OBESITY: It is a chronic condition defined by an excess amount body fat. A certain amount of body fat is necessary for storing energy, heat insulation, shock absorption, and other functions. The normal amount of body fat (expressed as percentage of body fat) is between 25%-30% in women and 18%-23% in men. Women with over 30% body fat and men with over 25% body fat are considered obese.
COMMON CAUSES OF OBESITY:
- Improper diet intake( either excess intake or junk food intake)
- Thyroid disorders.
- Insufficient exercise.
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Smoking and Sudden smoking cessation
- Drinking alcohol.
- Certain drugs like estrogens, progestins, insulin and steroids have weight gain as their side effect.
- Genetic disorders
- Eating disorders (such as Binge eating disorder)
- Certain medications (such as anti-psycotics)
- A high glycemic diet
- Insufficient sleep
- Stress and Emotions can fuel obesity, as people tend to eat more when they are upset, anxious, sad, stressed or even bored. Afterwards they feel bad about eating more, and later to relieve this stress, they may eat even more.
- Weight cycling – repeated attempts to do dieting to lose weight
DANGERS OF OBESITY:
- Fatty liver leading to hypertrophy of liver.
- Lead to high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus can be triggered by even moderate rise in fat.
- Obese people are more for the cancers like colorectal cancer and breast cancer.
- Excessive weight gain aggravates the respiratory problems.
- Obesity is associated with menstrual troubles, drop in libido.
- Obese people also experience social and psychological problems. Stereotypes about “fat” people often translate into discriminatory practices in education, employment, and social relationships. The consequences of being obese in a world preoccupied with being thin are especially severe for women, whose appearances are often judged against an ideal of exaggerated slenderness.
TYPES OF OBESITY
On the basis of fat distribution in the body the obesity has been classified into five major categories- Android, Gynoid, Banana, Hour glass
Android: – Also called apple shape obesity.
The lower portion of the body — the hips, thighs and legs are thinner beyond proportion in comparison with the upper part . The shoulders, face, arms, neck, chest & upper portion of the abdomen are bloated. The stomach gives a stiff appearance, as well as the arms, shoulders and breasts. The back seems to be erect but the neck is compressed and there will be a protruding chest because of the bulk in the stomach.
Facts about this type of obesity-
- Found more in males than females.
- Those females, who are under hormone treatment for their menstrual abnormalities or after childbirth, are more prone to this type of obesity.
- It occurs in females around menopause
- Can occur in females due to thyroid gland functional disturbance.
- Android type of obesity is a major risk for heart damage and heart disease due to high cholesterol.
Gynoid: – Also called pear shaped obesity orThe Pea, Spoon or Bell – upward triangle.
In this type the lower part of the body has the extra flesh.
Facts about this type of obesity-
- This type of obesity is common to both sexes though females are more affected.
- The flesh is somewhat flabby in the abdomen, thighs, buttocks and legs. The face and neck mostly give a normal appearance. In some persons, the cheeks may be drawn too.
- As these persons grow old the whole figure assumes a stooping posture and the spine is never erect due to the heavy hips and thighs.
- This vital organs affected mostly are the kidneys, uterus, intestines, bladder & bowels. But the functions of these organs some times have a direct effect on the heart. In this type of obesity, exercises or dieting will not help appreciably
in reducing weight.
Banana: – or straight rectangle
Banana women are classified as such when there is less than a nine-inch difference between the measurements of their hips and busts. There is a somewhat high level of androgen to estrogen here as well. Fat storages occur in the face, chest, abdomen and buttocks.
Hourglass: – opposing, inward-facing triangles
Hourglass women tend to balance their fat storages well between both the upper and lower body regions. Hips and busts measurements are very similar. Fat is stored in the buttocks, hips, chest and arms before it is distributed to the abdominal region and/or waist.
Besides the above mentioned there is one more type of obesity. Some people do not belong to any of the above type of obesity. Their whole body from head to toe looks like a barrel. Their gait is more to rolling rather than walking. The fat tissues in their body hinder the movement of all the internal organs and consequently affect their brisk functioning. For them any exercise is difficult due to the enormous size of the body. So such person should follow a strict diet and do plenty of exercise.
HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR OWN BODY FAT CATEGORY-
Body mass index is the most simple and useful index to estimate body fat. It is considered to be a useful way to estimate healthy body weight, but it does not measure the percentage of body fat. The BMI measurement can sometimes be misleading – a muscleman may have a high BMI but have much less fat than an unfit person whose BMI is lower. However, in general, the BMI measurement can be a useful indicator for the ‘average person’. It is calculated as follows:
BMI = Weight in Kilograms / Square of height in meters
BMI is indexed as follows for reference:
BMI < 18.5
BMI 18.5 – 24.9
= Normal weight
25 – 29.9
BMI 30 – 39.9
BMI > 40
INORDER TO CALCULATE THE CENTRAL OBESITY:-
Visceral fat or central obesity (male type or apple type obesity) has a stronger relation with cardio-vascular diseases.
