Weight Loss: Health Risks Associated With Obesity
How Is Obesity and Cancer Linked?
Several types of cancer are associated with being overweight. Being obese increases the risk of dying from cancer. Cancers of the colon, breast (postmenopausal), endometrium (the lining of the uterus), kidney, and esophagus are associated with obesity. Some studies have also reported links between obesity and cancers of the gallbladder, ovaries, and pancreas.
How Is Obesity Related to Gallbladder Disease?
Gallbladder disease and gallstones are more common if you are overweight. Your risk of disease increases as your weight increases. It is not clear how being overweight may cause gallbladder disease.
Ironically, weight loss itself, particularly rapid weight loss or loss of a large amount of weight, can actually increase your chances of developing gallstones. Modest, slow weight loss of about 1 pound a week is less likely to cause gallstones.
How Does Obesity Affect Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a common joint condition that most often affects the knee, hip, and back. Carrying extra pounds places extra pressure on these joints and wear away the cartilage (tissue that cushions the joints) that normally protects them.
Weight loss can decrease stress on the knees, hips, and lower back and may improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
How Is Obesity Linked to Gout?
Gout is a disease that affects the joints that is caused by excess levels of a substance called uric acid in the blood. The excess uric acid can form crystals that deposit in the joints. Gout is more common in overweight people and the risk of developing the disorder increases with higher body weights.
Over the short term, sudden weight changes may lead to an attack of gout. If you have a history of gout, check with your doctor for the best way to lose weight.
How Is Obesity Linked to Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious breathing condition that is associated with being overweight. Sleep apnea can cause a person to snore heavily and to stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Sleep apnea may cause daytime sleepiness and increase risk for heart disease and stroke. The risk for sleep apnea increases as body weight increases. Weight loss often improves sleep apnea.