Posted by: wockhardthospitals | August 17, 2009

Obesity, symptom to worry for heart & other diseases.

It has long been suspected that obesity and heart disease are strongly correlated. Popular perception suggests that heart disease and heart failure is generally the direct result of diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease that is associated with obesity. However recent studies have suggested that there is a far more direct relationship between the two. Obesity itself and not just some associated disease have been established as a definite cause of heart failure. Studies have also suggested that excess weight even in people who are not considered obese can lead to heart failure.

image source: iris health

image source: iris health

What is Obesity? How does it lead to heart disease?


Obesity is a condition where the body accumulates excess fat to such an extent that it may pose serious risks to the overall health of a person.



Obesity brings on several complications that can directly or indirectly lead to heart disease and heart failure. Obesity raises the level of cholesterol (known to cause heart disease); it lowers HDL (good cholesterol which reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke) and blood pressure is generally on the higher side in obese people. The excess mass of the body by itself puts excess load on the heart.


It is now a well known fact that obesity is directly linked to left ventricular hypertrophy (thickening of the wall of the heart’s left ventricle). However until recently it was thought that obesity was only indirectly linked to Coronary Heart Disease. Being obese coupled with other disorders such as diabetes and hypertension greatly increases the risk of Coronary Heart Disease and heart failure. The reduction of HDL is also a major factor that causes Coronary Heart Disease.



Symptoms



Sudden fatigue even with minimum exertion, difficulty in breathing (similar to an asthmatic attack), chest pain and discomfort, nausea and dizziness are among the common symptoms. Early detection is the key to successful treatment


Prevention



Controlling obesity is the key to the prevention of heart disease.


  • Draw up an exercise routine with your doctor / physiotherapist, and stick to the routines

  • Maintain a healthy diet, do not go on a diet that totally limits and restricts the intake of food, excess dieting can weaken the body that could lead to several other complications, work with a dietician to settle on a diet routine

  • Eat slower and avoid situations that may cause you to overeat

  • Be physically active, obesity tends to make a person lethargic

  • Make sure that you are treated for other ailments that generally accompany obesity i.e. diabetes and hypertension

  • Go for regular medical checkups that include cholesterol checks, blood pressure and general physical examinations

It is very important for obese people to set themselves small achievable goals in their battle against obesity in order to attain the long-term objectives.


Doctor’s comments


Symptoms should be breathing difficulty on exertion, worsening of knee joint pain due to excess load on joints, excessive snoring & daytime sleepiness (obstructive sleep apnea).


By,
Dr. Sunil Dwivedi, Consultant Cardiologist, Wockhardt Hospitals

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