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Class III Obesity: Symptoms, Risk Factors, Causes, and Treatment

What is Class III Obesity?

Class III obesity, previously known as morbid obesity, is a complex chronic condition that can lead to several serious health issues. When you resort to processed foods, it can increase the fat deposition in your body. Excessive weight is due to fat accumulation that links to health problems. When your BMI is over 30, you are obese. It is due to eating loads of calories and having an inactive lifestyle.  Likewise, it is also due to genetic disorders.


Signs and Symptoms of Class III Obesity

  • Difficulty in sleeping or sleep apnea
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Woman with knee pain
  • Back and or joint pains
  • Heavy sweating
  • Intolerance to heat
  • Body with skin folds
  • Infections in skin folds
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • A feeling of shortness of breath
  • Hyperpigmentation in the skin folds and armpits
  • Stretch due to endocrinological alteration
  • Swelling and varicose veins in the lower limbs.
  • Body Mass Index greater than 30 kg/m2.
  • Waist circumference greater than 94 cm in men and 88 cm in women.
  • High blood pressure

Risk Factors of Class III Obesity

  • Hormone imbalances. Your body makes hundreds of hormones that each have unique and important functions. Many of those hormones can affect how your body signals that you need food and how your body uses energy. Chronic stress can increase cortisol levels, which can lead to weight gain and increase cravings for sweet, fatty, and salty foods. Low thyroid hormone levels can slow down your metabolism and lead to weight gain.
  • Genetic factors. It has been shown that obesity is an inherited trait and that multiple genes are involved in the process.
  • Cultural factors. Increasing portion sizes and marketing of calorie-dense foods can contribute to obesity.
  • Socioeconomic and geographical factors.  Being low in socioeconomic status and having easier access to unhealthy fast foods than healthy whole foods can contribute to obesity. A lack of recreational facilities or parks and few safe or easy walking routes in your neighborhood can also contribute to obesity.

The Many Causes of Class III Obesity

When you eat, your body uses the calories you consume to run your body. The body also needs calories to pump your heart or digest food. If those calories are not used, the body stores them as fat. Your body will build up fat stores if you continue to eat more calories than your body can use during daily activities and exercise. Morbid conditions are due to chronic and uncontrolled weight gain caused by several factors.

losing weight

Treatment and Management of Class III  Obesity

Treatment for excessive weight gain is a combination of therapy and the help of professionals to increase your chances of success. These includes:

  1. Medication. If you are struggling with the desire to eat more than your allotted calories for the day, your doctor may suggest a medication that blocks fat absorption or acts as an appetite suppressant.
  2. Diet and exercise. You may start by eating fewer calories than you burn but do so with the guidance of a medical professional to make sure you’re still getting enough nutrition. You also want to add in physical activity every day but you have to start small to avoid compromising your body.
  3. Behavioral therapy. Sometimes old habits are so deeply set in the mind and are hard to overcome. Behavioral therapy focuses on changing your unhealthy habits and correcting your eating pattern or improving emotional coping mechanisms.
  4. Surgery. If none of these things help sufficiently, you may need surgery to lose enough weight. Bariatric surgery works by sealing off most of your stomach, so you feel fuller faster. However, surgery is expensive and sometimes life-threatening.

Medication Used for Class III  Obesity

Orlistat. It is a drug that is prescribed to people suffering from morbid weight gain conditions. works by inhibiting the lipases that are required to break down the fatty acids, thereby preventing the absorption of fatty acids in the diet. Talk to your doctor about the risk, benefits, and further guidelines when taking orlistat for weight loss.

How to Manage Obesity?

Managing obesity includes several ways such as eating a healthy, reduced-calorie diet and exercising regularly. Obesity can also be managed with medication, an appetite suppressant approved for short-term use. In addition, you may also benefit from receiving psychological support from a trained healthcare professional to help change the way you think about food and eating. 

What Is Obesity And What Causes It?

Obesity is an increasingly common problem because for many people modern living involves eating excessive amounts of cheap high-calorie food and spending a lot of time sitting down. This condition is generally caused by consuming more calories, mainly those in fatty and sugary foods than you burn off through physical activity. The excess energy is stored by the food as fat. 

Some underlying health conditions can sometimes contribute to weight gain, such as an underactive thyroid gland, although these types of conditions do not usually cause weight problems if they’re effectively controlled with medicines.


