Obesity Q & A
What is obesity?
Obesity is a complicated and serious health problem with a high prevalence in the United States. If you are obese, you have an excess amount of body fat and may experience some health complications because of it.
In order to make an obesity diagnosis, the team at Ally Endocrinology calculates your body mass index (BMI). While it doesn’t account for muscle mass and several other factors and, therefore, isn’t always the only tool for diagnosis, your BMI is calculated using your weight and height. If the number is 30.0 or higher, you may be obese.
What causes obesity?
Obesity is complex, and there are often many contributing factors to its development. Some causes are genetic or hormonal in nature, while others have to do with behaviors. It’s often too simplistic to narrow it down to a poor diet and lack of exercise, but these are indeed common causes of obesity. Others include:
Hypothyroidism happens when your thyroid gland is underactive and doesn’t produce enough metabolism-regulating hormones.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a condition in women that causes an imbalance among sex hormones.
Cushing syndrome occurs when your body produces too much cortisol, which regulates how your body responds under stress or pressure. It’s also nicknamed the “fight or flight” hormone.
Other contributing factors include pregnancy, a consistent lack of sleep, and aging.
What are some possible health complications from obesity?
Obesity has a link to several different health conditions that can have lasting effects on your body and well-being. If you’re obese, your risk is higher than average for:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Sleep apnea
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Digestive issues
- Certain types of cancer
- Severe COVID-19 symptoms and complications
The team at Ally Endocrinology evaluates you thoroughly to find out if you have any health conditions associated with obesity that you don’t yet know about. They take into account all of these while forming your individualized obesity treatment plan.
How is obesity treated?
If you have trouble losing weight on your own, it may benefit you to undergo an evaluation at Ally Endocrinology for conditions contributing to your obesity like hypothyroidism or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The team works with you to identify any existing causes and create a treatment plan that addresses your obesity and its complications.
Treating underlying medical causes of obesity can help significantly with losing weight. For your treatment plan, the team may recommend:
- Dietary changes
- Increased physical activity
- Weight loss medication or appetite suppressants
- Synthetic hormones
Each treatment plan for obesity looks different because of the many possible causes and contributing factors in each individual. Weight loss surgery is rarely necessary, but your provider may recommend it if no other approaches lead to results.
If you’re obese and want to find out more about the factors contributing to your obesity, call your nearest office of Ally Endocrinology, or schedule an appointment online today.