It is a well-known fact that obesity and heart disease are related to one another. Numerous studies have already shown that those who are overweight will be at a greater risk of experiencing issues with their heart. However, what are some of the reasons behind such a statement? Can obesity cause heart cause and if so, what steps can be taken to reduce the chances of developing serious illnesses? Let’s examine these questions in more detail.
Why is Obesity a Risk Factor of Heart Disease?
To be clear, there are many other variables that can contribute to heart disease over time. Examples include:
- Poor diet.
- Lack of exercise.
- Psychological stress.
Obesity is nonetheless thought to play a primary role, partially due to the fact that it is often linked to the conditions mentioned above. In other words, those who smoke or rarely exercise tend to have a higher body mass index (BMI) when compared to active individuals who abstain from unhealthy lifestyle habits.
There are still some other reasons why obesity and heart problems tend to occur alongside one another. It is wise to expand upon some of the observations mentioned in the previous paragraph.
The Issue with Excess Weight
One of the reasons why obesity and heart disease share a comorbidity involves the potential damage that can be caused to important arteries. Those who are overweight are more likely to experience an accumulation of a material known as plaque. Plaque makes it difficult for the heart to efficiently pump blood and as a result, it is placed under a greater amount of strain. Let’s also note that issues with the arteries leading to the brain can result in other life-threatening situations such as stroke or aneurysms.
The Presence of Visceral Fat
Obesity and heart problems can also be traced to the presence of a substance known as visceral fat. As opposed to cutaneous fat, visceral fat tends to accumulate around organs such as the heart and the liver. This material can place a physical strain upon the heart and it has been associated with hypertension (high blood pressure).
We have already seen that obesity and heart disease can both be caused by a poor diet. This is particularly the case when referring to foods that are high in saturated fats. These fats can accumulate within blood vessels and major cardiovascular structures such as the left and right ventricles. Once again, this type of plaque may increase the chances of heart disease. If left unchecked, some individuals may even experience a myocardial infarction (heart attack).
Issues with the Production of Insulin
Carrying an excessive amount of weight can also make it more difficult for the body to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone which controls levels of glucose found within the bloodstream. While we all know that problems with insulin can lead to the development of type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes, were you aware that it also places the heart at risk? High concentrations of glucose have been known to damage nearby arteries; once again raising the chances of being diagnosed with heart disease.
Lifestyle Changes to Embrace
Thankfully, it is often possible to reduce the chances of developing heart disease if obesity can be kept in check. Adopting specific lifestyle habits is a great way to begin. Here are a handful of healthy tips to embrace sooner as opposed to later:
- Be sure to eat a balanced diet.
- Quit smoking cigarettes and avoid alcohol.
- Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Combat stressful thoughts with activities such as mindfulness and meditation.
There are likewise additional measures that can be taken if you are still struggling to maintain a healthy bodyweight. One extremely useful approach is to be fitted with a Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloon. This device will control the amount of food that you are able to consume; reducing your overall caloric intake and staving off those pesky pangs of hunger that might otherwise occur throughout the day.
Obesity and heart disease are now considered to represent epidemics in many regions of the world, so making the appropriate changes can help to ensure that you enjoy a long and healthy life.