Severe obesity is a chronic disease with symptoms that build slowly over an extended period of time.
Severe obesity is defined as being 100 lbs or more over your ideal body weight or having a BMI of 40 or higher, or having a BMI of 35 or higher with medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and high cholesterol. There are many contributing factors to obesity and these include genetic/hereditary, environmental, metabolic and eating disorders. Weight gain usually results when one of these factors affects us in a negative way. Our genetic make-up plays a major role in gaining excess weight. It determines our “susceptibility” or “risk” of becoming overweight or obese. Genes also affect how efficiently our body utilizes and burns calories and where our body fat is stored. If you have a high metabolic rate, this means that you burn your calories a lot faster so you are less prone to gaining weight than someone else that has a slow metabolic rate. Physical activity impacts a person’s weight. For example, people who are always moving or are engaged in physical activities during their daily routine will less likely show signs of obesity than people who sit behind a desk all day. Environmental factors also influence a persons potential for becoming overweight. Portion sizes have become larger and larger over the years. Fast food and processed foods have become more readily available, both of which tend to be high in sodium, fat, and carbohydrates. These factors promote the expression of genetic tendencies of those susceptible individuals resulting in severe obesity. Eating disorders and other medical conditions also influence our body weight. If you have a medical condition or an eating disorder, it is possible that your condition can be treated with just medication. So it is equally important to consult a doctor to make sure that surgery is the right option for you. There are medical conditions that are related to, or made worse by obesity. These are called co-morbidities and categorized as major or life-threatening problems.
Major co-morbidities include the following:
- Type II Diabetes
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol, etc.)
- Heart Disease
- Sleep Apnea Syndrome
Severe obesity shortens life expectancy and significantly increases the risk of developing these medical conditions. Over the years, weight-loss surgery has proven to be the only effective method for the treatment of severe obesity. Surgical options have continued to evolve and Tri-State Bariatrics is pleased to be able to offer patients the LAP-BAND®, the Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass, and the Sleeve Gastrectomy. The effectiveness of surgical weight loss in improving or resolving these medical conditions, and extending life has now been well documented by major large scale studies