Obesity is a major epidemic in America. The condition, in which excessive accumulation of body fat impairs your health, affects 42% of adults, leading to an annual medical cost due to obesity of $173 billion (in 2019 dollars).
It’s also a major risk factor for multiple chronic diseases, leading to diminished health and quality of life for many people. Here at Physicians Medical Primary Care, one of our major focuses is helping our patients lose weight by building a sustainable lifestyle to improve their health. In other words, when you lose weight, your overall health improves dramatically.
Here are four chronic diseases that weight loss can help reverse.
Excess weight (obesity) is the leading risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. In fact, 90% of the 37 million people with Type 2 diabetes are classified as obese. The extra fat you carry around your liver and other organs blocks insulin and keeps glucose from entering your cells. The higher your body fat, the harder it is for cells to respond to insulin correctly.
The good news is that losing even just 3%-5% of your body weight can go a long way to helping you control your diabetes. If you lose enough weight, you can even reverse the diabetes diagnosis as you become more and more healthy.
More than 80% of patients with coronary heart disease are overweight. One of the major risk factors for heart disease is high blood pressure (hypertension), and obesity increases the risk of hypertension, which can damage arteries in the heart. Once again, losing just 5%-10% of your body weight can reduce your risk of heart disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 24% of cancer diagnoses in men and 55% of diagnoses in women are associated with obesity and being overweight. Cancers related to being overweight include endometrial, liver, kidney, breast, colon, rectum, gallbladder, pancreatic, esophagus, and more. Losing weight by modifying your lifestyle by eliminating processed food and increasing greens and vegetables can dramatically reduce your chances of getting these types of cancer.
One of the main risk factors for osteoarthritis is being overweight because of the excess pressure the weight puts on your joints, tendons, bones, and ligaments. Obesity also increases your risk of injury, which makes osteoarthritis more likely as well. Of course, losing weight reduces the pressure on your joints, which can relieve your symptoms and even reverse the signs of the disease.
If you’re overweight and ready to take charge of your health by losing weight, our expert team at Physicians Medical Primary Care can guide you through our weight loss management program. The key is building a sustainable lifestyle that enables you to lose weight with diet, exercise, and medication. To get started, just call one of our three San Jose area offices or take advantage of our convenient online schedulers to book an appointment anytime!