Obesity-Related Problems 

Obesity can cause several further problems including difficulties with daily activities and serious health conditions. Day-to-day problems linked to obesity include:

  • Snoring
  • Breathlessness
  • Increased sweating
  • Difficulty doing physical activity
  • Low confidence and self-esteem
  • Often feeling very tired
  • Joint and back pain
  • Feeling isolated
  • Psychological problems such as depression.

Ways to Manage Obesity 

Dietary Changes

Dietary changes to treat obesity include:

  • Cutting calories the key to weight loss is decreasing how many calories you take in. The first step is to review your typical eating and drinking habits to see how many calories you normally consume and where you can cut back. 
  • Feeling full on less – some foods contain a lot of calories for a small portion. In contrast, fruits and vegetables provide a larger portion size with fewer calories. 
  • Making healthier choices –eat more plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Emphasize also lean sources of protein and lean meats. Limit salt and added sugar. 

Exercise and Activity 

Increased physical activity or exercise is an essential part of obesity treatment:

  • Exercise – people with obesity need to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity to prevent further weight gain or to maintain the loss of a modest amount of weight. 
  • Keep moving – any extra movement helps burn calories. Gradually increase the number of steps you take daily to reach that goal.

Weight Loss Medication 

Weight-loss medications are meant to be used along with diet, exercise, and behavior changes, not instead of them. 

  • Phentermine is an appetite suppressant and a weight loss pill medically approved for short-term use. Taking phentermine helps suppress your appetite, thereby limiting how many calories you eat. Over time, this can lead to weight loss. 

Weight Loss

Obesity is a chronic disease defined by an excess amount of body fat. A certain amount of body fat is needed for storing energy, shock absorption, heat insulation, and other functions. A person that has excess weight or body fat may affect their health. A doctor will usually suggest that a person has obesity if they have a high body mass index (BMI). BMI is a tool that doctors use to assess whether or not a person is carrying excess weight.

obese tape measure

Most Common Cause Of Obesity

  • Physical inactivity

Inactive individuals burn fewer calories than active people. It’s been shown that a strong correlation between physical inactivity and weight gain in both sexes.

  • Overeating

Overeating leads to weight gain, especially if the diet is high in fat. Foods high in fat or sugar have high energy density. Epidemiologic studies have shown that diets high in fat contribute to weight gain.

  • Genetics

An individual is more likely to develop obesity if one or both parents are obese. Genetics also affect hormones involved in fat regulation. For instance, one genetic cause of obesity is Leptin deficiency wherein Leptin is a hormone made in fat cells and the placenta. It controls weight by signaling the brain to eat less when body fat stores are too high. In addition, if the body cannot produce enough Leptin or cannot signal the brain to eat less, this control is lost and obesity occurs. The role of Leptin replacement as a treatment for obesity is under exploration.

  • A diet high in simple carbohydrates

Carbohydrates increase blood glucose levels which in turn stimulate insulin release by the pancreas. In turn, insulin promotes the growth of fat tissue and causes weight gain. Experts believe that simple carbohydrates contribute to weight gain because they are more rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream than complex carbohydrates. The higher the insulin, the more it contributes to weight gain.

  • Frequency of eating

The relationship between the frequency of eating and weight is somewhat controversial. There are several reports that overweight people eat less often than people with normal weight.

  • Diseases

Diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome, insulin resistance, hypothyroidism, and Cushing’s syndrome are contributors to obesity.

  • Social issues

Lack of money to purchase healthy foods or lack of safe places to exercise can increase the risk of obesity.

  • Psychological factors

For several people, emotions influence eating habits.  Many people eat excessively in response to emotions including anger, stress, sadness, and boredom. While the most overweight individual has no more psychological disturbances than normal-weight people, there are about 30% of the people who seek treatment for serious weight problems have difficulties with binge eating.

  • Medications

Medications linked with weight gain include:

weight loss tablets

Common Prescriptions For Weight Loss

  • Setmelanotide
  • Semaglutide
  • Liraglutide
  • Naltrexone-Bupropion
  • Phentermine-Topiramate
  • Orlistat
  • Benzphetamine
  • Diethylpropion
  • Phendimetrazine

Prescription medications used for the treatment of overweight and obesity work in different ways. For instance, some medicines may help you feel less hungry or full sooner. Other medicines may make it harder for your body to absorb fat from the foods you eat.