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Why Excess Weight Is Linked to High Cholesterol

Weight problems are a big problem in the United States, but globally, the rate of obesity has doubled since 1980. It’s linked to new cases of diabetes in America (up to 53%), an increase in the average number of days missed from work, and higher medical costs. 

Annually, four million people all over the world die from problems with obesity and its complications, as this condition can lead to illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and gout.

Those extra pounds can have a major effect on your cholesterol. While you need this waxy substance for making cells, hormones, and other chemicals, too much bad cholesterol can be dangerous. 

For residents of the Beverly Hills, California, area looking for ways to cope with weight problems and the complications of high cholesterol, Dr. Shawn Veiseh and his skilled medical staff can help you on the path to improved health.

To better understand the link between the two conditions, let’s explore how weight affects your body, what it does to your cholesterol, and how it can be treated.

How excess weight affects the body

Being overweight can negatively impact just about every part of your body, including:

Respiratory damage 

Sleep apnea can be caused by fat around your neck narrowing your airway as you sleep.

Digestive damage

Being overweight increases your chances of getting gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), as well as gallstones and liver damage.

Cardiovascular damage

Extra weight makes your cardiovascular system work harder, leading to hypertension, stroke, atherosclerosis, and heart attacks.

Endocrine damage

Your pancreas creates the hormone insulin, and excess weight can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes.

Musculoskeletal damage

Excess pounds also put more pressure on your muscles, bones, and joints, leading to pain, stiffness, and osteosarcopenic obesity.

How excess weight affects high cholesterol

While some cholesterol is produced by your body (which comes from your liver), you get most of it from the foods you eat; and from that food you get both good and bad forms of cholesterol — high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or good cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol. 

High cholesterol, also known as hyperlipidemia, is an overabundance of LDL cholesterol and comes from eating large amounts of saturated fats, high-sodium foods, and processed foods. These are also the same foods that contribute to weight gain and obesity.

Eating foods filled with bad (LDL) cholesterol leads to weight gain and increases your risk of several health conditions including the ones listed above.

Treatment options

Lifestyle and dietary changes such as regular exercise (starting with as little as 20 minutes, three times a week), walking, and quitting habits like smoking can help reduce your risk factors for high cholesterol. 

Changing your eating habits will also make a big difference. Reduce the amount of saturated fats, sodium, snacks, and fast food you consume, and replace them with fruits, vegetables, and grains. To see better cholesterol levels, losing even 10 pounds can make a significant difference and reduce your risks of the conditions mentioned earlier.

Weight problems are a major issue for people around the world, which is sadly also linked with cholesterol issues. We can help with multiple facets of these problems, including treating your cholesterol issues, helping you lose weight, and managing the conditions both of these issues can cause. 

If you’re ready to lose weight and lower your cholesterol to get healthy, make an appointment with Dr. Veiseh and our team. Call our office or schedule a visit online today.

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