The absolute waist circumference (> 102 cm in men and > 88 in women) or waist – hip ratio (>0.9 for men and >0.85 for women) are a measure of central obesity.
TREATMENT OF OBESITY:-
There are various ways by which a person can reduce his fat. By the best treatment would be which a person can reduce the body weight but the method adopted should have the following criterion-
Obesity treatments have three objectives:
- To achieve a healthy weight.
- To maintain that healthy weight.
- Minimum or no side effects.
Homeopathic Treatment of Obesity
Basically homeopathy attempts to correct the three main requirements for reducing weight
- Digestive disorders
- Improve metabolism
- Help in easy elimination of fat
In homeopathy there are approximately 200 remedies for obesity. The choice of remedy depends upon the complete case history of the patient. This is very unique to homeopathy. A remedy is tailor-made for a particular patient not like other therapies where all are given the same drug may be having different trade names. For example, Fucus vesiculosus is chose by a homeopath when the patient also has thyroid problem and is constipated. It is also helpful in burning up the fat tissues. Phytolacca berry is chosen when we have to correct the metabolic rate. A homeopath may choose Calcarea carbonicum if the patient is fair, fatty and flabby with tendency of depression and constipation. So, in homeopathy the choice of remedy depends upon the complete symptomatology of the patient. Homeopathy treats the person as a whole. This means that homeopathic treatment focuses on the patient as a person, as well as his pathological condition. The homeopathic medicines are selected after a full individualizing examination and case-analysis, which includes the medical history of the patient, physical and mental constitution etc. A miasmatic tendency (predisposition/susceptibility) is also often taken into accountfor the treatment of chronic conditions.
Homeopathy offers a safe, long lasting and holistic solution for fat loss in obese people. The remedies are composed of natural elements in minutest doses with absolutely no side effects. In dealing with the problem, it goes to the very root of it, is gentle on the body and takes into account the emotional and psychological aspects of a patient.
International research shows that homeopathic medicines are extremely effective in reducing weight and offer fast weight loss as they help to burn calories faster by speeding up the metabolic rate.
A Few Homeopathic Remedies for Obesity
CALC-CARB., FERRUM MET., GRAPH., PHYT., THYR.,
ANT-CRUD., FUCUS, PHOS., Ant-c., Phyt., Thyr., Amm. mur., Calc-ar., Kali-bi., Kali-c., Lac-d., Phos., Puls., Sep., Senega.
How Can You Avoid Becoming Overweight or Obese?
- The best way to avoid these health problems is to maintain a healthy weight. And the keys to healthy weight are regular exercise and good eating habits.
- To stay active, try to exercise 30 to 60 minutes every day. Your exercise doesn’t have to be hard. Walking, swimming, and stretching are all good ways to burn calories and can help you stay fit. Try these activities to get moving:
- Go outside for a walk.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Walk or bike to places (such as school or a friend’s house) instead of driving.
- If you have to drive somewhere, park farther away than you need to and walk the extra distance.
- Tackle those household chores, such as vacuuming, washing the car, or cleaning the bathroom – they all burn calories.
- Alternate activities so you don’t get bored: Try running, biking, skating.
- Limit your time watching TV or playing video games; even reading a book burns more energy.
- Go dancing — it can burn more than 300 calories an hour!
- Eating well doesn’t mean dieting over and over again to lose a few pounds. Instead, try to make healthy choices every day.
- Soft drinks, fruit juices, and sports drinks are loaded with sugar; drink fat-free or low-fat milk or water instead.
- Eat ample amount of fruit and vegetables every day.
- Eat a healthy breakfast every day.
- Don’t eat meals or snacks while watching TV because you’ll probably end up eating more than you intend to.
- Pay attention to the portion sizes of what you eat.
- If you want a snack, try carrot sticks, a piece of fruit, or a piece of whole-grain toast instead of processed foods like chips and crackers, which can be loaded with fat and calories.
- Eat when you’re hungry, not when you’re bored or because you can’t think of anything else to do.
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Dr Shilpi Arora (https://www.orbitclinics.com/our-team/dr-shilpi-arora/)
Senior Associate Consultant, Orbit Clinics – Bangalore
With inputs from Dr Deepak Sharma