It's never too late to get on the right path to healthfulness.
Obesity is a metabolic health issue that is associated mainly with a significant disconnect between calorie consumption and calorie expenditure. Although initially believed to be a western issue, obesity has now been recognized as a global problem. According to the latest estimates, it is affecting eastern as well as western nations despite extensive awareness and interventions taken by government as well as non-government institutions.
According to latest data reported by World Health Organization, more than 2.8 million people succumb to death due to obesity or obesity related complications. The reported also suggested that in the past three decades, the prevalence of global obesity has almost doubled. Estimates from Centers for Disease Control suggest that approximately 35 percent of Americans are obese or over-weight; and health issues caused by obesity amounts to an annual healthcare cost of $147 billion.
What are Some Primary Causes of Obesity?
Although certain factors like genetics and hormones can significantly affect total body weight and adipose tissue stores (by interfering with basal metabolism), yet most cases of obesity are related mainly to a 'mismatch between calorie intake and calorie expenditure'.
There are numerous factors that may promote obesity; such as:
- Living a sedentary lifestyle with low physical activity
- Unhealthy eating habits
- Improper sleeping habits (for example, insomnia results in hormonal changes which may result in cravings for unhealthy foods and poor energy levels, thereby indirectly contributing to obesity)
- Certain medicines like corticosteroids, beta-blockers, anti-diabetic agents, anti-seizures and anti-psychotic medications can also lead to weight gain that may deteriorate to obesity and other metabolic issues in the absence of active intervention
- Diseases like Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing's syndrome and arthritis can also lead to weight gain and eventually obesity.
What are some associated risk factors that may lead to obesity?
In order to control obesity and related metabolic issues, it is very important to identify the risk factors that may lead to metabolic derangements culminating in obesity; these are:
- Post pregnancy weight gain is a leading cause of obesity attributed to changes in metabolism, hormonal imbalance and poor physical activity.
- Genetics (or inborn errors of metabolism or enzyme defects) can also affect the storage of food, conversion of food into energy
- Having unhealthy eating habits or withdrawal from unhealthy habits (such as smoking or drugs) can also increase the risk of developing obesity
- Certain medical problems like joint issues, advancing age, chronic illnesses
Why is it important to control obesity in time?
Obesity control is important to prevent the risk of developing a wide variety of complications like:
- Increased triglycerides and LDL levels that increases the risk of atherosclerosis and stroke
- Diabetes (type 2) due to relative insulin resistance
- Metabolic syndrome (combination high sugar, BP, triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol)
- Heart diseases and stroke
- Breathlessness, sleep apnea and insomnia
- Infertility, irregular menstruation and reproductive dysfunction
- Osteoarthritis and other joint disorders due to accelerated wear and tear changes in the primary (weight-bearing) joints of the body
- Skin diseases, infections and impaired healing of wounds
Your quality of life may be disturbed and you may avoid social interactions and eventually you suffer from depression, shame, sexual problems, isolation and low work achievement.
Lifestyle and home remedies:
It is imperative to understand that obesity is a recognizable issue that should be addressed before the onset of complications. A number of interventions can be employed; such as:
- Getting to know about obesity and relevant factors that are making you obese. Follow your treatment plan and learn more about preventive and management options.
- Changeing your lifestyle and talk to your health advisor. Seeking the professional help in improving the chances of adherence to the weight loss plan
- Engaging yourself with people who encourage you to lose weight and understand it is important for you.
- Distracting yourself from eating unhealthy foods and avoiding large portions
- Keeping a record of your food and exercise habits. It may help you know what is working for you and what's not.
- Control your health issues to maintain high stamina and energy levels.
A number of weight loss remedies are available as over the counter supplements. However, most commercially available options are hazardous for your health. It is strongly recommended to speak to your primary care provider to learn about suitable options for you. Herbal medicines, minerals and vitamins are considered healthy interventions to promote basal metabolism and facilitate weight loss. Green tea aids weight-loss in addition to other herbal teas that promotes fat hydrolysis and suppress unnecessary cravings. Mind-body therapies like acupuncture, meditation and yoga are helpful in many cases.
Coping and support:
Talk to the physician about coping-up with obesity and take the following tips:
- Write about your fears, emotions and anger.
- Connect with people and don't isolate yourself.
- Focus on your plan and motivate yourself to lose weight.
- Relax yourself and choose healthy options for weight loss.
- Regular exercise of physical activity is recommended by healthcare providers.
- Eat and drink healthy foods like fresh fruits and drinks. Avoid fattening food, reduce the intake of desserts and alcohol and consume low calorie diet.
- Maintain a record of your food that you eat what, when and how much. Note the patterns and plan to control your weight.
- You should monitor your weight regularly to keep a check on yourself before your weight becomes a big problem.
- Be consistent with your routine.
About the Author: Christina Marino, DAOM, L.Ac. She is licensed by the State Acupuncture Committee with a Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Dr. Marino is also a Homeopath, Nutritionist, Functional Medicine Practitioner and an Intuitive Energy Healer. Christina's practical and philosophical approach to healing the whole person demonstrates that physical healing is inseparable from the mental, emotional and spiritual healing of an individual.
Dr. Marino is owner of Alternative Health Care Concepts in Los Angeles, Ca. She can be reached at (818) 505-9511. To learn more about alternative medicine please visit Alternative Health Care Concepts and Christina's Facebook.