Health Risks Of Obesity

# Following are the co-morbities associated with morbid obesity:

Type 2 Diabetes

People who are obese become resistant to insulin (which regulates blood sugar levels). Over time the constant elevation of the blood sugars affects many organ systems in the body. Resultant damage can include kidney failure, heart disease, blindness, and susceptibility to severe infections. Type 2 Diabetes can be cured.

High Blood Pressure / Heart Disease

Obesity leads to elevated cholesterol/triglycerides and causes the heart to work under extreme conditions. These can result in inadequate pumping mechanisms or poor oxygen flow leading to heart failure, heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure & poor circulation in lower legs.


Additional weight is placed on multiple joints and their support structures. These include the knees, hips, and back causing rapid degeneration leading to pain ,inflammation, and lack of mobility.

Sleep Apnea / Respiratory Problems

Fat deposits in the tongue and neck which can block the airway causing a person to temporarily stop breathing during their sleep, especially when sleeping on their back. This causes them to lose sleep and results in daytime drowsiness, fatigue and headaches.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (Hiatal Hernia and Heartburn)

Increased intrabdominal pressure weakens and overloads the valve at the top of the stomach, which then allows stomach acid to escape and irritate the esophagus. Approximately 10-15% of patients with even mild heartburn can develop Barrett's esophagus, which is a pre-malignant change that can progress into esophageal cancer.


People who are obese must deal with constant emotional challenges such as  lack of self-confidence, poor self-image due in part to social discrimination. This leads to social isolation.


Obesity wreaks havoc with male and female hormones, disrupting normal cycles and function, and leading to inability, or difficulty to conceive, or even a miscarriage. The commonest associated condition is PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease).

Urinary Stress Incontinence

Increased intraabdominal pressure stresses the muscles of the pelvic floor compounding the effects of childbirth, which can lead to improper function of the bladder. This results in leakage of urine when coughing, sneezing or laughing or inability to hold the urine until the patient can reach a toilet.

Menstrual Irregularities

Morbidly obese individuals often experience menstrual disruptions, such as heavy frequent, irregular or absent periods and increased pain during the cycle.

Blood Clots

Obesity can lead to faulty valves in the veins that promotes sluggish flow in vessels causing a clot in the lower limbs. The most feared problem is when one of these clots breaks away and floats into the lungs. This is called a Pulmonary Embolus and can be a fatal complication.

Cancer / Asthma

Some types of cancers are more common in the obese, e.g: ovarian, endometrial and breast in females, gallbladder and prostates in males to name a few. Asthma is another complication that worsens with obesity.

Hypoventilation Of Obesity

The increased weight of the chest wall dramatically affects the efficiency of breathing thus decreasing the amount of oxygen available to the body.

Benefits of Weight Loss

The primary benefit of weight loss surgery is easy to understand: Weight Loss!
  • Gastric Bypass Surgery causes an average loss of 61% of excess weight.
  • Gastric Banding Surgery causes slightly less an average of 47% of excess weight lost.

Improvements in general health are also common. Obesity-related medical conditions usually improve or even go away after weight loss surgery, including:
  • Diabetes
  • Severe arthritis
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • High blood pressure

About 95% of people report improved quality of life after weight loss surgery. Some studies also suggest people live longer after weight loss surgery, compared to equally obese people who do not have surgery.