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Obesity - from a Risk Factor to Becoming an Independent Disease

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Obesity - from a Risk Factor to Becoming an Independent Disease

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The article is targeted at a basic understanding of obesity and how to manage it effectively, especially with the help of homeopathic treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sneha Kannan

Published At August 30, 2019
Reviewed AtFebruary 8, 2024

Introduction:

The general epidemiological data from the WHO (World Health Organization) reveals that around the world, obesity has almost tripled since 1975. In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, eight years of age and older, were overweight. Of these, over 650 million were obese. Most of the world's population lives in countries where overweight and obesity kill more people than underweight.

Around 41 million children under the age of five were overweight or obese in 2016. Most obese or overweight patients are at risk of developing heart, liver, or kidney diseases shortly. And not just that, it also causes considerable effects on the person's self-esteem and confidence levels.

In a study, it was stated that around 95 percent of obese people do not consider this illness, and healthcare providers also fail to guide them on the right path.

Ultimately, most people fall under the category of poor compliance, as a result of which they resort to risky and harmful procedures like liposuction (removing fat from specific body areas) and bariatric surgery (surgery to manage obesity and other associated conditions).

Usually, a person is considered morbidly obese if their weight is about 80 to 100 pounds more than their ideal body weight or the body mass index (BMI) is more than 40.

What Are the Factors Associated With Obesity?

Obesity is a multifactorial issue; therefore, trying to treat it by a single modality like diet or exercise is never going to give lasting and potential results. In most cases, the initial improvement with modern diets is encouraging, but it is challenging and nearly impossible to follow them throughout life. Ultimately, they go off-track and start gaining weight twice as fast as they lost it.

Obese or overweight individuals mostly overlook the major role played by metabolism and hormones. Therefore, without corrective treatment, it becomes tough to gain lasting results. One should follow a well-balanced diet, exercise, and take medicines to lose weight. Maintaining the calorie intake and loss ratio is critical in losing weight. The latter should always be higher than the former.

The following are some factors associated with obesity:

1. Diet - Diet plays almost 70 percent of the role in losing weight. So, one should be very meticulous while designing the diet chart. Those who cannot lose calories through physical exercise may need to keep their diet very low in calories. Now, there are three types of macronutrients, namely carbohydrates, fat, and protein.

  • When the carbohydrate content is higher, the calories are higher. Shortly after a meal, the person is hungry again. So, the food intake also increases with such a diet.

  • With fat on the higher side, the calories are high but less than carbohydrates, and the time between two meals can be longer. So, food intake is less than carbohydrates.

  • But the most helpful and best food content is protein. It has fewer calories and gives early satiety, so intake is far less than carbohydrates and fatty foods. Also, it takes longer to digest, avoiding early hunger.

Some of the latest diets are designed so that they remove carbohydrates from the food, giving faster results. But it is not weight loss; it is next to wasting. It is very harmful and should never be followed.

Best Ways to Lose Weight Through Diet:

  • Prepare a balanced diet with 60 percent protein, 25 percent fat, and 15 percent carbohydrates for instant energy.

  • Also, taking liquids like protein shakes and semisolid foods like juices and soups reduces food intake.

  • The third thing is to chew the food excessively. Proper chewing helps reduce food intake, and the food is properly digested.

2. Exercise - The amount of exercise is directly proportional to the present weight, the amount of weight loss needed, and the pace of the weight loss. Ultimately, the calories lost should be greater than the intake.

Those who are obese have difficulty exercising, as they are most likely to end up with weight-bearing joint pain. In such conditions, walking or jogging is contraindicated. Rather, they should opt for exercises like cycling and swimming. These exercises can be protective of the joints and are very effective. The more exercises one does, the better results one gets.

3. Medicines - Most people skip the part where medicines come into play. The majority of obese patients have predisposing factors like family history or some hormonal disorders such as thyroid problems or abnormal androgen (male hormone) production in the ovaries, called PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), Cushing syndrome (high cortisol production in the body), and arthritis (joint pain and inflammation).

While some effective medicines in homeopathy can help increase the metabolism and lose weight faster, they are again a temporary solution, and once the medicine is stopped, soon a person tends to relapse back to the original situation.

4. Other Factors Include:

  • Lack of Sleep: Lack of sleep causes hormone changes and increases a person’s appetite. This increases cravings for foods high in carbohydrates and calories, thus contributing to weight gain.

  • Smoking Cessation: People who quit smoking also gain weight and become obese due to excessive overeating to cope with smoking withdrawals. However, quitting smoking benefits the health in several ways, thus, one should consult the healthcare provider for proper guidance and weight management while quitting smoking.

  • Stress: Stressful situations also indulge a person in consuming high-calorie foods, thus contributing to obesity.

  • Pregnancy: Women tend to gain weight, which is often difficult to lose after delivery of the baby. Thus, it can lead to the development of obesity in women post-pregnancy.

  • Microbiome: Gut bacteria also get affected by the kind of food one is consuming, and it may cause weight gain or difficulty losing weight.

What Are the Complications Associated With Obesity?

  • Type 2 Diabetes: Obesity increases the risk of diabetes and insulin resistance by affecting how the body uses insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.

  • Digestive Problems: Obesity also increases the risk of developing liver problems, gallbladder disease, and heartburn.

  • Heart Disease and Strokes: Obesity leads to high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels in the body. This can further lead to stroke and heart disease.

  • Osteoarthritis: Obesity also leads to pain, inflammation, and swelling in the body by causing stress on the weight-bearing joints, resulting in osteoarthritis.

