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Obesity and Weight management

Obesity: Obesity is a condition where a person has accumulated so much body fat that it might have a negative effect on their health. Obesity is one of the fastest-growing and most troubling health problems. Unless you act to address the emotions behind why you overeat, you could be facing long-term problems

If a person's body weight is at least 20% higher than it should be, he or she is considered obese. If your Body Mass Index (BMI) is between 25 and 29.9 you are considered overweight. If your BMI is 30 or over you are considered obese.

Causes of Obesity: Although there are genetic, behavioural and hormonal influences on body weight, obesity occurs when you take in more calories than you burn through exercise and normal daily activities

Obesity is generally caused by two factors:

  1. Exogenous – Overeating or intake of excessive calories compared to physical work or exercise
  2. Endogenous — Due to inherent metabolic disturbance of the body

Some of the most common ones

A) Consuming too many calories: Following an unhealthy diet is also a significant contributor to obesity. Often, the combination of lack of exercise and poor eating habits is at the root of obesity. Simply put, if you consume more calories than you burn each day, you are going to gain weight. At the same time, skipping meals is not healthy either. Eating moderate portions throughout the day, skipping fast food and avoiding high-calorie beverages are all good weighs to keep your weight in check.

B) Leading a sedentary lifestyle: A lack of exercise is the number one cause of obesity for many people. This is because you do not burn many calories when you live a sedentary lifestyle. If you spend most of your time at a desk at work, behind a computer or in front of the television, you are likely to develop a problem with obesity. You are also more likely to become obese if you suffer from arthritis or other conditions that limit your ability to be physically active.

C) Not sleeping enough: Many people do not realize that a lack of sleep can lead to obesity. Getting less than seven hours of sleep each night actually causes changes to your hormones, thereby increasing your appetite and making you more likely to overeat. You are also more likely to crave carbohydrates and foods that are high in calories, so be sure to get an adequate amount of sleep to help avoid obesity.

D) Endocrine disruptors, such as some foods that interfere with lipid metabolism: Certain types of medical problems also increase your chances of becoming obese. Medical issues that are known to cause obesity include polycystic ovary syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, thyroid problems and Cushing’s syndrome.

E) Medications that make patients put on weight: Certain types of medications increase your chances of becoming obese. This is particularly true if you do not increase your physical activity or make changes to your diet to compensate for the effects of the medication. Medications that frequently lead to weight gain include anti-seizure medication, antidepressants, antipsychotic medications, diabetes medications, beta blockers and steroids.

F)Psychiatric disorders and Psychological factors: feelings of sadness, anxiety or stress often lead people to eat more than usual Mood and anxiety disorders can lead to weight gain by interfering with healthy eating or regular exercise, Eating may have an anxiolytic effect, although overeating in response to stress varies between individuals. Women are more likely than men to eat in response to negative emotions, and women with mood disorders are more likely than men to report increased appetite as a symptom of depression

Risk factors:

Obesity usually results from a combination of causes and contributing factors, including:

Genetics. Your genes may affect the amount of body fat you store, and where that fat is distributed. Genetics may also play a role in how efficiently your body converts food into energy and how your body burns calories during exercise.

Family lifestyle: Obesity tends to run in families. If one or both of your parents are obese, your risk of being obese is increased. That's not just because of genetics. Family members tend to share similar eating and activity habits.

Inactivity: If you're not very active, you don't burn as many calories. With a sedentary lifestyle, you can easily take in more calories every day than you burn through exercise and routine daily activities. Having medical problems, such as arthritis, can lead to decreased activity, which contributes to weight gain.

Unhealthy diet: A diet that's high in calories, lacking in fruits and vegetables, full of fast food, and laden with high-calorie beverages and oversized portions contributes to weight gain.

Medical problems: In some people, obesity can be traced to a medical cause, such as Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing's syndrome and other conditions. Medical problems, such as arthritis, also can lead to decreased activity, which may result in weight gain.

Certain medications: Some medications can lead to weight gain if you don't compensate through diet or activity. These medications include some antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, diabetes medications, antipsychotic medications, steroids and beta blockers

Social and economic issues: Research has linked social and economic factors to obesity. Avoiding obesity is difficult if you don't have safe areas to exercise. Similarly, you may not have been taught healthy ways of cooking, or you may not have money to buy healthier foods.

