It is a common fact that most of us are over weight. But few people are overly over weight. That is their body weight is more than 100 lbs. This overly overweight condition is medically called as morbid obesity. People who are suffering from morbid obesity have a body mass index of about 35.0 or higher. It is called so because being overly overweight encourages morbidity. Morbidity is a condition which refers to the state of being diseased (from Latin morbidus: sick, unhealthy) or the degree or severity of a disease or the prevalence of a disease or the incidence of a disease or disability irrespective of cause (e.g., disability caused by accidents).
What are the causes of morbid obesity?
Scientists believe that the main reason for morbid obesity is heredity. Only overeating will no result in morbid obesity. The main causes that are found to be associated with morbid obesity are mentioned below.
Genetic factors: The prime reason in most of the morbid obese patients is found to be their genetic make up that they have derived from their ancestors. Most of the morbid obese patients are found to have their ancestors of same weight. Also in case of identical twins this is found to be true. Both the twins were found to have same weight approximately. This indicates that morbid obesity is hereditary.
Environmental conditions: People who are used to the environment of modern life style which solely depends on fast foods and junks foods also become the victims of morbid obesity. But most of them have a family history of morbid obesity.
Set point metabolism: It is a well known fact that people lose weight by cutting down the calorie intake and gain weight by increasing the calorie intake. But recent studies have shown that our brain has a set point fixed in it. When person decreases his calorie intake in order to lose weight, his brain automatically gives signals to lower the metabolic rate. So he gains back all the weight he has lost in between.
Internal health problems: Morbid obesity may also occur because of the internal health problems. One such internal health problem is under active thyroid or hypothyroidism. Our body needs hormones for performing the metabolic activities. These hormones are produced and released by the endocrine glands situated at various locations in the body. Thyroid is also one such endocrine gland whose main function is to produce thyroid hormones. These are necessary in the process of burning the fatty acids in the body. This process is termed as lipid metabolism. They regulate and boost up this process. The production of these hormones is in turn controlled by another hormone produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. Under active thyroid or hypothyroidism slows down the lipid metabolism in the body. As a result, fats are not readily burnt and are stored within the body. This will ultimately to morbid obesity.
What sort of effects does morbid obesity has on health?
Morbid obesity is known to cause the following health problems.
Type 2 Diabetes- Extra fat cells are known to resist the insulin in the body leading to a condition called insulin resistance. Because of this insulin resistance the glucose is not taken up by the cells and remains within the body. This condition is termed as diabetes mellitus.
High blood pressure/Heart disease- Extra body weight indicates that the heat should function harder to supply blood to all the body parts. This increases the blood pressure in the individual. This may further lead to severe conditions like heart and kidney damage.
Osteoarthritis of weight-bearing joints- Extra weight adds more pressure on the joints. This leads to a condition called osteoarthritis.
Sleep apnea/Respiratory problem- Extra fat blocks the passage way of the air in the body. Mainly fat present on the tongue and neck causes this condition.
Gastro esophageal reflux/Heartburn – Heart burn is seen when the acid present in the stomach moves upwards. This is mainly because of morbid obesity.
Depression- People who are suffering from morbid obesity suffer from depression because of the constant failure of the methods to treat morbid obesity.
Infertility- People who are suffering from morbid obesity become infertile in a course of time