Obesity - Overview
'As many suffer from too much as too little' thus said Christian Nestell Bovee. He indeed understood that 'too much' can also lead to suffering. Excessive and abnormal accumulation of fat presents a serious risk to health and is medically termed as Obesity.
A chronic disease by nature, Obesity is increasingly becoming a global health problem that has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and other developed countries. The cost of obesity treatment has sky-rocketed to $147 billion annually in US alone and has increased 37% over the last decade. Besides being a threat to the economy, it has multiple serious long term consequences such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer. Obesity comes second only to tobacco as the leading cause of preventable death in US.
The good news is that timely treatment and lifestyle management can help overweight and obese people to get back to normal weight and thus prevent the complications of obesity. Homeopathic medicines that have been used for treating Obesity over the past hundred years have now been scientifically proved to speed up the metabolic rate and burn up calories faster. At Dr. Batra's, besides the experience of treating Obesity with Homeopathy for the past 35 years, we also have qualified and experienced nutritionists who prepare individualized diet plan for our patients to help better management of these cases. Isn't it time you walked this path to treat your Obesity?
What is Obesity?
Obesity means your body has accumulated excessive amount fat and this is posing a risk to your health. When you consume more calories than you burn off, the body stores these excess calories as fat and you start gaining weight.
Obese people are at a higher risk of developing heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, joint pains, etc. Obesity has attained epidemic proportions today due to faulty food habits combined with lack of physical activity.
Global statistics clearly show that the disease is on rise not only in developed nations but also in developing countries. Nearly one third of all Americans today are obese. According to the WHO, in 2005, obesity globally affected at least 400 million adults. The projection was that by the year 2015 more than 700 million will be obese. Billions of dollars are spent every year to tackle with obesity and this includes costs of diet foods, diet books, diet pills, treatment of diseases associated with diabetes, etc.
In order to detect obesity, a simple measurement called BMI (Body Mass Index) is used. BMI is calculated using your weight and height. The weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters (kg/m2) gives the value of your BMI. You can check which range your BMI falls into:
Below 18.5: Underweight
18.5 - 24.9: Normal
25.0 - 29.9: Overweight
30.0 and higher: Obese
People who have a BMI of more than 40 are termed to be suffering with 'Morbid Obesity' which can pose a serious risk to health and must be effectively tackled without any delay.
In addition to the extra weight that you carry, it is also important to determine where you carry this extra fat. Having more fat around the middle portion of the body (called Apple-shaped obesity) is more threatening to health than having more fat around the hips (called Pear-shaped obesity).
It is very vital for the patient to realize that he must lose the extra weight even if he does not feel any problem with it. This is because obesity leads to many complications in the long run which the patient may not realize initially.
Excessive weight gain and extra fatty tissue are obviously the major signs of obesity. However, the weight gain causes a lot more symptoms to be manifest in the patient gradually over a period of time. As the disease advances, these become more and more prominent:
- Running out of breath - even with minor exertion sometimes
- Lethargy, tiredness
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Excessive perspiration
- Pain in weight bearing joints like knees, hips and also in the back
- Sleep apnea
- Rashes in the folds of skin such as in the groins, between thighs, axillae, below breasts, etc.
- Low self esteem
- Always feeling hot
- Daytime sleepiness
Many other diseases are also associated with obesity and the patient may manifest any of the symptoms of these - heart disease, hypertension, stroke, cancer, gallbladder disease, type 2 diabetes, etc.
When you take consume more calories than you are able to burn off, you start gaining weight. The body stores these excess calories as fat. Over a period of time, this fat increases; if there is no corrective change in the lifestyle and this contributes to obesity.
