Losing Weight Lowers Your Risk of These Chronic Conditions

Being able to fit into your favorite outfit isn’t the only benefit of losing weight. The most important benefit is improving your health.

Unfortunately, many people are overweight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 72% of American adults over age 20 are overweight. Being overweight can lead to the development of a number of chronic health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and gout.

In this blog, Shawn Veiseh, MD, at University Executive Physical Program discusses these complications and what you can do to prevent developing them.

Diabetes

After you eat, you body turns the food into glucose (sugar) and other nutrients you need. After a meal, your glucose levels rise, which triggers your pancreas to make insulin. Insulin acts as a gatekeeper to your body’s cells, allowing glucose and other nutrients into the cells. That’s how you get energy. 

However, too much fat in your body can make your cells stop responding to insulin. This is called insulin resistance, which can prevent glucose from entering your cells to supply energy. The glucose will then get stuck in your bloodstream, resulting in diabetes.

There is no cure, and the only way to manage the disease is to live a healthy lifestyle. This means eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. By losing weight, your body can begin to control blood sugar levels on its own again.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, can affect anyone from children to adults. Blood pressure is the measurement of the force of your blood as its pumped throughout your body. 

Fatty tissue increases the force it takes to move blood through the arteries. This, in turn, makes the heart pump harder to get blood distributed throughout the body. If there’s too much pressure, it can lead to tears in the walls of your arteries and cause other damage. Furthermore, if your heart works too hard, you increase your chances of developing heart disease and other life-threatening conditions.

If you’re overweight, the best thing you can do is live a healthy lifestyle. This would include eating a healthy diet and exercising. You may also need to lower your salt intake, as a diet high in salt can raise blood pressure. In some cases, you may need to take medication to lower your blood pressure.

Gout

Gout is arthritis in the foot, and it can cause intense pain. Gout develops when the body can’t get rid of uric acid. When uric acid remains in the blood, it forms tiny crystals, and these crystals find their way into joints. Gout typically forms in the big toe, but it can be found in other joints as well, such as your elbow, knee, or ankles. 

People who are overweight are at the most risk for developing gout. This is because an overweight person can produce higher levels of insulin, which can prevent the efficient elimination of uric acid through the kidneys. When the body can’t get rid of the extra uric acid, it creates the hard crystals that lead to gout. 

An unhealthy diet can also contribute to this condition. Drinking a lot of sugary beverages or eating a lot of red meat and shellfish can cause your body to make too much uric acid. The best way to combat gout or decrease your chances of developing it is to exercise and eat a healthy diet.

To get help shedding those extra pounds, book an appointment online or over the phone with University Executive Physical Program today.

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