Seeking Help For Obesity

obesityObesity is rapidly becoming one of the biggest health factors affecting quality of life and overall good health for American citizens. Those who suffer from critically severe obesity, a chronic disease with numerous consequences, now have options due to medical advances.

Our practice at the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence at La Peer Health Systems is dedicated to the surgical treatment of the disease of obesity. This website is designed to provide our patients with the helpful information they need to make educated decisions regarding weight loss options. With an innovative approach, our goal is to provide weight loss solutions contributing to patients’ dramatic improvement in overall health and quality of life.

What Is Obesity?

Obesity is a medical condition in which excess proportion of total body fat may have a negative effect on your health. A person is considered obese when his or her weight is 20% or higher above their normal weight compared to their height. The most familiar measure of obesity is the body mass index or BMI. A person is considered to be overweight if his or her BMI lies between 25 and 29.9; a person is considered to be obese if his or her BMI is above 30.

The term morbid obesity is defined as excess weight of 100 pounds or above one’s ideal body weight, or as having a body mass index (BMI) of 39 or higher. Morbid obesity related health consequences might include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and joint problems, amongst many others.

What Causes Obesity?

Let’s face it; it’s a complex disease for which no single cause exists in some cases. You can gain <weight> if you consume more calories than you burn off. But, obesity is influenced by many other factors, including the following:

  • Age. As people grow older, the body’s ability to metabolize food slows down and it does not require as many calories to maintain an average weight.
  • Genetics. Obesity as well as slimness tends to run in families. However, many people genetically predisposed to obesity do not become obese and are able to lose and keep off weight.
  • Environmental factors. A person’s environment also plays an important role. Environmental factors include lifestyle behaviors such as exercise habits as well as what a person eats and drinks.
  • Physical activity. Physical activity increases the amount of energy you expend. Most weight loss programs include an exercise regime such as walking, jogging, or biking. However, you can also burn calories by altering normal, everyday activities. For example, taking the stairs rather than the elevator or washing your car by hand rather than going to a car wash. Participating in social activities that increase activity, such as incorporating strength training into an exercise regime is also an important part of a weight loss program.

Before beginning any new physical activity, consult your doctor. If you have chest pain, sudden loss of breath, or dizziness during any physical activity, stop and contact your doctor.

  • Psychological/Emotional concerns. Psychological and emotional factors can be an extremely painful attribute to obesity. Many people overeat in response to negative emotions such as boredom, sadness, or anger. This can often lead to binge eating. Binge eating refers to eating excessive amounts of food while feeling loss of control about how much is realistically being consumed. Common feelings of rejection, shame, or depression are typically found in the emotional aspects of excessive eating.
  • Medical Conditions. Some illnesses can cause obesity. These conditions include hormone problems such as hypothyroidism (poorly acting thyroid slows metabolism), depression, and some rare diseases of the brain that can lead to excessive eating habits.
  • Medicines. Certain medical drugs, such as steroids and certain antidepressants, may cause weight gain.

When to Seek Help for Obesity

You should call your doctor if you are having emotional or psychological issues related to your obesity, need help losing weight, or if your BMI is 30 or higher.

If your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or over and you would like to explore surgery as a means of losing weight, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at La Peer Health Systems. You can fill in the contact form on the right, call La Peer at (888) 391-0182 and ask to speak to staff in the Department of Bariatric Surgery.

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