Weight LossAs many of us know, obesity can lead to a wide range of health problems that go beyond diabetes, including some of which that may cause disability or even death. At Foothills Weight Loss Specialists in Knoxville, we are committed to educating our patients about the impact obesity has on their quality of life and how our weight loss procedures many help them reclaim their health, reduce the risk of disease and disability, and ultimately live a longer life.

According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, some common ways obesity impacts your overall health:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Hypertension & Heart Disease
  • Respiratory Disorders
  • Cancer
  • Cerebrovascular Disease and Stroke

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common concerns for obese individuals,” says Foothills Weight Loss Specialists surgeon, Dr. Jonathan Ray. “This is because their bodies are not able to regulate blood sugar levels due to insulin resistance.”

Because obesity causes a resistance to insulin, obese patients experience high blood sugar, which can lead to organ damage. Learn about weight loss surgery’s impact on Type 2 diabetes here.

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) & Heart Disease

Being obese places strain on the heart, which can lead to hypertension and heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, obesity is a serious risk factor for heart disease.

“For obese individuals, heart-related problems are a major concern,” says Foothills Weight Loss Specialists surgeon, Dr. Mark Colquitt. “Not only are you at a considerably higher risk for hypertension and heart disease, you’re at a higher risk of heart attack, coronary artery disease, and stroke that can result from high blood pressure.”

Respiratory Disorders

Respiratory issues, such as sleep apnea, are common among overweight and obese people. This is primarily because they are living with reduced lung capacity, and have developed excessive fat deposits in the tongue, throat and neck. These fat deposits can make breathing difficult, particularly for those who sleep on their back.

“More than half of obese individuals live with obstructive sleep apnea,” says Dr. Ray. “This is a serious issue because someone with obstructive sleep apnea can have several episodes during the course of a night- with breathing interruptions that last seconds to minutes. Each of these episodes reduces the amount of oxygen in their blood, and can put them at risk for hypertension and heart-related problems.”

Those affected by obesity are also often more prone to asthma and respiratory infections.


If you’re obese, your risk of cancer increases. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, obesity is associated with the cancers below:

  • Endometrial cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Postmenopausal breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Leukemia

Cerebrovascular Disease/Stroke

Because obesity can inhibit your circulatory system’s ability to function at full capacity, you may be at a heightened risk of cerebrovascular disease, or stroke. Obesity may lead to diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, all of which further increase the risk of stroke.

If you are currently affected by obesity and would like to discuss how weight loss surgery may assist in resolving some of the health conditions and co-morbidities above, please contact the team at Foothills Weight Loss Specialists in Knoxville at (865) 984-3413 or visit our Seminar webpage to learn about our free monthly bariatric seminars.