Preventative Wellness: Why Weight Matters
Weight issues carry health as well as cosmetic consequences. We explain the risks, and offer tips simple tips to help you manage your weight.
Summit Orthopedics’ preventative wellness screenings for weight, blood pressure, and smoking are in place so that our physicians can identify and address health issues before they become health problems. More than 70 million adult Americans are overweight, putting them at risk for health problems, including the following:
Osteoarthritis occurs when the tissue that protects your knees, hips and lower back is worn away. Carrying extra weight puts additional pressure on protective tissue, and increases the risk of damage to tissues and joints.
High body mass may mean that your body is storing excess fat around your neck, which can narrow the airway. Breathing difficulties contribute to disorders like sleep apnea and obesity hypoventilation syndrome.
Coronary Heart Disease
The risk of heart disease rises with increased body mass. Coronary heart disease causes a waxy substance called plaque to build up in the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart. The reduced blood flow may trigger a heart attack or heart failure.
High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force of blood against the artery walls as your heart pumps. When you are overweight, there is a greater risk that this pressure will rise and remain high over time, damaging your body.
Plaque buildup puts you at greater risk for stroke as well as for heart disease. When an area of plaque ruptures, a blood clot can form. If the clot is close to your brain, it may block the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain, causing a stroke.
Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is characterized by abnormally high levels of blood sugar, or glucose, in the body. Our cells use insulin to turn glucose into energy, but in type 2 diabetes, the body’s cells don’t use insulin properly, and the body loses the ability to make enough insulin to control blood sugar levels. Excess weight contributes to diabetes, which is a leading cause of early death, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness.
The bad news is that these risks are serious. The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to maintain healthy weight and avoid these risks:
- Choose nutritious meals that are low in fat
- Cut down your portion size
- Increase your physical activity
- If you need help to lose weight, call your doctor to help you create a plan tailored to your needs
By keeping your weight at a healthy level, and addressing weight gain before complications develop, you’ll keep your joints healthier, and reduce your risk of developing more serious medical conditions.
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