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Obesity: symptoms, causes, and treatment

obesity symptoms causes and treatment

Obesity has become so widespread that we can talk about a global epidemic today. The disorder began to play a significant role in the formation of various types of human pathology. Excess accumulation of adipose tissue, on the one hand, can be a manifestation of a wide variety of diseases, and on the other hand, it can be an independent disease with an abundance of subsequent complications inherent in excess accumulation of adipose tissue. In today’s article, we will discuss the issue of obesity, its causes, symptoms, stages, treatment, prevention and methods of losing weight.

Table of contents:

    1. What is obesity?
    2. What are the symptoms of the disorder?
    3. Degrees of obesity
    4. What are the causes of the disease?
    5. How to treat obesity?
    6. What is Orlistat?
    7. What is the release form of the drug?
    8. How to take Orlistat?
    9. What are the side effects of the drug?
    10. The prognosis for recovery
    11. Useful links

Weight loss is one of the main problems of modern mankind. From year to year, more and more people begin to get sick with various diseases associated with being overweight. Disorders of the psyche, heart function, digestive system, problem skin, chronic fatigue, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes mellitus, joint problems, this list go on and on. Obesity is a time bomb that gradually and imperceptibly destroys the body. We will try to expand this post, and over time, add new and relevant information to it. We will also welcome your feedback with effective methods of losing weight, fighting obesity and extra pounds.

What is obesity?

Obesity is a disease that is characterized by excessive accumulation of fat in the body, leading to an increase in body weight. In most cases, obesity develops due to excess food intake (90% of cases), reduced energy expenditure (sedentary lifestyle) and metabolic disorders.

Obesity is an increase in body weight by 20% or more from the norm, due to the growth of adipose tissue. This disease causes not only psycho-physical discomfort but also causes diseases of the spine, joints, sexual and other disorders. Obesity increases the risk of developing such life-threatening diseases as atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, stroke, myocardial infarction, kidney and liver diseases. Besides, obesity can lead to disability. Diseases such as influenza, acute respiratory viral infections, pneumonia and many other diseases in patients with obesity are more difficult, often with some complications.

Maintaining a healthy weight or losing through diet and exercise is one way to prevent or reduce obesity. In some cases, a person may need surgery [1].

What are the symptoms of the disorder?

what are the symptoms of the obesity

Symptoms of the disease are all the more pronounced, the higher the degree of obesity. The first degree can be almost asymptomatic, but the second and third ones have quite pronounced symptoms. These include the following symptoms:

  • weight gain due to fat deposition
  • drowsiness, weakness, decreased performance
  • shortness of breath, nausea
  • increased sweating
  • swelling
  • increase in blood pressure
  • constipation
  • pain in the spine and joints
  • disorders of the cardiovascular, respiratory and digestive systems
  • nervousness, irritability
  • reduced self-esteem, dissatisfaction with appearance, difficulties in communicating with people
  • decreased sex drive

An obese person may experience an increased feeling of hunger at night and in the afternoon. The consequences of the disease can be infertility and a violation of the normal menstrual cycle in women, a decrease in potency in men.

Degrees of obesity

The degree of obesity is determined by body mass index. Body mass index (BMI) is calculated by the formula: body weight/height (m) squared. Consider all degrees of obesity in detail.

Pre obesity

This degree is characterized by the presence of 25-29.9% excess weight compared to the norm. It is considered the initial form, the main symptoms of obesity are absent. Well amenable to correction by observing proper nutrition and performing physical exercises.

1st-degree obesity

The disorder is characterized by the presence of 30-34.9% excess weight. Outwardly, this degree is already more pronounced. It is often regarded not as a disease, but as a cosmetic defect. The first signs of obesity begin to appear, such as swelling, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, etc. It is necessary to begin to take measures to combat excess weight at this stage.

2nd-degree obesity

The presence of 35-39.9% excess weight. This degree is already expressed even more clearly and significant body fat is visible. There are symptoms of obesity, decreased performance and physical activity. With this degree, urgently begin to fight overweight, because it can quickly develop into 3rd-degree obesity.

