Body fat itself isn’t a bad guy. You need a certain amount of it to remain healthy. It cushions and protects your organs and stores energy. And eating dietary fat is necessary for you to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D, and K. The problem is that carrying too much body fat places a heavy physiological burden on your body.

Did you know that fat tissue is an active organ that sends signals to other parts of the body and it secretes certain hormones and substances much like any other organ? When you have too much of it, nearly every part of your system is negatively impacted.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 medical problems linked to being overweight that can negatively impact your health.

Sleep apnea

Carrying excess weight is the single strongest risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea, a condition where you stop breathing multiple times during sleep. When you’re overweight, the extra body fat accumulates all over your body, including your neck. The excess fatty tissue can cause your neck to become narrow. While you’re asleep, and your throat and tongue are more relaxed, the excess fat can block your airway, causing your breathing to stop temporarily.

High blood pressure

Extra weight puts an added load on your heart, forcing it to work harder to pump blood throughout your body. This leads to high blood pressure and damage to your circulatory system. Over time, elevated blood pressure weakens your blood vessels and can cause blood clots, increasing your risk for heart attack and stroke.

Type 2 diabetes

Being overweight isn’t so sweet when it comes to the way your body handles blood sugar. Nearly 90% of Americans living with Type 2 diabetes are overweight. Elevated blood sugar causes a host of health problems, from nerve damage to kidney trouble.

Heart disease

Being overweight or obese is linked to health issues that increase your risk for heart disease. People who carry excess weight are more likely to have elevated cholesterol, impaired blood sugar, and high blood pressure, all of which put your heart in danger.

Kidney disease

Too much extra body fat even has consequences for your kidneys. If you’re overweight, you have a greater chance of developing diabetes and elevated blood pressure. These conditions can damage your kidneys and increase the risk for kidney disease and kidney failure.

Depression and anxiety

Excess fat throws your mood off balance, because your mind and body are closely connected. Your body sends signals to your brain that influence your mood and vice versa. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing mood problems, such as depression and anxiety.

Pinning down exactly why extra weight may affect the brain is tricky, but experts believe several factors are involved. One possible reason is that excess body fat causes a low level of inflammation, and inflammatory substances are known to interfere with mood-regulating chemicals.

Cognitive deficits

Being overweight doesn’t just negatively impact your body, it’s also bad for your mind. Excess fat tissue increases the risk of problems with short-term memory and executive functions. It also raises the risk for age-related brain issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Again, experts theorize that the inflammation that comes along with being overweight has damaging effects on the brain.

Reproductive problems

Being overweight or obese has a negative impact on the reproductive health of both men and women. Women who are overweight are more likely to have problems getting pregnant and to have issues with their reproductive hormones. Overweight men tend to have lower sperm counts and higher rates of reproductive problems like erectile dysfunction. It’s thought that excess fat tissue messes with the body’s complex hormonal systems, but science hasn’t figured out the exact mechanisms.

Certain cancers

Cancer affects millions of Americans. As body mass index increases, so does the risk for certain cancers. If you have a high BMI, you’re at risk for developing the following types of cancer:

  • Endometrial
  • Cervical
  • Ovarian
  • Colorectal
  • Esophageal
  • Pancreatic
  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Prostate

Fatty liver disease

When your body has too much fat, it accumulates in your organs, including your liver. Obesity is a risk factor for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In NAFLD, fat deposits accumulate in liver tissue causing damage and a decline in liver function.

At Complete Primary Care, Dr. Rozehzadeh offers a personalized approach to medical weight loss that’s tailored to your unique needs. As part of the program, you’ll also work with a dietitian to help you lose weight, feel better, and improve your health. To get started, call our office in South Plainfield, New Jersey, or book online to schedule an appointment.

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