Age: Obesity can occur at any age, even in young children. But as you age, hormonal changes and a less active lifestyle increase your risk of obesity. In addition, the amount of muscle in your body tends to decrease with age. This lower muscle mass leads to a decrease in metabolism. These changes also reduce calorie needs, and can make it harder to keep off excess weight

Pregnancy: During pregnancy, a woman's weight necessarily increases. Some women find this weight difficult to lose after the baby is born. This weight gain may contribute to the development of obesity in women.

Quitting smoking: Quitting smoking is often associated with weight gain. And for some, it can lead to enough weight gain that the person becomes obese.

Lack of sleep: Not getting enough sleep or getting too much sleep can cause changes in hormones that increase your appetite.

Effects of Obesity:

1-      Type 2 diabetes

2-      Hypertension

3-      Liver disease

4-      Reproductive disorders

5-      Heart disease

6-      Mood disorders

7-      Cancer risk

8-      Dyslipidemia

Treatment and management:

The goal of obesity treatment is to reach and stay at a healthy weight. You may need to work with a team of health professionals — including a dietician, behaviour counsellor or an obesity specialist — to help you understand and make changes in you’re eating and activity habits.

All weight-loss programs require changes in your eating habits and increased physical activity. The treatment methods that are right for you depend on your level of obesity, your overall health and your willingness to participate in your weight-loss plan.

Other treatment tools include:

  • Dietary changes
  • Exercise and activity
  • Behaviour change
  • Prescription weight-loss medications
  • Weight-loss surgery

Behaviour changes

A behaviour modification program can help you make lifestyle changes and lose weight and keep it off. Steps to take include examining your current habits to find out what factors, stresses or situations may have contributed to your obesity.

Behaviour modification, sometimes called behaviour therapy, can include:

  • Counselling. Therapy or interventions with trained mental health or other professionals can help you address emotional and behavioural issues related to eating. Therapy can help you understand why you overeat and learn healthy ways to cope with anxiety. You can also learn how to monitor your diet and activity, understand eating triggers, and cope with food cravings. Therapy can take place on both an individual and group basis. More-intensive programs — those that include 12 to 26 sessions a year — may be more helpful in achieving your weight-loss goals.
  • Support groups. You can find camaraderie and understanding in support groups where others share similar challenges with obesity. Check with your doctor, local hospitals or commercial weight-loss programs for support groups in your area, such as Weight Watchers.

Lifestyle and home remedies:

Learning about your condition: Education about obesity can help you learn more about why you became obese and what you can do about it. You may feel more empowered to take control and stick to your treatment plan.

Setting realistic goals: When you have to lose a significant amount of weight, you may set goals that are unrealistic, such as trying to lose too much too fast. Don't set yourself up for failure.

Sticking to your treatment plan: Changing a lifestyle you may have lived with for many years can be difficult. Be honest with your doctor, therapist or other health care providers if you find your activity or eating goals slipping. You can work together to come up with new ideas or new approaches.

Enlisting support:Get your family and friends on board with your weight-loss goals. Surround yourself with people who will support you and help you, not sabotage your efforts. Make sure they understand how important weight loss is to your health. You might also want to join a weight-loss support group.

Alternative therapies:

Mind-body therapies: such as acupuncture, mindfulness meditation and yoga — may complement other obesity treatments. However, these therapies generally haven't been well-studied in the treatment of weight loss.

Homoeopathic treatment: Homeopathy treats the person as a whole. This means that homeopathic treatment focuses on the patient as a person, as well as his pathological condition. The homeopathic medicines are selected after a full individualizing examination and case-analysis, which includes the medical history of the patient, physical and mental constitution etc. A miasmatic tendency (predisposition/susceptibility) is also often taken into account for the treatment of chronic conditions. The medicines given below indicate the therapeutic affinity but this is not a complete and definite guide to the treatment of this condition.

Hypnotherapy and weight management: Weight-loss hypnosis may help you shed an extra few pounds when its part of a weight-loss plan that includes diet, exercise and counseling.Hypnosis is a state of inner absorption and concentration, like being in a trance. Hypnosis is usually done with the help of a hypnotherapist using verbal repetition and mental images. When you're under hypnosis, your attention is highly focused, and you're more responsive to suggestions, including behaviour changes that can help you lose weight.


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