A female dietitian holding a diet plan during a consultation with a patient in the office.

Over 40% of Americans are obese. While many of us know what obesity is, you may not know how dangerous it can be for one’s health. Those suffering from obesity are often at higher risk for health conditions such as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.

While obesity rates are rising in America, this condition is preventable. The experts at BMI Surgery discuss obesity’s causes, signs, and symptoms so that you can educate yourself and those around you about the dangers of obesity. If you are struggling with obesity, there are treatments available–don’t hesitate to reach out to weight loss specialists.

What Is Obesity?

Obesity is characterized by excess body fat relative to one’s weight and is measured with the BMI (body mass index) scale. Obesity is often progressive and can change the way your body functions. Doctors consider anyone with a BMI greater than 30 as obese. However, there are three classes of obesity, each becoming more serious the higher the class.

The three types of obesity are broken into the first, second, and third classes. The following measurements are standards for doctors across America.

  • Class I obesity: BMI 30 to <35 kg/m².
  • Class II obesity: BMI 35 to <40 kg/m².
  • Class III obesity: BMI 40+ kg/m².

While often diminishing quality of life, obesity can impact one’s overall health. Obesity has been linked to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea, metabolic syndrome, osteoarthritis, kidney disease, pregnancy problems, and certain types of cancer.

What Causes Obesity?

On the surface, obesity is caused by eating more calories consumed than burned. But every case of obesity is different, and there are often other factors that cause obesity. For example, certain medications or hormonal changes can increase your appetite and lead you to become obese. Additionally, certain genetic mutations cause hereditary obesity.

If you’re depressed, anxious, or stressed, you may eat more than your body can consume to cope with challenging emotions and feelings. Fast food and convenience foods are at our fingertips, and these foods often increase the process of gaining excess body fat. Additionally, living a very sedentary lifestyle while over-consuming food can quickly lead to obesity.

What Are the Symptoms of Obesity?

Beyond gaining weight, there are a few other symptoms of obesity you may notice. Some of these signs include:

  • Back pain
  • Joint pain
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Shortness of breath

If you notice you or a loved one developing symptoms of obesity, don’t hesitate to seek medical care. You may feel nervous about finding treatment, but a doctor can provide remedies to improve your quality of life and health.

What Are Treatment Options for Obesity?

There are many treatments available for obesity. At BMI Surgery, our doctors recommend losing a minimum of 5% to 10% of your total weight. This percentage may not seem like much, but even the most minor weight loss can significantly reduce your risk of developing health problems. Your weight loss specialist will recommend dietary treatments, exercise regimens, and other lifestyle changes.

Likewise, your doctor may prescribe certain medications that can decrease your appetite. Medication isn’t a long-term treatment but may be beneficial in the beginning. Similarly, another treatment option for obesity is weight loss surgery.

Is Weight Loss Surgery an Effective Treatment for Obesity?

Yes! Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, reduces stomach capacity to lower food intake. Weight loss surgery isn’t performed unless other treatment methods haven’t worked, like diet or exercise changes, and your obesity must be impacting your health.

Common weight loss procedures include:

  • Sleeve gastrectomy
  • Laparoscopic gastric bypass
  • Orbera® gastric balloon
  • Revisional weight loss surgery

Begin Your Journey Towards a Happier & Healthier Life

Obesity can cause various health issues that may impact your well-being for years to come. Luckily, with some help from experts, you can find effective ways to treat obesity. While it may seem overwhelming to seek treatment, don’t hesitate to contact a doctor for the betterment of your physical and mental health.

If you’re interested in weight loss surgery or know of a loved one who may benefit, a Board-certified weight loss surgeon can help you lead a healthier, happier life. At BMI Surgery, we offer various types of weight loss surgery, support groups, nutritional and exercise advice, preparation class, and more.

Discover Weight Loss Surgery Options at BMI Surgery

Our surgeon, Dr. Long, is board-certified and has successfully performed weight loss surgeries for 20 years. Don’t wait to become the happiest, healthiest version of yourself—contact BMI Surgery today. To schedule an appointment or discuss your weight loss journey, call 205-850-1973 or contact us online.