Morbid Obesity: Know How This Condition Can Increases The Risk Of Diseases

Morbid obesity can increase the risk of diseases and cause adversities. Here are conditions, risks and treatment methods to control this obesity.

Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: Jan 18,2022
Updated at: Jan 18,2022

Obesity is one of the most occurring problems in today’s scenario. Since everything has shifted towards technology, there has been almost no need to step out of your home for anything. People also have busy schedules because of which they do not move out to do some physical exercise or work. Same condition is getting to children also; they play on mobiles and video games more often than going out any playing sports. This has resulted to Morbid obesity is some people. Morbid obesity is a condition in which the BMI goes above 35 which puts you at risk of many illness and risk factors. Lets us know about this condition and find ways to resolve it.

What is Morbid Obesity?

Morbid obesity is a condition in which the fat of the person becomes more than normal a level which puts him at risk of many diseases. Body mass index is a measurement tool to determine body mass ratio according to age and height. Usually normal BMI range should be around 18.5 to 25 which are considered healthy. Even overweight people can have BMI around 25-30. However if it is more than that, then you can put yourself at risk of many health conditions. Morbid obesity is considered almost about BMI range of 35 which makes your functions work harder than usual. If you continue to build up fat like that, you are likely to get attack or stroke as well. 

Causes of Morbid Obesity

We spoke to Ms. Ishangi Joshi, Consultant Nutritionist in BNK Hospital, Lucknow to know about morbid obesity in detail. She told that when a person eats almost double the calories needed by his body on a regular basis, it can cause morbid obesity. Calories are required for the body to function even when body is at rest to pump your heart and digest food. In case when the calories are not used, it gets stored in the form of fat which accumulates over the years. 

Morbid obesity usually happens to those who have poor metabolism and lack of physical work. As a result of this too much fat gets stored in the body which causes significant amount of weight gain. Some people may also have morbid obesity because of conditions like hypothyroidism, whereas some medications and anti-depressants also play a big role. 

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Morbid Obesity- Who is at risk?

Even though anyone can face this problem of weight gain because of the following factors mentioned above, but certain people get more prone to this condition than others. Nutritionist tells us that some studies show that genetic factor can play a vital role in determining the storage of the fats and consumption of energy. 

Eating habits also determine the effect of obesity on a person. Even if the calorie intake is high, some foods do not harm your body in way saturated fats, refined carbs and some beverages can. Therefore eating habits, timing and daily activity of the person also plays a major role. Many people develop wrong eating habits as children and they continue in the adulthood as well because of which the obesity and fat keeps on rising. Then the job, planning of meals and physical activities also increase the risk of morbid obesity.

Some other factors are also responsible for morbid obesity such as-

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of sleep
  • Inactivity 
  • Depression

Women also experience temporary weight gain in their pregnancy but most of them has trouble loosing it afterwards. This builds over time and because of additional weight, the menopause is also affected. Therefore all these factors can contribute to onset of morbid obesity in people.

Diagnosis of Morbid Obesity

Your doctor can conduct check your history of weight gain and routine. After looking into it, physical examination is done. Then habits and exercise efforts are taken into account with medical history. 

Calculating BMI

It is one of the first steps towards diagnosis as it gives a basic idea about the obesity level of the person. In BMI, you weight in kilograms in divided by your height in meter squared. If it comes between 30 and 34.9 then it obese class one, which can be controlled by few measures and exercise. Morbid obesity occurs from 35 – 40, which is dangerous for health of the body and immediate action needs to be taken. 

This is only a rough estimation, because some athletes can have higher BMI because of muscle mass. They could tend to fall in obese category or overweight category even after having very less amount of body fat. Hence other tests are also conducted to get the exact body fat percentage. 

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Body Fat Percentage

As the name suggests body fat percentage is to check the fat presence in the body. This is measured by thickness of the fold of skin from the arms, abdomen and thigh with a calliper. Another way to test the body fat percentage is through bioelectrical impedance, this is done through using a special type of scale which reveals the body fat percentage quite accurately. 

Complications of Morbid Obesity

There could be many complications when the body fat rises to extremely dangerous levels. Obesity in general can cause health concerns and morbid obesity does cause major health conditions. Here are some complications which can arise because of morbid obesity-

  • Osteoarthritis 
  • Stroke
  • Heart diseases and blood lipid disorder
  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Gallstones
  • Certain cancers
  • Problem in reproduction process and during reproduction
  • Obesity hypoventilation syndrome
  • Metabolic syndrome

How is Morbid Obesity Treated?

There are number of ways which can be helpful in treating morbid obesity condition.

1. Diet and Exercise

This is one of the most effective methods of getting through with morbid obesity. It is so because through diet and exercise, the body is able to consume those stuck calories and would also reduce the risk of health conditions significantly. As your dietician about to suggest you a meal plan and diet chart to lose weight.

2. Weight loss drugs

Even though many doctors do not recommend taking drugs for weight loss, in case of morbid obesity, it helps to cut down fat and improve metabolism at a rapid rate. There are also herbal medicines which can be taken to avoid certain side-effects from these drugs and supplements.

3. Surgery

Surgery is the last option that can treat morbid obesity. People with increasingly high amount of fat are not able to walk or do activities properly. Because of this condition, it is not possible for them to diet and exercise in a healthy way. Hence they are only left with surgical option to take out excess fat from their body to reduce risk of diseases. There are two types of surgery done to cut morbid fats-

1. Gastric banding surgery- In this surgery, a band is put around the upper part of your stomach which restricts you from eating more food than once at a time and gives you a feeling of fullness.

2. Gastric Bypass Surgery- This is a more complicated one where the surgery is done to change the course of digestive tract by bypassing a portion of your stomach and small bowel. This also makes you feel full and you tend to eat less after this.

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