3rd-degree obesity

The degree is characterized by the presence of 40% or more excess weight. This degree is very easy to determine by appearance. At this stage, almost all the symptoms of obesity are manifested: shortness of breath, even in a calm state, swelling of the legs, headaches, disturbances in the cardiovascular system, etc. It becomes difficult for a person to take care of himself. It is urgent to contact specialists and begin treatment!

What are the causes of the disease?

The onset of obesity is an imbalance between the intake of calories (and hence energy) along with food on the one hand and energy consumption (consumption of calories received) on the other.

Those calories that do not have time to be consumed by the body turn into fat deposits that accumulate in the subcutaneous tissue, abdominal cavity, and internal organs. An increase in the amount of accumulated fat leads to an increase in body weight, which in turn leads to malfunctions in the functioning of many systems. Most often, overeating leads to obesity (in more than 90% of cases), less often it is a metabolic failure (5-7% of cases).

Among other reasons that affect the development of obesity, we can distinguish:

  • sedentary lifestyle
  • deviations in the diet (significant consumption of carbohydrates and fats, abuse of salt and sugar, regular intake of alcohol, dinner at night)
  • genetic predisposition
  • endocrine pathologies (insulinoma, hypothyroidism, hypogonadism, etc.)

Also, among the possible causes of obesity are overeating of a psychogenic nature, such natural conditions of the body as pregnancy, menopause or lactation. Stress, lack of sleep and the use of hormonal drugs can also be a possible cause, which serves as the beginning of obesity.

How to treat obesity?

The treatment of obesity must be approached comprehensively and prudently. You must understand that such treatment is a long process. To consolidate the result and not return the extra pounds in double quantity, it is necessary to choose the right therapeutic diet and physical activity. Besides, specialists use drug treatment.

It is worth remembering that only the attending physician can prescribe the correct course of treatment after conducting a diagnosis of human health. Therefore, the patient should seek the help of a specialist, and not self-medicate! Obesity treatment, i.e. weight loss is carried out comprehensively. It includes the following areas.

  • diet
  • physical activity
  • medicines (as prescribed by the doctor)
  • treatment of complications (if any)

For the treatment of 1 and 2 degrees of obesity, proper nutrition and exercise are enough. Consider the methods of losing weight in more detail.

Weight loss diet

weight loss diet

For the treatment of obesity and weight loss, nutritionists use a special diet. Calorie content of food products should not exceed 1500-1800 kcal per day. It is necessary to limit the use of fatty, sweet and starchy foods. You need to focus on the use of fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals.

Such a diet is fractional. You should have small portions with light snacks between main meals. The last meal should be no later than 3-4 hours before bedtime. If weight loss, at some stage of the correct diet, stops, then you can arrange a fasting day once a week. However, such a day can be arranged only after consulting a doctor.

For a proper diet, consult a nutritionist. Do not use starvation and improper diets, as this in the future can not only aggravate the treatment of obesity but also cause damage to health.

Physical activity

Physical activity does not imply a mandatory trip to the gym, although if health allows you, it is better to do so. Start small, do your daily morning exercises, go for walks in the fresh air, swim, ride a bike, play volleyball, soccer or badminton. The loads should not be excessive, the duration and intensity must be increased gradually.

Taking medications

A doctor, if necessary can only prescribe medications. Weight loss pills have many side effects. Medications are usually prescribed only if other methods of weight loss haven’t worked and if you have a BMI of 27 or more in addition to obesity-related health issues [2]. Therefore, their admission should be carried out under the strict supervision of the attending physician. According to the drug effect on the body, drugs are divided into several groups:

  • drugs that interfere with the absorption of fats in the intestines, for example, Orlistat
  • medicines that increase satiety, decrease appetite
  • drugs that increase heat production, for example, vitamins of groups B, C, P, E, etc.

