If you're overweight, you'll find that it affects more than just your physical appearance. In fact, being overweight can have a huge impact on your mental health. Here we take a look at some of the risks of being overweight and the effect it can have on your life.
1. Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a disease which causes your blood sugar levels to rise above their normal levels. This increase in blood sugar can go on to cause a number of further issues including heart disease, kidney disease and even blindness. If you are overweight, your cells may become more resistant to the hormone insulin, which carries sugars from your blood to your cells so that it can be used as energy. If your cells change as a result of your extra weight and become resistant to insulin, they will be unable to take on sugars, leaving more sugar than normal in your blood. This is then why your blood sugar levels increase. In addition, one of the risks of being overweight is that your cells which produce insulin will have to work harder in order to balance your blood sugar levels and this could eventually cause those cells to fail and die.
2. Heart disease and strokes
Heart disease is an umbrella term which is often used to describe several problems affecting your heart. Most of these problems are caused when the blood vessels which carry blood to the heart narrow or harden. This can prevent your heart from getting the blood it needs to function. Similarly, strokes occur as a result of lack of blood flowing to the brain, causing brain cells to die off. One of the major risks of being overweight is that it places more strain on your heart by requiring it to work harder in order to supply blood to all the cells in your body. It can also increase the risk of heart disease by causing a number of issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar.
3. Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder most common in people who are overweight. This condition causes you to pause when breathing in your sleep. This can seriously impact the quality of your sleep, leading to daytime sleepiness, irritability, low mood, difficulty concentrating and even heart failure. In fact, being overweight is one of the biggest causes of sleep apnea. This is because one of the risks of being overweight is excess fat around the neck area, which can make the airway smaller and make it difficult to breathe. This can also make your breathing louder (which can lead to snoring) or may cause your breathing to stop temporarily whilst you sleep.
Osteoarthritis is a common health problem and is most common in older people. It can cause stiffness and pain in your joints and usually affects your hands, knees, back and hips. Being overweight can place extra pressure on your sore joints and can cause them to wear away, increasing the symptoms and discomfort caused by your arthritis.
If you think you might be overweight a would like some help improving your diet, exercise plan and nutrition, talk to one of our expert dieticians.