Morbid obesity is a problem facing six million adults in America. This is a staggering number! This serious disease poses health risks to those who have it, and needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.
What Is Morbid Obesity
Morbid obesity is much different than simply being overweight. Morbid obesity is considered a clinical disease where the body has too much fat, and it affects every aspect of life, including mobility and health. The clinical definition of morbid obesity is having a body mass index of forty. This typically means being overweight by one hundred or more pounds.
Causes Of Morbid Obesity
Morbid obesity has many causes, some of which are complex and not totally understood. It seems to be that genetics plays some part in this disease. Those with a family history of morbid obesity are much more likely to struggle with it than those who do not. That being said, too much intake of food coupled with a sedentary lifestyle is one common cause of the disease, and this has nothing to do with genetics. Also, the eating habits one has as a child can lead to problems in adult life.
Health Risks Associated With Morbid Obesity
Morbid obesity is more than just a cosmetic issue. Those with the disease are at a high risk of having heart disease, including heart attacks and high blood pressure. There seems to be an indication that the disease can increase the risk of cancer as well. Diabetes is a common health problem that comes from being overweight, and morbid obesity is the worst kind of overweight condition. Because of the excess body weight, many suffering from this disease also suffer from joint and muscle problems. The lungs also have trouble when someone is terribly overweight.
What Can Be Done About It?
There are many options for treating morbid obesity. The first course of treatment is usually lifestyle intervention. The diet of the patient is studied, along with the exercise that he or she gets. Often a low calorie diet that is strictly monitored is the first course of action. Sometimes weight loss medicine has to be brought in to speed up the process. Counseling is often necessary as well, since there can be serious emotional problems surrounding the cause of the obesity. If these methods do not work, or if the obesity is considered life threatening, some doctors will perform bariatric surgery, which makes the stomach smaller and helps the body want less food. This type of surgery is considered a last resort, and is not always successful.