Additionally, the reasons of obesity are:
- Poor eating habits and food choices: Diets and drinks high in calories, oversized food portions, fast foods, skipping breakfast, etc. are habits detrimental to weight management
- Lack of physical activities / exercise: Sedentary life that is without adequate physical activities is another major contributor to obesity
- Genetic: The amount of fat stored in the body as well its distribution is largely determined by the genetic make up of an individual
- Family history: 0n account of having similar lifestyle and food habits, people from the same family may suffer from obesity of a similar pattern. If one or both of the parents are obese, a child's risk of being obese is significantly increased
- Pregnancy: Weight gain during pregnancy is a normal and essential phenomenon; however, some women may find it difficult to lose this excess weight after childbirth
- Certain hormonal problems such as Cushing's syndrome, Hypothyroidism, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOD/PCOS), arthritis, etc. are the causes of obesity
- Chronic arthritis or any other chronic pain may indirectly contribute to obesity since physical activities are reduced due to pain and the patient may tend to overeat to psychologically combat the pain
- Certain medications like steroids, antidepressants, seizure medications, certain high blood pressure medicines, etc. may also cause weight gain
- Psychological causes include Bulimia, emotional stress, anxiety, depression, etc. that can lead to overeating thus contributing to obesity
Diagnosing Obesity is not a difficult task but it is important for the physician to determine what has caused the obesity in the given patient and what are the corrective measures for the same. The health history of the patient and the BMI measurement make the diagnosis clear. BMI additionally gives a measure of the stage of your obesity.
Measuring the waist circumference (fat stored around the waist) is another way to determine your risk of developing complications such as diabetes and heart disease. Women with a waist measurement of more than 35 inches and men with a waist measurement of more than 40 inches have more health risks as compared to people with smaller waist measurements.
In addition, the physician makes use of the following for determining the probable causes of obesity:
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Cholesterol and triglyceride levels - complete lipid profile
- Thyroid function tests
- Liver function tests
- Fasting and post prandial glucose - to rule out diabetes
- ECG - Electrocardiogram to assess the cardiac functions and rule out coronary artery disease
Carrying a lot of weight has its own harmful effects in the long run. Where this excess fat is stored in your body is also equally important in determining your risk for developing complications.
People in whom the fat builds up mostly around the abdomen (apple-shaped obesity) are at greater risk of developing complications as compared to those in whom this fat accumulates around the hips (pear-shaped obesity).
Some of the potential complications of obesity include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Lipid abnormalities - high cholesterol and triglycerides
- High blood pressure
- Ischemic heart disease
- Osteoarthritis (especially of the knees)
- Infertility, irregular menses
- Sleep apnea
- Cancer, including cancer of the uterus, cervix, ovaries, breast, colon, rectum and prostate
- Gallbladder disease
- Fatty liver disease
- Intertrigo - Soreness/irritation between two skin surfaces that are in contact such as under the breasts or between the thighs, etc.
- Impaired quality of life
- Sexual problems
- Social isolation, embarrassment
An extract of sea kelp which has been used as a homeopathic remedy for obesity for over 100 years has now been scientifically proved to speed up the metabolic rate and burn up calories faster. This has been widely researched and accepted by the UK Medicines Control Agency (MCA) as a suitable active ingredient for oral administration in medicines. Homeopathy is indeed a holistic and the safest way to overcome obesity without any side-effects.
At Dr. Batra's, we have been treating this condition for over 35 years now and have given good results in many cases. Successful programs for weight reduction and maintenance at Dr. Batra's include Homeopathic treatment along with an exercise schedule and a diet plan specially prepared by our qualified and experienced nutritionists.
The homeopathic constitutional treatment of obesity takes care of underlying medical, hormonal or psychological causes of obesity and can help in preventing complications of the same. Homeopathic medicines can help you to lose weight by improving your digestion, metabolism & elimination. In addition, certain specific homeopathic medicines for weight-loss help to burn calories faster than normal.
Additionally, specialized and individualized diet plans charted out by our nutritionists ensure that you lose weight gradually without landing up with any side-effects such as nutritional deficiencies, hair loss, etc. Regular scientific monitoring is done every month to keep a check on the patient's health.
Behavior modification for changing eating behavior is also helpful in many cases as it creates increased awareness about the healthy eating patterns. And lastly, besides the medication, social support is a very important component of obesity management. Patients who get good support and encouragement of family and friends show better results in the weight management programs.
Summing up the treatment of Obesity at Dr. Batra's:
- Holistic treatment
- Safest and painless weight-loss procedure
- No side-effects
- Absolute compliance to the treatment program assures scientific tangible results:
- An increased BMR
- Normalized body water percentage
- Reduction in body fat
Btrim Weight Management Programme
Dr Batra’s® has launched ‘Btrim Weight Management programme’, which is ‘Scientifically proven, Safe & Sure’ and completely void of any side-effects. Btrim combines seamlessly with treatments of patients suffering from hypothyroid, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, poly cystic ovarian syndrome and other metabolic disorders and helps you to lose weight and gain back good health and confidence. Btrim can be recommended to all who are obese, overweight or may just have excess fat to lose at certain areas of the body; with or without medical conditions.
