Causing major health problems, morbid obesity interferes with basic physical functions and poses a greater threat to your body. Those suffering from morbid obesity are at risk of suffering from diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure, sleep apnea, heart disease, osteoarthritis, cancer, and so on. An individual is considered to be morbidly obese when he or she has a BMI of 40 or more.

Morbid Obesity – Classifications, Causes, and Symptoms

Excess amount of fat depositing in your body makes you obese. This significantly increases your risk of developing several life-threatening health issues. By treating morbid obesity, it can be reversed and the chances of developing other medical issues will be reduced significantly. Certain medications like antidepressants and medical conditions like hypothyroidism lead you to weight gain. Read on this article till the end to know more about the causes, symptoms, and effective treatments of morbid obesity.

Morbid Obesity - Classifications, Causes, and Symptoms

What is Morbid Obesity?

Morbid obesity is a health condition in which a person has a BMI (Body Mass Index) higher than 40. Medical professionals use BMI to identify whether a person is within the healthy range of weight or not. According to some physicians, those with weight over 100 pounds are considered to be morbidly obese as well. While normal BMI ranges from 19 to 24, overweight people have a BMI range between 25 and 30. Patients suffering from morbid obesity are at a greater risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, etc. While many continue to believe that morbid obesity is caused by overeating, the causes of morbid obesity are a little complex. According to research, the main causes of morbid obesity often include genetic and social reasons. Most of the morbidly obese patients can only get temporary relief with dieting and exercise.

Classifications of Obesity

 In order to identify the level of your obesity, you must calculate your BMI. BMI or Body Mass Index can be easily calculated by dividing your weight by your height. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, BMI is broken in five stages:

  • Normal: 19 -24
  • Overweight: 25-29
  • Obese Stage 1: 30-34
  • Obese Stage 2: 35-39
  • Morbidly Obese Stage: 40 or greater

While your physician might be using a number of tests to reach a conclusion regarding the amount of fat in your body, BMI is the preliminary tool to identify whether you have obesity or not. During a skinfold test, your physician will be measuring the thickness of your skin in order to understand the level of fat in your body. A doctor might resort to bioelectrical impedance in order to understand the fat percentage in your body. Problems related to hormones can be detected with other blood tests.

Causes of Morbid Obesity

According to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 18% of children and adolescents along with 35.9% of adults suffer from morbid obesity. While no research has been able to point out the exact reasons for morbid obesity, studies show that a combination of different factors causes this condition. Most of the people suffering from morbid obesity have a high amount of stored energy in their bodies. The level of stored energy in these people varies from those in regular shape. The reason for this difference is either caused by factors such as low metabolism, high-calorie intake, low energy expenditure, or a combination of all these. According to some studies, obesity is inherited in 80% of the cases meaning that the patient has a genetic reason behind his or her physical condition. Other reasons are psychological, cultural, and social in nature.

Symptoms of Morbid Obesity

The most important symptom of morbid obesity is BMI over 40. Patients suffering from obesity can easily diagnose themselves by understanding the presence of excessive fat in their bodies. They will also have difficulty walking and breathing as well. Some of the patients suffering from morbid obesity can face challenges in working and may face exhaustion.

Effects of Morbid Obesity

 Patients suffering from morbid obesity are likely to suffer from a number of physical conditions such as :

  • Heart Disease: With the body having to carry an additional amount of weight, the patient is likely to suffer from cardiac issues which might lead to high blood pressure along with damages to the heart and kidney.
  • Osteoarthritis: Morbid obesity puts on extra weight on the joints meaning that it can cause wear and tear to a significant extent. When your bones are strained, your body is likely to suffer from a number of issues including disk problems and reduced mobility.
  • Respiratory Issues: Since the fat deposits block the air passages, patients with morbid obesity are likely to suffer from sleep apnea or respiratory problems. As a result, patients might be losing sleep and feeling daytime drowsiness.
  • Diabetes Issues: Patients suffering from obesity often become quite resistant to insulin meaning that they often end up suffering from high blood pressure.
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: The valve located at the top section of the stomach is weakened by the excessive amount of weight in your body. This paves the path for the stomach acid to flow to the esophagus. This is why patients with morbid obesity suffer from heartburn and acid indigestion.
  • Depression: Patients suffering from morbid obesity also face emotional challenges because of disapproval from society and failing to maintain a diet plan.

Treatment Options for Morbid Obesity

Patients diagnosed with morbid obesity can adopt a number of ways to get rid of the excess amount of body fat in their bodies. The treatment options available for them are as below:

  • Diet and Exercise: While there is no universal plan that can be said to be effective for all, patients suffering from morbid obesity should be consulting a dietician as soon as possible. In case you are having limited mobility, consult a physical therapist to improve your health conditions.
  • Weight Loss Medication: Medications can help patients with morbid obesity improve their conditions. There are plenty of medications available in the market. You are most likely to regain weight unless you bring in a significant change in your diet.
  • Surgical Options: Patients diagnosed with morbid obesity have two surgery options i.e. gastric banding or gastric bypass. In gastric banding, a ring is placed around the stomach which limits the amount of food that one can consume. On the other hand, gastric bypass paves the path for a patient to have his or her stomach portions bypassed meaning that he or she will feel full.