other chemically similar compounds (including vanillin, a substance found in vanilla pods) eat less food and gain less weight than controls when given a high fat diet.

Paradoxically however knock-out mice that have the TRPV1 receptor deleted from their DNA also have reduced food intake and body weight according to the same paper, and the authors admit that the exact mechanism of action of the receptor is unclear. One thing they are sure of though is that chronic treatment with capsaicin and other similar compounds prevent dietary weight gain, confirmed in another recent study by Reinbach et al. in Clinical Nutrition (2009). This experiment took healthy human volunteers and found that their appetites were reduced and metabolic rates increased when given capsaicin.

A Potential Treatment for Obesity and Diabetes

Among the proposed mechanisms of action one of the most interesting appears to be the control of a substance called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a neurotransmitter released from sensory nerves. Motter and Aherne's study showed that precursor fat cells, preadipocytes, were sensitive to CGRP and could transform into mature fat cells when exposed to this substance, a process that appears to be inhibited by treatment of capsaicin. The authors postulated that capsaicin could help prevent age-onset obesity and insulin resistance (a pre-diabetic state), two of the biggest risk factors for heart disease, through this mechanism.

Judging by the amount of interest being generated around capsaicin and the TRPV1 receptor it would appear that drug companies are paying close attention to this field of study. Certainly the limited evidence gathered so far would suggest that capsaicin and other compounds from the vanilloid family may have a role to play in obesity and diabetes. A capsaicin-like compound that could reduce body weight without the heat of a chilli pepper would possibly be an excellent aid for people trying to lose weight. However, for those that like their food spicy, there is all the more reason to put a little extra chilli in your dinner. If you're brave enough, you could always risk the Dorset Naga.

Author's Note: There is no direct evidence of weight loss caused by a high chilli intake. Diet and exercise are still the best way to lose weight, but the ingestion of chilli must be exercised with caution, with no expectancy of weight loss. Chillis and high concentrations of capsaicin are certainly an irritant and excess consumption may even be harmful.
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Green Tea for Weigth Loss


Green Tea

Giving up beer will help your lose weight and not just because of the high calories content. According to the Food Research Institute in Norwich, when we drink a skinful we feel an outpouring of insulin stimulated by the ethanol in beer. This causes hypoglycemia, a reduction of sugar in the blood, which stimulates the sense of hunger, leading to a desire for high-carb foods Try drinking green tea for a month. Its catechins (antioxidants) stimulate the body's metabolism. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition men who drank green tea daily had significantly smaller waist measurements than those in the control group. Four cups a day should see you benefit from the rub of the green tea.
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Abs Will Help You Live Longer

Abs
Many studies show that the people with the largest waist sizes have the most risk of acquiring dangerous disease. The proof couldn’t be more convincing. According to the National Institutes of Health, a waistline larger than 40 inches for men may lead to heart disease and diabetes. Another study concluded that for maximum health, a man needs to keep his waist size at no more than 35 inches. When your waist grows larger than 35 inches, you’re at higher danger of developing two or more risk factors for heart disease. And when researchers examined a series of data in this sphere they discovered that men whose waists measured more than 36.8 inches had a significantly elevated risk for myocardial infarction, or heart attack, in which an area of the heart muscle dies or is totally damaged by a lack of bloodflow. Men with the biggest bellies were at 60 percent higher risk. It is alarming because the average American man’s waist size is a ponderous 38.8 inches, up from 37.5 in 1988..A woman with a flabby midsection is as well at increased risk for the same health problems. And American women have seen their weight rise just as men have.

Of course, abs don’t guarantee you a general health, but studies show that by developing a strong abdominal section, you’ll reduce body fat and considerably cut the risk factors associated with many disorders, not just heart disease. For example, there is a 33% incidence of cancer among obese persons.
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Obesity Lowers Testosterone

Obesity
Most women dislike fat men, and excess adipose tissue interferes with metabolic health that is responsible for erections and testosterone levels. Researchers from Australia concluded that overweight men often have lower levels of testosterone and the biologically-active free testosterone. To make matters worse, age-linked declines in testosterone take place faster in overweight and obese men.
Obesity increases risk factors linked to low testosterone levels, such as obstructive sleep apnea, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Excess body fat, predominantly in the abdomen, interferes with hormones that manage the reproductive system and decreases sperm quality. Weight loss increases testosterone and free testosterone and improves sexual health. The general conclusion is that obesity is bad for your sex life.
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