Btrim offers a unique 'Fab 5' holistic approach that is the 1st of its kind in India:
1. Passive Lypolysis – For fat loss, body toning and skin tightening
2. Balanced Nutrition – For a healthy way of eating
3. Lifestyle Guidance – For maintaining the weight that is lost
4. Wonders of Homeopathy – For helping to improve body metabolism
5. Personal Care Regime – For helping you keep fit, ever after
Btrim - 5 unique aspects.
One determined goal.
“To Not Let You Give Up On Wearing A Smaller Size.”
Self Care Tips
Obesity management can be a fruitful exercise only if the patient shows as much dedication towards treatment compliance as possible. Based on our expertise and experience of treating obesity for the last 35 years, we have observed that certain modifications in lifestyle can go a long way in showing successful results in most cases of obesity. In addition, our qualified and experienced nutritionist from London particularly ensures that we give our patients nothing but the best of diet and lifestyle tips that have been scientifically proved helpful.
For obesity management, the patient should be put in a negative energy balance - ideally 500-1000 calories less than their recommended dietary allowance (RDA). Ideally, the person should lose 0.5-1 kg per week. To lose weight in a healthy manner and to sustain the weight-loss, 10 principles have been highlighted below:
- Do not skip breakfast: Fuel the brain and the body. A good breakfast kick-starts metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories during the day. It might be a challenge to fit it into your busy lifestyle but a healthy breakfast goes a long way in controlling your weight in the long term.
- Eat protein with complex carbohydrates: Combining these food groups in every meal of the day, including snacks, will ensure that you get a steady flow of energy as the body converts food relatively slowly to glucose. You can hence prevent triggering insulin production and, in turn, minimizing the potential of your body to store food as fat. Protein-rich foods are lentils, legumes, milk (soya and regular), egg, meat, fish and tofu. Complex carbohydrates are un-milled brown rice, oats, whole wheat, jowar, ragi and bajra.
- Stay hydrated: It is important to drink plenty of water, at least 2.5 litres a day and even more in hot weather or if you are exercising. Remember, your body is 80 per cent water and by the time your body tells you that you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Limiting alcohol (also high in calories), tea and coffee is important, as these are dehydrating.
- Enjoy a varied diet: It is very easy to get into the habit of eating the same foods every day. Be experimental and make sure your foods are as colorful as your wardrobe. Try and introduce two new nutrient dense foods into your diet every week. This will ensure that you get a variety of nutrients each day.
- Enjoy your food: Eating has become a chore these days, mostly crammed in between “important” events, and we barely find time to really savor our food. Taking time out to eat is beneficial to our digestive health (that is, we digest better and in turn absorb more nutrients) and far more satisfying.
- Avoid sugar: Excessive consumption of foods high in simple sugars (table sugar, fruit juice, fizzy drink, cakes, confectionery) disrupts the body’s blood sugar balance, leading to fat production and weight gain. These foods are high in calories too, forcing you to burn more to weigh less.
- Eat the good fats: Not all fats are bad. The body needs the good fats (also known as essential fats) such as Omega 3 (oily fish - sardines, raavas, Bangda) and Omega 6 (linseeds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds) to function properly. The key is to limit intake of saturated fats (red meat, dairy, confectionery, butter).
- Eat little and often: Graze and not gorge! Eating a balanced meal (complex carbohydrates 50 per cent, good fats 25 per cent, protein 25 per cent) with healthy snacking (nuts, seeds, fruits) gives you a constant supply of energy throughout the day, making hunger, tiredness and food craving a thing of the past.
- Follow the 80:20 rule: It is very natural to stray from these principles, but as long as you are eating healthily 80 per cent of the time, you can indulge the rest of the 20 per cent. This means that you can enjoy all the social occasions without feeling guilty and also escape the boredom associated with “Diet” regimes.
- Last but not least - Exercise: Losing and maintaining weight does not involve just changing your attitude towards food. Exercise and eating healthy go hand in hand. Your daily energy output must balance your calorie intake. Therefore, no matter how busy you are plan 30 minutes of exercise (brisk walking, swimming, jogging, cycling, aerobics) everyday!