You Can Lower Your Risk of These 5 Diseases by Losing Weight

At Lafferty Family Care, Dr. Scott Lafferty and our team are invested in the overall health and wellness of our patients in a

The weight problem in the United States has been called a national crisis, and for good reason. Two out of every three Americans are considered overweight, and one out of three is classified as obese. And these weight problems go far beyond a person’s appearance — all of these extra pounds are contributing, either directly or indirectly, to a long list of serious health problems, many of which are life-threatening.

At Lafferty Family Care, Dr. Scott Lafferty and our team are invested in the overall health and wellness of our patients in and around Bentonville, Arkansas. As we see more adults and children succumb to weight issues, we’re also seeing an increase in associated diseases, many of which can be reversed by losing weight.

To give you an idea of what you can accomplish by losing some weight, here’s a list of just five diseases you can lower your risk of by shedding as little as 5-10% of your body weight.

1. Type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic problem that hampers your ability to regulate the levels of glucose in your bloodstream. While there are different types of diabetes, the one we’re concerned with here is Type 2 diabetes. Around 87% of people with this type of diabetes are overweight, so if you’re carrying extra pounds, you’re at a higher risk for developing the condition. With Type 2 diabetes, your body builds a resistance to insulin (the hormone that regulates your blood sugar levels) or it doesn’t produce enough to handle the blood sugar in your system.

Now consider that more than 84 million Americans are considered prediabetic. If you find yourself in this category, you can lower your chances of turning the corner into full-blown diabetes by losing just a small percentage of your body weight (5-10% can make all the difference).

2. Arthritis

Osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative form of the disease that leads to the breakdown of cartilage in your joints, affects 31 million Americans, and this number is expected to rise. For people who are carrying extra weight, arthritis may develop and progress more quickly as your already beleaguered joints are under added stress. By relieving some of the burden your joints are under, you can make a big difference in how arthritis affects your life.

3. Sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to stop breathing throughout the night, which not only robs you of beneficial sleep, it can wreak havoc on your blood pressure. People who are overweight have much greater odds of developing sleep apnea because of extra fat around the neck area. By tackling this extra weight, you can get a good night’s rest and undo some of the pressure on your cardiovascular system.

4. Heart disease

Heart disease is a generalized category that’s also the leading cause of death in America. The fact is that cardiovascular disease is often caused by clogged blood vessels that are unable to carry blood to and from your heart, which can lead to heart attack and stroke.

To help your blood vessels (and your heart) function properly, losing weight and becoming active can go a very long way toward a heart-happy future. In fact, losing just 5-10% of your body weight can lower your cholesterol and your blood pressure and boost your circulation for better health.

5. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Your liver is a filtering organ, and when you ingest too many fats, some may end up in your liver, where it impedes function. Fatty liver disease often doesn’t have symptoms, so it may go undiagnosed and can develop into more serious liver disease. By losing weight, especially in the early stages of fatty liver disease, you can improve your liver’s function, and you may even reverse the disease.

The bottom line is that there are few health concerns that don’t benefit from a healthy weight. If you’d like to take charge of your health through medically supervised weight loss, please give us a call at (479) 464-0400 or use the online scheduling tool.

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