The lesser-known yet dangerous signs of obesity that you should take seriously

Dr. Ganesh Raja

We spoke to expert Dr. Ganesh Raja, who is an independent medical practitioner in Coimbatore, India. He is also the host of medical podcast The Talking Scrubs, available on Youtube and Spotify.

Obesity is a complex disease that is affecting more and more people every day. It isn’t just a concern of one’s body image, but it is a medical condition that can lead to critical illnesses if left  untreated.

However, there are people who are genetically predisposed to this condition. But for others, it’s through  years of bad eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle that leads to excessive weight gain.

Being overweight and obese are treatable conditions. But there are times people tend to miss out on the symptoms related to obesity. It is important to take note of these symptoms and avoid it leading to severe illness.

How do you find out if you’re obese?

To make the evaluation , Dr. Ganesh Raja, a Bengluru based medical practitioner , advises that you ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you changed your clothing size?
  • Do you find daily activities difficult or feel sluggish?
  • How’s the quality of your sleep? Did you get any feedback from someone that your snoring has increased?
  • Are you able to run like you used to before?
  • Are you experiencing any sexual dysfunction?
  • Do you have any pre-existing or newly diagnosed health conditions like diabetes or hypertension or Thyroid problems?
  • For women, how are your periods?

If you answered yes for any of the above questions, find out your BMI and see where you fit into. If you are anywhere from being overweight or obese – you will need to intervene and make some lifestyle changes.

Dr. Raja adds that ignoring these above-mentioned symptoms can affect multiple systems of your body and can shorten life expectancy.

High cholesterol can lead to a stroke. High fat and high sugar can affect various organs.

Being obese can also affect one’s sex life confirms the medical expert.

It can reduce the testosterone in males which will lead to infertility and other sexual dysfunctions.

While in women, it can lead to PCOD, delayed ovulation, and delayed conception. Apart from this obesity can lead to other silent and grave illnesses like cancer.

Dr.Raja says, “Obesity co-exists with multiple health conditions and poor lifestyle choices which could lead to serious conditions like cancer.”

The Impact And Dangers Of Being Obese

Talking about why obesity is an issue that needs to be addressed, Dr.Raja adds, “Smoking kills us with a labeled warning in the packet but sugar kills us without a warning. Obesity leads as the largest contributor for non-communicable diseases which are preventable causes of misery.”

Your mental health also takes a bad hit with depression being one of the common impacts related to obesity.

If you’re obese, you are likely to have the above-mentioned conditions and more including, high blood pressure, gallbladder diseases, gallstones, osteoarthritis, gout, and breathing problems like sleep apnea and asthma.

Body positivity is essential, says Dr. Raja but that doesn’t justify ill health. “One needn’t have a six-pack but we can’t justify being unhealthy. Folds and rolls are external, it’s absolutely normal for one to have those. They are nothing to be ashamed of. But we need to be healthy,” he added.

How to battle obesity?

Obesity is a complicated condition, but it’s treatable too. Start slow but stay consistent.

Stick to a balanced diet, reduce eating junk, and processed food. Switch to healthier alternatives. Start exercising, maintain at least 150 minutes of activity per week. You need to sweat and not merely move.

The medical expert shares that one needs to stay away from fad diets and starvation.

It’s going to be a counterintuitive problem later. You may develop nutritional deficiencies. Seek professional help from nutritionists, dieticians, and certified trainers if necessary. Most importantly keep track of your bingeing habits. Eat low glycemic foods and good fat. 

Featured Photo by Kate on Unsplash

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  1. Nice piece of information. Obesity is a disease that needs to be taken seriously in “India” where being “fat” is mistaken as healthy by our elders.

  2. Being malnutritioned is a greater danger. We tend to ignore that when we start with any dieting program. I have done that. Do you agree?