4 Physical Signs of Obesity We Didn't Always Notice

Everyone is familiar with obesity and the impacts it has on one’s health. The World Health Organization defines obesity as having a BMI or body mass index of 30 and above. Obesity poses great risks to health and it is much more than gaining a few pounds here and there. Non-communicable or lifestyle-related diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers are what one could stand to acquire when obese. This is the main reason maintaining a healthy weight through a healthy lifestyle is essential.

While most of us are familiar with obesity, there are a few warning signs that are present in most obese individuals. Read below to see some of the commonly observed physical manifestations of obesity:

1. Acanthosis Nigricans

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Acanthosis nigricans is a condition that is typically found in obese individuals. It is described as the appearance of a dark, velvety patch in the skin which sometimes can be itchy and emits odor. Acanthosis nigricans can be found in the armpits, back of the neck, groin, elbows, soles of the feet, and under female breasts to name a few.

While not a disease in itself, Acanthosis nigricans is a symptom of a much more serious condition such as diabetes which is common in obese individuals. Treatment for such include focusing on attaining and maintaining a healthy weight through a healthy lifestyle, and medications to control blood glucose.

2. Stretch Marks on Hips and Back

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Stretch marks are common in obese individuals. Its causes range from pregnancy to sudden changes in weight and rapid growth as seen in adolescents. Stretch marks occur when there is, from the term, stretching of the skin. Surprisingly, having stretch marks is occurs frequently, with 90% of adults having them. Stretch marks appear anywhere from the stomach, upper arms, thighs, buttocks, and more.

Stretch marks aren’t inherently dangerous. These don’t pose a great danger to your health and while some are permanent, most fade over time. For those seeking treatments for stretch marks, your options vary ranging from moisturizers, self-tanning lotions, and tretinoin cream.

3. Intertrigo

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Intertrigo is defined as the macerated erythema in the skin. Intertrigo occurs when there is friction in the skin due to excessive skin folds brought about by obesity. It is typically associated with bacterial and candida infection. Since obese patients have more skin, this can result in increased sweating The alkaline levels in the skin of obese patients can increase infection susceptibility.

Treating intertrigo would require you to get a doctor’s prescription and some prescribe topical steroids to be applied to the damaged area or perhaps an oral medication. Hygiene and health practices such as showering daily, avoidance of tight clothing, and losing weight are ways to treat intertrigo

4. Orthopedic problems

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Orthopedic problems pertain to issues related to the feet. Our feet carry our body and help us go through a wide range of motions and having an excess weight on our body puts plenty of pressure on the feet. Being overweight causes the feet to splay and flattens the arches.Obesity can calso lead to gout which is a build-up of uric acid in the blood along with the wear and tear of joints

Other orthopedic issues that can plague an obese individual include plantar fasciitis or heel pain, inflammation at the back of the foot or hindfoot arthritis. Should you experience these orthopedic issues, seek help from a podiatrist and ease yourself into a lifestyle change to lose weight healthily.

These are just some of the few issues that most obese patients go through that while not harmful or deadly on their own, can pose great discomforts for both their physical and emotional health. That said, if you are battling obesity, know that a lifestyle change is the key to winning the fight. Obesity impacts more than just your self-esteem, it can also open doors to an array of lifestyle-related diseases that can make living challenging.

If you are looking to change your lifestyle in order to lose weight, know that getting the expert opinion of a weight specialist and a registered nutritionist dietitian is key to steering yourself towards the right path. Following a program that is best suited for your condition is a step towards changing your life for the better and experiencing lasting results.