5 Obesity Related Diseases
While many people primarily want to lose weight in order to boost their self-confidence, it's important to remember that obesity is linked to a wide range of fatal health problems. In particular, you are dramatically more likely to develop the following five diseases if you are seriously overweight.
- Heart disease. Obesity is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke regardless of your age. One of the main reasons for this connection is that obesity raises your blood pressure, which forces your heart to work harder. Further, high cholesterol is common in the obese and is a very common cause of heart attacks.
- Diabetes. Although genetics and other factors play a role, there is a proven link between obesity and risk of type 2 diabetes (which is the most common form of the disease). When you are overweight, your cells become insulin resistant, eventually leading to diabetes in many cases. People with type 2 diabetes are much more likely to suffer from strokes, experience nerve damage or develop kidney disease.
- Cancer. The precise connection between cancer and obesity is hotly debated, but multiple studies suggest that being overweight or obese can increase your risk of developing cancer by as much as 50%. The cancers most commonly associated with obesity strike the esophagus, pancreas, breast, kidney and colon.
- Gallstones. Gallstones develop when the liver produces excessive amounts of bile, and they can be incredibly painful. In rare cases, gallstones also lead to inflammation of the gallbladder, infection of the bile ducts, or acute pancreatitis. If you are obese, you are much more likely to develop gallstones, especially if you are over the age of 50 or know of family members who have already suffered from gallstones.
- Infertility. Finally, both obese men and women are more likely to struggle to conceive. Overweight men tend to have a lower sperm count. Meanwhile, being overweight influences the levels of female hormones that regulate ovulation and menstruation, sometimes leading to premature ovarian failure.