  • Certain Cancers: The risk of developing certain cancers also increases with obesity. These include cancer of the rectum, colon, uterus, breast, cervix, ovary, esophagus, gall bladder, liver, kidney, pancreas, and prostate.

  • Sleep Apnea: It is a serious breathing disorder causing repeatedly starting and stopping of breath while sleeping. Obesity can increase the risk of developing sleep apnea in people.

  • Fatty Liver Disease: Excessive fat deposition in the liver or further serious liver damage, known as liver cirrhosis, can also develop due to obesity.

  • Severe Symptoms of COVID-19: Obesity also makes a person more likely to develop severe symptoms of COVID-19 if one gets infected with the coronavirus. A person might need intensive care units (ICU) or mechanical assistance for proper breathing.

Conclusion:

Obesity is one of the most potent risk factors for many dangerous diseases. It also reduces the quality of life for the person. However, homeopathy is a drastic measure to reduce weight by suppressing appetite and imposing diet restrictions using drugs. It has its limitations and is effective only until it lasts. So, a healthy diet and exercise are the best and most effective ways to lose weight.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

Is Obesity an Independent Risk Factor?

Obesity can independently cause various diseases with or without the occurrence of other factors. Studies suggest obesity to be an independent risk factor for diseases like –
- Coronary artery disease (heart disease).
- Hypertension (increased blood pressure).
- Type 2 diabetes.
- Dyslipidemia.
- Sleep disorders. 
- Fatty liver.
- GERD (acid reflux disease).
- Brain stroke.
- Organ failure.

2.

What Can Independently Cause Obesity?

Obesity is often a result of hereditary or poor and unhealthy lifestyle habits. Here are some causative factors that can independently lead to obesity –
- Hereditary.
- Eating disorders. 
- Overeating junk food.
- Sedentary life.
- Lack of exercise.
- High fatty diet.
- Hormonal fluctuations.
- Medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

3.

Why Is Obesity a Risk Factor for Disease?

Obesity proves to be associated with various medical diseases. It has the potential to cause various medical conditions synergistic with other factors. Obesity increases the risk of –
- Heart diseases (heart attacks).
- Myocardial infarction.
- Brain stroke.
- Diabetes.
- Fatty liver.
- High blood pressure.
- Multiple organ failure.

4.

Why Is Obesity on the Rise?

Obesity was not very common in earlier times. With increasing stress and poor lifestyle choices, most people suffer from obesity and its consequences.
Some reasons why obesity is on the rise are –
- Sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise.
- Poor diet control and unhealthy diet choices(junk food).
- Underlying medical conditions like heart disease, PCOD(polycystic ovarian disorder) and diabetes increase the risk of obesity.
- Increased stressful situations and work pressures.
- Certain medications like anti-depressants and medications are used to cure hormonal imbalances.

5.

What Are The Causes of Obesity?

Here are some factors that cause obesity –
- Genes and heredity play a major role in obesity.
- Eating disorders associated with mental health conditions. 
- Overeating junk and unhealthy food.
- Excess consumption of alcohol.
- Habits like smoking.
- Sedentary lifestyle and stressful work environment.
- Lack of exercise and physical activity increase the risk of obesity.
- High fatty diet, high cholesterol, and less fiber diet.
- Hormonal fluctuations and imbalances.
- Existing medical health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

6.

Who Is Most at Risk for Obesity?

People with high-fat and high-cholestrol diets and who lead a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to suffer from obesity. Studies show people with type 2 diabetes and heart disease are twice as likely to suffer from obesity than people who do not have these underlying medical health conditions.

7.

What Diseases Are Influenced by Obesity?

Obesity increases the risk of –
- Heart diseases (heart attacks) - Fatty deposition that stops the blood flow to the heart.
- Myocardial infarction - heart disease that causes heart failure.
- Brain stroke - A sudden blockage in the blood flow to the brain.
- Diabetes - Due to increased insulin resistance.
- Fatty liver - Due to high fat and high cholesterol diet.
- High blood pressure - Obesity increases the risk of hypertension.
- Multiple organ failure - Fat deposition around various organs in the body makes the organs difficult to function properly.

8.

How Can We Overcome the Problem of Obesity?

Lifestyle changes, healthy food choices, and good cardio exercises can help overcome the symptoms of obesity.
- Consumption of high fiber diet.
- Avoid eating unhealthy and junk food.
- Daily cardio workouts or brisk walking for 30 minutes.
- Consuming alternative medications that do not cause any side effects.
- Refrain from alcohol consumption and quit smoking.

9.

Can Obese People Be Healthy?

Yes, obesity is a reversible medical condition. Lifestyle modifications, healthy food choices, and good cardio exercises can help overcome the symptoms of obesity. Here are some ways to keep obesity in check –
- Consumption of high fiber diet.
- Avoid eating unhealthy and junk food.
- Daily cardio workouts or brisk walking for 30 minutes.
- Consuming alternative medications that do not cause any side effects.
- Refrain from alcohol consumption and quit smoking.

10.

How Can We Prevent Obesity in the Future?

- Building early relationships with healthy foods.
- Eating slowly and chewing food properly.
- High fiber diet.
- Consuming more whole fruits and vegetables.
- Reducing sugar intake.
- Refraining from eating unhealthy, processed, and fried foods.
- Incorporating fun and exciting physical activities.
- Having adequate eight-hour sleep.
- Indulge in weight training activities.
- Try indulging in de-stressing activities like yoga and meditation.
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Dr. Jayvirsinh Indrasinh Chauhan
Dr. Jayvirsinh Indrasinh Chauhan

Homeopathy

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childhood obesityobesity
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