It is very important not to confuse “miracle pills” for weight loss with medications. So-called miraculous drugs for losing weight can cause health problems that appear in the form of mental, cardiovascular, digestive and other serious diseases.


Surgical methods of treatment are used for patients with the last stages, as well as in cases where other methods of reducing excess weight have been tried and have not yielded a positive result. To reduce excess body weight, three types of surgical intervention are used:

  • on the organs of the abdominal cavity. Two types of operations became especially popular: on the small intestine and the stomach. As a rule, in the treatment of this pathology, operations on the stomach are more often performed, due to the least number of complications
  • cosmetology procedures. With significant weight loss, fat folds are formed, which cause discomfort and inconvenience, so their removal is vital
  • temporary correction. People who are not recommended for surgery may benefit from temporary cosmetic procedures, such as liposuction

What is Orlistat?

Orlistat is a drug for weight loss. It acts in the lumen of the stomach and small intestine, not absorbed into the bloodstream. The active substance of the drug has the property to block enzymes that break down fats (lipases) in the stomach and intestines. When taking the drug, the absorption of fats from food is blocked by 30%. Therefore, doctors prescribe Orlistat during the treatment of obesity, to reduce and maintain weight, combined with a diet. Also, nutritionists recommend the drug to reduce the risk of re-gaining weight after it is reduced. The drug has long been known to nutritionists and has proven its high effectiveness by time.

What is the release form of the drug?

Pharmacological companies produce Orlistat in capsules. Each capsule contains a crystalline powder of light color. The active component of this drug is the substance called Orlistat.

Depending on the volume of the active substance, the drug is available in a dosage of 60 mg or 120 mg. Capsules are packed in transparent blisters, which are located in an environmentally friendly cardboard packaging.

How to take Orlistat?

how to take orlistat

Orlistat should be taken both with meals and no later than one hour after a meal. The standard dosage regimen is three times a day, 120 mg each. If the food is skipped or there is practically no fat in it, the instruction recommends skipping the next capsule. The effectiveness of losing weight because of this will not decrease.

It is worth noting that attempts to increase the dose of Orlistat to lose weight faster will not bring success. At the same time, an increase in the amount of the product does not lead to the appearance of undesirable effects.

The optimal duration of a course of weight loss is about three months. A shorter duration is not likely to be highly effective. Doctors pay the attention of those who are losing weight to the fact that the best results can be achieved if the remedy is taken for a period of 6 to 12 months. The maximum duration of the course is 2 years.

It is important to remember that self-administration of Orlistat is prohibited. A person should consult with a specialist. Only the attending physician will be able to prescribe the dosage of the medicine and the duration of its administration.

What are the side effects of the drug?

Capsules have a direct effect on the functioning of the stomach. Since treatment takes place over a long period, general well-being often suffers. The most likely side effects when taking Orlistat are:

  • increased gas formation
  • greasy stool (greasy stains on underwear)
  • inability to control the urge to defecate

It’s easy to explain their development as the problem is poor absorption of fats. Typically, such side effects go away on their own as soon as the body gets used to the drug. Complications during the treatment with the drug are very rare, so we can say that the benefits of its use exceed the risks. However, if side effects are observed for a long time and cause serious discomfort, you should consult your doctor. Perhaps the drug product is taken in the wrong dosage.

The prognosis for recovery

If obesity treatment is started on time, then its prognosis will be positive. According to statistics, a decrease in body weight of 10% reduces the mortality rate by more than 20%. Besides, the number of deaths due to diabetes (by more than 35%) and oncology associated with obesity (by 40%) is reduced. Typically, patients with 1st or 2nd degree of obesity are able-bodied, while people with 3rd degree of obesity are registered and get a disability of group III. Moreover, modern medicine has a wide range of techniques and drugs. As we said earlier, Orlistat is the most effective and safe medicine for weight loss.

Useful links

[1] What is obesity and what causes it by the link https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323551.php

[2] Check https://www.healthline.com/health/obesity and know additional facts about obesity

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