PJ's Fitness Blog

A blog about a fitter you. Come find out what is on the cutting edge of fitness science and be a part of the ongoing conversation.

The Side Effects of Fat

fatI always find it interesting that the drug commercials on TV seem to spend much more time listing the side effects of their medicine than its benefits. Well, if one of those commercials listed only the top 20 side effects of extra body fat, it would have to read somewhat like this blog below (this article is largely adapted from the Scientific Laboratory of Food Intolerance, so I wanted to be sure to give them their props right off the bat).

Carrying around excess weight is becoming an epidemic in North America. While one of the initial concerns with obesity is usually all about how you look and how you feel about yourself as a person, the longer the problem exists for you, the more medical problems are going to arise, some of which can be fatal.

Obesity is a growing concern especially because overweight rates have doubled among children and tripled among adolescents. This increases the number of years that they are exposing themselves to dangerous health risks associated with obesity. While it is difficult to truly predict the future impact of obesity, there is strong scientific agreement that obesity significantly increases the risk of serious chronic diseases and contributes to overall mortality.

Here are 20 diseases or conditions that can be attributed to obesity:

  1. Diabetes which is a disorder where the pancreas is not producing enough or sometimes not any insulin. Diabetes can lead to a whole host of other medical issues and obesity is one of the main causes due to the body having excess glucose due to overeating.
  2. Cancer has many different forms and types and many of them could be prevented with more attention to eating healthy and avoiding obesity.
  3. Congestive Heart Failure is a condition in which the heart can?t pump enough blood to the body?s other organs.
  4. Enlarged Heart is another heart condition where the muscle of the heart become larger due to being overworked which naturally happens if you are overweight.
  5. Pulmonary Embolism is a sometimes fatal blockage of an artery. Being overweight causes most people to reduce activity and after time lack of activity can result in an embolism.
  6. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is when cysts develop in your ovaries. These can burst causing even further problems.
  7. Gastro esophageal Reflux Disease means that stomach acid and juices flow from the stomach back up into the esophagus. It is common in overweight people.
  8. Fatty Liver Disease is a reversible condition where large pockets of fat accumulate in liver cells. Fatty liver can be considered a single disease that occurs worldwide in those with excessive alcohol intake and those who are obese.
  9. Hernia is caused when the hole in the diaphragm weakens and enlarges.
  10. Erectile Dysfunction is the inability to develop or maintain an erection which can be caused by a medical problem due to obesity or a psychological effect.
  11. Urinary Incontinence is the inability to control ones urine and is frequently associated with obesity, weak bladder and pelvic floor muscles. Urinary incontinence may need to be treated by a professional, depending on how bad the problem is. Medical practices, similar to the ATLANTIC UROLOGY CLINIC will be able to offer people who suffer from this problem the relevant and necessary treatment to be able to get this under control.
  12. Chronic Renal Failure meaning the kidneys fail to work is a much greater risk to those that are overweight or obese.
  13. Lymph edema is a condition that occurs from a damaged or dysfunctional lymphatic system sometimes caused by people suffering from obesity actually crushing the lymphatics.
  14. Cellulitis is clinically a spreading infection involving both the dermis and subcutaneous tissues due poor lymph flow caused by obesity.
  15. Stroke is a lack of blood supply as the body has to work harder when you are obese.
  16. Pickwickian Syndrome is mainly characterized by sleep apnea due to obesity placing an excessive load on the pulmonary system.
  17. Depression is a condition where a person feels extremely sad all the time. Even to the point of being suicidal. This can be greatly enhanced for someone that has a weight problem.
  18. Osteoarthritis is a clinical syndrome in which low-grade inflammation results in pain in the joints, caused by abnormal wearing of the cartilage oftentimes due to obesity.
  19. Gout occurs when uric acid accumulates in the blood. Nerve endings then become irritated causing extreme pain made worse by carrying extra weight.
  20. Gallbladder Disease commonly affects overweight people as a result of high blood cholesterol levels and causes gall stones.

According to the U.S. Surgeon General report, obesity is responsible for 300,000 deaths every year in the U.S. The National Center for Health statistics estimates that nearly two thirds of Americans are overweight. What people don?t know is that many cases of obesity are related to some kind of food intolerance. Eighty to ninety percent of North Americans have some sort of food allergy or intolerance. Eating these foods can result in many symptoms, one of which being weight gain. Many of the foods that people react to are not the junk food you might be thinking of but actually healthy foods that we may be eating because we are on a diet !

Eating foods you have an intolerance with can cause an inflammation cycle that contributes to weight gain. This isn’t the largest reason for being overweight, but it an be a complicating factor, so it is worth looking into. The best way to test if you are intolerant to certain foods is to be tested by a naturopathic doctor (ND). In the Seattle area, Amy Fasig is a good option (206-599-6030). In the south end (Renton), try the Tahoma Clinic (425-264-0059).

Being scared into weight loss based on the pain association or death can be a good initial motivator to get you going, but your brain must link pleasure with getting leaner for lasting results. Anyone can learn to live with pain, and can even rationalize the terminal effects of being overweight, but seeking and attaining pleasure is the only way to motivate you long-term. This is where your focus is so vital! Look ahead and see yourself in a fitter and better future. Experience your end goal now in your imagination to give your mind a preview of better things to come. If you visualize yourself the way you want to be and feel that experience in the present tense every day, you will find lasting and permanent fitness to be much easier to attain.