Being Overweight or Obese can have an effect on a persons urologic health. Obesity can be a risk factor for some types of urinary incontinence, and urinary tract infection. Weight control can be difficult but can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of these urologic disorders. There are many other health benefits to maintaining a healthy weight also.
Research has shown that as weight increases to reach the levels referred to as “overweight” and “obesity” (Overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher; obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or higher), the risks for the following conditions also increases
- Coronary heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
- Liver and Gallbladder disease
- Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
- Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
- Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)
Overweight and Obesity-Related Health Problems in Adults
This condition occurs when a fatty material called plaque (plak) builds up on the inside walls of the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to your heart). Plaque narrows the coronary arteries, which reduces blood flow to your heart. Your chances for having heart disease and a heart attack get higher as your body mass index (BMI) increases. Obesity also can lead to congestive heart failure, a serious condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs.
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
This condition occurs when the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries is too high. Your chances for having high blood pressure are greater if you’re overweight or obese.
Being overweight or obese can lead to a buildup of fatty deposits in your arteries that form a blood clot. If the clot is close to your brain, it can block the flow of blood and oxygen and cause a stroke. The risk of having a stroke rises as BMI increases.
Type 2 Diabetes
This is a disease in which blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high. Normally, the body makes insulin to move the blood sugar into cells where it’s used. In type 2 diabetes, the cells don’t respond enough to the insulin that’s made. Diabetes is a leading cause of early death, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness. More than 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.
Abnormal Blood Fats
If you’re overweight or obese, you have a greater chance of having abnormal levels of blood fats. These include high amounts of triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (a fat-like substance often called “bad” cholesterol), and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (often called “good” cholesterol). Abnormal levels of these blood fats are a risk for heart disease.
This is the name for a group of risk factors linked to overweight and obesity that raise your chance for heart disease and other health problems such as diabetes and stroke. A person can develop any one of these risk factors by itself, but they tend to occur together. Metabolic syndrome occurs when a person has at least three of these heart disease risk factors:
- A large waistline. This is also called abdominal obesity or “having an apple shape.” Having extra fat in the waist area is a greater risk factor for heart disease than having extra fat in other parts of the body, such as on the hips
- Abnormal blood fat levels, including high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol
- Higher than normal blood pressure
- Higher than normal fasting blood sugar levels
Being overweight or obese raises the risk for colon, breast, endometrial, and gallbladder cancers.
This is a common joint problem of the knees, hips, and lower back. It occurs when the tissue that protects the joints wears away. Extra weight can put more pressure and wear on joints, causing pain.
This condition causes a person to stop breathing for short periods during sleep. A person with sleep apnea may have more fat stored around the neck. This can make the breathing airway smaller so that it’s hard to breathe.
Obesity can cause menstrual irregularity and infertility in women.
These are hard pieces of stone-like material that form in the gallbladder. They’re mostly made of cholesterol and can cause abdominal or back pain. People who are overweight or obese have a greater chance of having gallstones. Also, being overweight may result in an enlarged gallbladder that may not work properly.
Overweight and Obesity-Related Health Problems in Children and Teens
Overweight and obesity also increase the health risks for children and teens. Type 2 diabetes was once rare in American children. Now it accounts for 8 to 45 percent of newly diagnosed diabetes cases. Also, overweight children are more likely to become overweight or obese as adults, with the same risks for disease.