How does excessive weight cause problems?
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Male Speaker: How does excessive weight cause problems? Dr. William McCarthy: Excessive weight causes medical problems primarily in two-fold manner. The first is that the abdominal fat. Fat cells around the abdomen region actually secrete substances we call them cytokines, but they really hormone like substances. The medical profession is actually starting to look at fat cells as an endocrine organ and as these substances are secreted most of these are inflammatory in nature, they cause problems in blood vessels and problems throughout the body. They may also cause what we call insulin resistance and these conditions lead to heart disease, to stroke, to hypertension, diabetes and all the other consequences that we see. The second phase is that obesity is a mechanical problem. It may cause an increased pressure on the neck or chest and what may happen is the person could have sleep apnea, which is problem with breathing at nighttime, which can even have fatal consequences. It may cause breathing problems because the person s body is constricted or the contour is changed because of the obesity itself. Obesity can also cause mechanical problems by just the pressure on the back, the knees and the hips. It is a very common cause of arthritis and may lead eventually to a hip surgery or chronic back pain or chronic disability.