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Understanding the Difference between Obesity and Morbid Obesity

obesityObesity, having too much body fat, is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 30. BMI is a measure of your weight relative to your height. To calculate your BMI online, click here.

Morbid obesity, which is also termed “clinically severe obesity,” is typically defined as being more than 100 pounds overweight or having a BMI of 40 or higher. An estimated 5-10 million Americans are considered morbidly obese. Morbid obesity significantly increases the risk of one or more obesity-related health conditions or serious diseases – also known as co-morbidities – that result either in significant physical disability or even death.

Co-morbidities include medical problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, certain cancers, osteoarthritis and sleep apnea.

Extreme obesity may also lead to a gradual decrease in the level of oxygen in your blood, a condition known as hypoxemia. Decreased blood oxygen levels and sleep apnea may cause you to feel sleepy during the day and may lead to high blood pressure and pulmonary hypertension. In extreme cases, particularly if the condition is left untreated, patients may suffer right-sided heart failure and ultimately death.

According to the National Institutes of Health Consensus Report, morbid obesity is a serious disease and must be treated as such. It is a chronic disease, meaning that its symptoms build slowly over an extended period of time.

If you suffer from health conditions associated with your weight, don’t delay seeking treatment. Contact our office today to find out whether weight loss surgery may be an option to help you lead a healthier and longer life.

To sign up for a free seminar on surgical weight loss options, click here.

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